Moving with Kids: a Beginner’s Guide

Family moving home

Relocation comes with its share of challenges for adults, but for children the loss of stability and familiarity can be nothing short of seismic. If you are moving with kids, this guide will share practical tips that will help them cope with this transition.

Prepare and Keep Them Posted

Let children know about a move as early as possible. This will give them time to prepare and allow you to address issues early on. Explaining an upcoming move to your child will be different, depending on their age, but any communication about moving should be honest and easily understandable for them.

Instead of choosing the “right” time to tell them about the move, choose the earliest time so they have the space they need to process and prepare. You’ll also want to be sure they’re informed about what’s happening during every stage with regular family meetings, which will help them feel included.

Give Them Control

One of the most troubling parts of a move for kids can be feeling like they have no control over anything. These tips will give your younger family members manageable amounts of control that help them feel safe.

Allowing them to choose their own room in your new home and decide on paint colors and decorations will help them claim ownership of their new space.

Keep the doors of communication open to help children cope with a move. Tell them you’re there for them if they need to talk about it or have questions or concerns about anything related to the moving process.

Leave them in charge of which items to pack and which to donate. If your children are old enough to pack their own belongings, this can also give them control.

Visit your new NYC neighborhood’s website with your kids or show them photos of what’s available for activities. Ask them to choose one favorite thing to do once they’ve settled in and schedule future activities on a regular basis to help them get used to their new environment.


Close up of pre-teen friends in a park smiling to camera

No matter their age, your child has formed bonds with friends, teachers, and places in their NYC neighborhood. Losing these important connections can be devastating to them, but giving them opportunities to grieve these losses can help them get the closure they need.

Throw a farewell party for your child’s friends and their parents. This gathering will give your child the opportunity to exchange contact information and talk with others who have gone through the process.

Take your child to their favorite places and encourage them to remember the good things that happened there and who they were with.

Present a Calm and Rested Front

Moving to a new city is an emotional experience for adults and children alike. The more calm and rested you can be, the better your kids will be. Here, again, open communication can help all of you process your emotions and create a positive moving experience.

Although there’s a lot of packing and unpacking to do, reiterate the importance of knowing when to stop working and start relaxing. When your kids see you taking care of yourself, they will better understand how important it is to take care of themselves.

Keep Them Engaged on Moving Day

You can make moving day fun for kids, though it will involve some planning. Older kids and young children alike will enjoy camping out in the living room and decorating their moving boxes.

On moving day, devise some fun competitions that keep younger kids’ minds engaged and hands busy. When you arrive at your new home, begin with unpacking and setting up their room first.

After the Move Is Complete

Once you’re all moved into or out of New York City, it’s important to continue with the same routines you had at your previous home. Typical bedtimes and mealtimes and continuing family traditions will provide consistency and normalcy. Take a neighborhood tour and invite neighbors to a family-friendly gathering where everyone can meet new friends.

Are you a busy parent who’ll be moving with children? Samba Moving’s full local and long distance moving service gives you peace of mind with furniture disassembly, packing, cleaning, unpacking and more. Call 212-756-1263 for more information.