Selling a house and moving into a new one can be stressful for any of us, but when you’re a parent, the headaches can feel like they’re never going to end. When the time comes to move into a new home, especially with kids, you have to be flexible, versatile, and forgiving—of yourself and others. As most parents can attest, life with kids in general requires an ability to go with the flow. So does the process of selling a home and moving.
Here are four easy and effective steps you can take to save time and your sanity when you’re selling your home and moving with kids.
Make cleaning a game to stay on top of the day-to-day
One of the most common worries parents have about selling their house is keeping up with the clutter and mess. Instead of feeling stressed, take advantage of those extra hands. Get your kids involved in keeping your house show-ready by making it fun. Encourage them to get rid of old toys by teaching them about donating and giving to those who have less. Give rewards and prizes to the kid who cleans up the most, picks up clutter quickly, and is proactive about getting their chores done.
Ease their stress and you’ll also ease your own
Moving can be an emotional challenge for many kids and teens, especially if they are facing the daunting task of going to a new school or making new friends. Keep them upbeat and focused on the positive by encouraging them to help you make decisions. For example, you can let them design and decorate their new room. If the new house has a big backyard, tell them they can adopt a dog after you move in. Host a going-away party so they have a chance to say goodbye to their friends and their home. Help them keep their memories alive by making a scrapbook of some of the best times you shared in your old home.
Get them involved in the purging and packing
Let your kids help you pack for the big move. Older kids can pack their own rooms, but younger kids will need more direct help. Give them small tasks like packing all their stuffed animals away. Moving to a new home is a great time for a purge. Ask them to put all their clothes that no longer fit into a donation pile. If you decide to have a yard sale before moving, tell them they can keep the money from the items they sell. This can also help motivate them to help you organize, price, and set out items. Organizing for a move is one of the most time-consuming parts of the process— and it is an even heavier lift when you have kids to pack for in addition to yourself.
Make many lists and check them all twice
Staying organized while selling a home and moving to a new one can be a full-time job, and that’s not taking into account the responsibilities you already have as a parent. Keep your head in the game by making lists to keep you organized and progressing. A packing list should detail what stays and goes from each room, as well as the materials you need to pack. A moving day checklist can keep everyone organized on a day where chaos often reigns. Keep a schedule of showings, open houses, and important milestones leading up to moving day.
Leaving your home and moving to a new one can be a challenge for the whole family, even if everyone is generally onboard and excited. Following these tips can help you keep everything moving forward, while being sensitive and compassionate to your kids.
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