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Moving can be stressful, especially if there are children involved. But, there are some things you can do to make it easier. Here are some tips to make the transition go more smoothly.

-Make a list
Trying to keep a running list in your mind of what needs to be done can tax your sanity. Early in the game – as in months ahead – take some time to sit down and make a comprehensive moving plan, complete with details. Then your mind can rest and you can see what has been done, and what you still need to do.

-Purge your house of unnecessary items
There is a reason why people have moving sales. Both packing and unpacking are made easier when there is less stuff. You don’t have to have a moving sale if the notion seems daunting. You can give your items to a charity or give them away online. Some charities will even come to your house and pick up your stuff.

Whether you are packing and moving your own items or hiring movers, be sure the boxes are well labeled. Consider specific boxes for special items, especially those things that will be needed right away: cookware, special children’s toys, bedding, etc.

-Call ahead and have utilities ready
Arrange to have the utilities turned on and in your name on the day you move in. Nothing adds to stress like not having running water or electricity, and trying to make phone calls to get the utilities turned on when there is no phone service hooked up.

Moving with children

-Make lots of special visits to the new house with the children
Before actually moving in, take your children to visit the new house as often as is practical. Take a picnic and eat on the floor or in the yard, or bring a special toy reserved only for the new house. Consider a homecoming party when you do move in, where the children each get a special gift that signifies their new home. Talking about the party you are going to have will give children something to look forward to.

-Encourage participation
Children feel insecure when they feel something is happening to them without any input. While children may not get a choice in when/where you move, letting them participate in as many aspects of the move as possible will help them feel empowered and view the move in a more positive light. Allow them to help paint their new room, for example, or pick paint colors (narrow it down to two or three colors you can live with before letting them choose!). If children get to participate, they will gain a sense of ownership of the new house.

In time, your family will settle in and your new house will become home.

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