Moving Your Family

Help Settle Younger Children Into a New Home

Having a room to call their own may help children who have been shaken up by a recent move. Follow these few tips to make the transition for your kid as smooth as possible:

Let them unpack goods

Help your children unpack their own items. Ask them how they would like to decorate their room. This will make them feel more comfortable in the new room. Ask them to unpack their favorite pictures and toys and decorate the room as they wish. Cover the bed with their favorite bed sheets and blankets.

Make them feel comfortable

Display all their favorite items around the room. Help him or her explore every nook and corner of the room. Read a few more tips on how to make kids comfortable in the new home.

Communicate with your kids

Discuss with your kids about the differences between their old room and the new room. Let your kids express what they like about their new room. Ask them about the positive things in the room like– is the room bigger than their old room? Is it painted in a prettier color? Thinking positive about the room will help the kids like the room and get familiar with it.

Room to grow

Decorate the room with things that will interest your children, as well as excite them. Paint the room in a color that your kid likes the most. If kids are ready to accept a new arrangement such as their own room or a “big kid” bed, this is what you can use to get them thrilled with the change

How to Move an Aged Parent

Have a conversation with your parent(s) regarding the move. Discuss the reasons for the move and the benefits and new opportunities that will result from your parent(s) moving. Remember to have patience and be understanding of resistance, as this is a major change in their lives. A good mindset would be to make it your responsibility to make this transition easier, and some different ways to do this would include: showing them photos of the new neighborhood, giving them a list of different activities/hobbies/clubs in the community that may interest them, etc.

If your parents must downsize their belongings for the move, be respectful and help them in the sorting process. Remember to understand the difficulty for your parent(s) in letting go of certain items. After the sorting process, hold a garage or yard sale for the items that your parents don’t need. You can also put some goods into storage or donate them to a charity.

When moving aging parents, it is encouraged that you hire a mover/professional packing business, or you can recruit friends and family to help you with the heavier items. Make sure to start early to allow yourself enough time to pack, and make a list of what you should be packing. In this list, packing by category will help you to unpack easily. When loading the boxes into the truck, make sure that boxes containing important items such as your parents’ bedding, clothes, etc. are loaded last so that they can be the first unloaded.

Before heading out, it would be a good idea to have your parents visit the doctor and make sure they are safe to travel. For the trip, bring any medications with you in the car, and include important documents like:

  • Insurance policies
  • Medical history
  • ID documents
  • Address list
  • Financial documents (account numbers, checkbook, investments, tax records, etc.)

Brainstorm beforehand about your parents’ life after the move. Explore different ways to help your parents stay involved in the new community. They can help at the local schools, library, or church. Search for local clubs where your parents can meet like-minded people. Rekindling old activities after the move can also be fun. Encourage your parents to join the local bowling club, golf club, etc., as these activities allow them time out of the house and result in some physical exercise. It’s important that your parents don’t feel lonely after the move because loneliness can be a major health issue.

How to Settle Pets In After a Move

  1. After moving to your new home, introduce your pet to the new place and let him/her explore. This would help your pet get acquainted with the new surroundings. Initially, if your pet decides to hide away under the bed, let them remain there. Your pet may be feeling insecure, but he/she will come around when they feel comfortable
  2. If you have a dog, let it sniff around your new home, and eventually he/she should feel comfortable in the home. Generally, a dog copes with settling to a new place faster than a cat. Just remember to be patient
  3. Take out your dog for a walk and introduce him/her to the area around your new home, and make sure to remain calm and speak in a smooth voice when talking to your pet. Reassure him/her that they are safe and there is nothing to be nervous about
  4. Keep in mind that you should bring all of your pet’s belongings: their bed, blanket, toys, food bowls, etc
  5. Keep in mind that you should retrain your dog to the new noises and situations he/she will experience in the new environment. Your dog may not know what you expect him/her to do in a crisis situation at your new home. If you see no improvement in any new, negative behaviors after the move, you can always take help from professional assistants who can help you improve the situation
  6. You must keep in mind that animals especially dogs are very good at picking up emotions. Often dogs understand if you feel anxious or nervous to a new place where it might also feel unsecured
  7. If you have a cat, do not allow them to go outside alone until they are more comfortable with the home and the area. If they need to go outside, accompany them and bring them back inside after 10-15 minutes
  8. Do not become stressed if you find your pet not eating their regular meals immediately after relocation. This may be due to your pet’s insecure feelings regarding the new location. Do not panic or try to force him/her to eat their meals, but rather calm them down, cuddle them and try to make them understand that there is nothing to fear. If their fear is something that continues for a few days, consult a veterinarian who can help you out with more suggestions.

