Whether you’re moving with a large family to a new country, state, city, or neighborhood, moving is an exciting opportunity to start over in some ways and transition to a new place for your family to thrive.
Coordinating a move to suit every member of a large family is more of a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. If you’re moving with a big family, consider these strategies to make the process easier for every member of the family.
Enlist the Help of All Family Members
Except for your canine and feline companions, every member of the family can help you with the packing and moving process. Plan tasks that are age-appropriate for each person. For example, you can assign younger children simple tasks such as carrying toys in a box or separating clothes according to color. Teens can take on more complex and laborious tasks.
Offer rewards and positive reinforcement for children who have a good attitude about helping with the move. Try to catch kids doing something helpful, then heap praise on them. Not only will the recipient of the praise feel great about themselves when you show appreciation, but your other kids may be inspired to make a stronger effort to help with the move.
Choose a Color Code for Each Family Member
When you are moving with a large family, you are sure to need lots of boxes. That makes it much more important to get organized. Otherwise, you can end up wasting countless hours once you arrive at your new home trying to decide what goes where and which box belongs to specific family members.
Assign a color code to each member of the family. The color will be used in labeling the boxes. If you have young children in the family, let them choose their own colors. Once the colors are assigned, choose a marker or label in that designated color on at least two sides of each box. That will clearly mark the possessions as belonging to that person.
This tip doesn’t just work for bedrooms. If multiple family members keep possessions in the living room, designate each individual’s items with the color-coding system and also label it according to the room it will be unpacked in. Similarly, the color-coding process can help you keep kids’ toys separate when packing up a playroom. Color-coding is a must when moving with a large family.
Set Deadlines for Different Parts of the Packing Process
When you are managing the process of moving with a large family, you may find yourself reminding kids to pack their rooms multiple times. Instead of getting frustrated by the different pace family members have when it comes to going through their stuff and packing for the big move, simply set a deadline when you expect all the boxes to be packed and ready to move.
If you know that certain kids struggle with deadlines and procrastination, set the deadline at least a couple of days before it absolutely has to be done. That way, if they simply cannot meet the deadlines, you have leeway to jump in and help without having to worry about major consequences or delays with your move.
To light a fire under kids or teens who refuse to finish packing or otherwise pitch in to help with the move, set consequences at the start of the moving process. You can either offer positive rewards that will only be given to kids or teens who complete the tasks they’re given or set negative consequences for those who don’t help with the move.
Keep Negative Emotions in Check Around Kids and Teens
If you get frustrated about an aspect of the move or get the blues because you’re going to miss your old stomping grounds, allow yourself to feel whatever emotions pop up. However, try to avoid showing your negative emotions to your kids during the move.
The Washington Post reports that moves may be especially hard on adolescents. Encourage your teens to express themselves, but also reiterate all the positive reasons your family is moving. When you have a big family and kids of different ages, this is especially important because younger kids may be observing how you talk about the move with the teens.
Children and teens may already feel anxious about changing homes and possibly leaving friends behind. Keep the focus on helping them deal with emotions that surface as they pack and prepare their rooms for the move. If your children ask you about your feelings about the move, that’s a good time to reveal them in an age-appropriate way. However, try to keep things positive.
Finally, you don’t have to go it alone when you’re preparing for moving with a large family. Contact the caring moving professionals at Wheaton World Wide Moving for a smooth, successful move that’s planned to meet the needs of your large family. Before you know it, your new house will truly feel like your new home.