Moving cross-country is a big undertaking and can be incredibly intimidating when you have kids in tow. But it doesn’t have to be stressful.
With the right planning and organization, moving with your kids can be an exciting adventure for the whole family.
Here are some moving cross-country tips for those relocating with kids.
1. Give them a heads up early on
The more advance notice you can give your children about the move, the better. Let them know about it as soon as possible so they can start to prepare for the big change.
If you plan a cross-country move at least eight weeks in advance of the moving date, then plan on letting your kids know about the move about 4 weeks before that.
2. Involve your kids in planning
Have an open dialogue with your kids and get their input on the move. Ask them what kind of thing they’d like to do in the new location, what they’re most excited about, and any concerns they may have.
Then, let them help make decisions about the move so that they feel more included and invested.
3. Research the new community
Based on advice from Harrison Gough, lead cross-country moving specialist at MovingApt.com, “Hiring movers for across country relocations is only half the battle. You must also research the new city and its neighborhoods for good schools, leisure activities, doctors, and safety records.”
Not only will this help you make better decisions about where to live, but it can also give your kids a chance to get excited about their new home.
4. Make time for fun
Moving can be stressful and overwhelming, especially for kids. But balancing the mundane tasks of packing and organizing with fun activities can make a move more enjoyable.
For example, have a movie night or throw a going away party; plan some day trips in your current city before you leave; create a fun scavenger hunt to keep the kids busy while packing their rooms.
5. Don’t forget the essentials
When packing up your kid’s belongings, keep a few essential items accessible for when you arrive at your new home. This can include a favorite blanket or stuffed animal, toiletries and change of clothing, books, toys or games, and medicines or other health essentials.
How To Choose The Best Cross-Country Movers
Movers make the relocation process a lot easier. But some of the best long-distance moving companies help make the process a million times better when kids are involved.
Here is a guide to follow to help you choose the best movers for your family move.
- Get referrals from friends and neighbors who have used cross-country movers before—this is one of the most reliable ways to find quality services.
- Check out online reviews on reputable websites and research any companies you’re considering to ensure they are licensed and insured.
- Make sure the movers you choose specialize in long-distance moves and have the experience to handle cross-country relocations.
- Get an in-home estimate from at least three different companies so that you can compare prices.
- Ask for references and read testimonials to understand what other customers have experienced.
In addition, when moving with kids and family, it is usually best to hire full-service or concierge movers who can supply all the needed packing materials and perform all the packing, loading, unloading, and unpacking for you.
This will save you time and make settling into your new home with kids easier.
Packing Games To Play With Kids
Many families opt to perform packing duties on their own to save money on their overall move and have more for initial living expenses.
If you’ve decided to take on the packing process with your family, here are some games that can help make the experience fun and keep kids busy while you’re packing up their belongings.
- Packing Races – Divide the kids into teams and give each team a pile of items that need to be packed. Set a timer for a few minutes and have the teams race to see who can pack the most items in that time.
- Memory Packing – Have kids help pack their toys, books, and other belongings while playing a game of memory. Give each child a box or bag and have them find two matching items, put one in the box/bag, find two more matching items, and so on.
- Name That Item – Have kids name the items they are packing out loud before they pack them away – this will help keep them engaged while helping you determine what needs to stay or go.
These packing games can not only make the process of packing more enjoyable but also help your children get excited about the upcoming move.
How To Save Money on a Cross-Country Move
Chances are that you’ll want to maximize your moving budget in order to have more funds for activities at your new home.
Here are some tips to help you save money on your move.
- Book off-peak moving dates. The cost of a move will vary depending on the season, day of the week, and time of day you decide to relocate. If possible, aim for the off-peak days (midweek rather than weekends) and avoid major holidays.
- Get boxes from local retailers or find free moving boxes online. Instead of buying new ones, see if you can get free or discounted moving supplies.
- Get rid of unwanted items. Before you move out, declutter your home and get rid of any items you don’t need or want to take with you. The less stuff you have to pack and move, the cheaper it will be in the end.
Cross-Country Moves With The Family Made Easier
Moving with your family doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. With the right preparation and research, you can make sure that your move goes smoothly and that everyone stays happy during the process.
Get referrals from friends, compare moving companies and even play packing games with your kids to make it an enjoyable experience for all.
And when it comes time to pay, don’t forget to look into ways to save money on the move — like booking off-peak days and finding free boxes. With a little effort, you can make your cross-country move with family an enjoyable one.