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Tips for Moving with Kids in NYC
Even though moving can be stressful for anyone, we know it especially impacts your children as they come to terms with all the changes coming up—a new school, new friends, new community activities, and more. Moving Day itself can seem overwhelming for kids too, as they say goodbye to the memories they’ve made in their old home and neighborhood. Here are our top four tips for making the move as easy on your kids as possible:
Let them be a part of the moving process.
Aside from the normal fears children may experience regarding the big changes created by moving, your kids are also affected by your planning efforts leading up to the move. The time you spend organizing belongings, packing up boxes, and arranging for Moving Day may take away time from your normal play and daily interactions with your children. Instead, let them be a part of the exciting transition!
Have your kids help you decide which of their old toys and books should be donated to other kids in need. Talk to them about how their generosity will change someone else’s life for the better. If you need help finding a great local nonprofit to support with these donations, we suggest, which has two drop-off locations in Manhattan. This organization distributes donated childcare items (such as clothing, high chairs, and toys) to women and children living in shelters across the city. Another great charity is , which is a thrift shop supporting homeless mothers. The moms receive job training and build up their work experience as employees of the shop, and all profits from the store’s sales assist the moms as they move into permanent housing.
Your kids can also help you pack up the belongings you will be moving to the new house. Turn packing into a game, such as Stuffed Animal Basketball, where they can “shoot baskets” by tossing stuffed animals into a box. You can also have them help you clean your home for the landlord or new owners—see who can clean the most baseboards, or who can vacuum the fastest.
Prepare them ahead of time for Moving Day.
If you can, try to find a family member or friend who will keep the kids occupied during the day of your move. This way, you don’t have to worry about keeping an eye on your children, movers, and belongings all at the same time. Having your kids stay busy somewhere else can also cut down on their boredom or anxiety during the transition.
If you will need to have the kids on-site during Moving Day, we suggest putting together a “Day of Move” box for them. Make sure this box is small enough for them to carry on their own, and fill it with activities that can keep them entertained and out of harm’s way during the move. For example, you could include their coloring books, a craft activity, and a good book to read.
Your kids can also help with the unpacking.
In the same way your children can contribute to your relocation, they can also help you settle into your new home. Give your kids ownership of their bedrooms, and have them unpack their toy boxes to arrange the rooms the way they want. If unpacking doesn’t sound very appealing to them, turn it into a game! Create a “reverse scavenger hunt,” where they have to find a list of belongings to unpack and put away. Let them know you’ll all work together to make a fort out of the used moving boxes when the monotonous task of unpacking is finished.
Focus on the positive!
Although moving definitely comes with challenges, there are so many exciting parts of a relocation! Tell your kids why you’re looking forward to living in your new home—maybe your children will have a new playroom, or new bunk beds. Maybe one parent is moving for a new job which will allow them to have more time for family vacations.
After you name some favorable aspects about the move, challenge each child to find three or four fun things they can do in their new neighborhood. For example, you might be moving closer to a branch of the, near a , or next to a ! Make sure you make an effort to visit some of the activities they list soon after the move so they can carry the enthusiasm through their adjustment period.
You can also ease some of the anxiety that comes with a new home by familiarizing your children with their new environment early on. Before school starts, take them on a walk through their new schoolyard and playground. Set up a tour with the administration so they can walk through the hallways and get an idea of where the cafeteria, library, and gym are located. Consider signing them up for a local YMCA or “little league” so they can make some new friends in the community.
For a stress free move in NYC, look no farther than Divine Moving & Storage. For 20 years, New York City has relied on Divine to make moving a breeze! 212-244-4011