Moving With Your Dog

1. Prepare your dog

Make sure that your dog is well-accustomed to riding in the car. In case your dog is not used to car travel then before the actual move, take short rides with him/her to help him/her in getting accustomed to the motion of the car

2. Avoid feeding before the trip

Don’t feed your dog too much before the trip. This is to prevent any motion sickness or vomiting

3. Consult a veterinarian

Consult a veterinarian and have a health checkup for your dog to ensure that he/she is in good condition to travel. If your dog is prone to motion sickness, ask the veterinarian about medication to reduce or eliminate the symptoms

4. Comfort for the dog

The move will be a happy one for your dog if he/she has comfortable items surrounding him/her in the car. Because of this, ensure that you have all the necessary items that your dog might require during the drive. Some of these include

  • Dog foo
  • Blankets/pillow
  • Favorite chew toy(s
  • Food and water bowl
  • Collar with tags attache
  • Leas
  • Cleaning wipe
  • Veterinarian records, medicines and certificate

5. Don’t overload the car

Sometimes too many people or too much stuff in the car may leave little space for your dog to sit in a relaxing position. Also, take frequent breaks and let your dog get out of the vehicle so that he/she can stretch his/her legs

6. Safety Issues

While on the move, try to avoid letting your dog stick his/her head out the window to avoid any chance of dirt or bugs landing on and irritating your dog’s face or eyes. Also, try to keep your dog in a seat belt while driving, and never leave your dog in the car on warm days, as they can quickly develop heat stroke

7. Identification tags

Even though your dog will be traveling with you, remember to keep your dog’s identification tags attached to his/her collar.

Tips to Get Your Teen Acquainted with the Move

  • It is obvious that your teen might ask questions related to the move – “why are we moving”, “where are we moving” etc. You must keep in mind that your teen is not a kid anymore; hence answer the questions in a truthful manner.
  • Talk to your teen regarding new schools and new friends that he/she would be able to make after the move. Let your teen choose a school from the options available rather than you choosing the one.
  • Acknowledge the emotional ups and downs. Let your teen know that it’s OK and normal to feel anxiety over the move.
  • If you see your teen is not answering your questions and is keeping quiet there are chances that he/she is not ok with the plan to move. You must lay emphasis on making them share their problems. Get to know what exactly they are feeling regarding the move and explain to them the real need for the move.
  • If you see your teen puzzled with the thoughts of moving, intentionally get him/her involved with the packing process. Also, take their advice on packing household items as it will make them feel special.
  • Explain to your teen that you would be having some return trips to the old place and he/she would be able to meet his/her old friends. Persuade your teen to have a meet with his/her friends at any cafe they regularly visit. It might help lighten their mood.
  • Host a party or a get-together where teen would be able to spend time with his/her friends before the move.
  • Encourage your teen to save the phone numbers and all the e-mail ids of friends.
  • If you are not moving very far from your current place, you might take a short trip to the new place with your teen and visit the cafes, local library, parks and department stores.
  • You can ask your teen to do a research and gather information about the new place and report it back to you. This would make them feel involved and also bring in responsibility in them.
  • Never hesitate to spend time with your teen when he/she needs you. This would help your teen feel secure and it would also help you know their real feelings regarding the move.