Checklist for Moving Out of State with Kids

Parents and young daughter packing moving boxes in a kitchen

Moving to a new home can be an emotional experience for anyone, but it can be especially challenging for children who may feel as though they have little say in the decision to pick up stakes. In addition to coping with leaving friends, loved ones and familiar surroundings behind, kids may be overwhelmed by the idea of adjusting to a new home, neighborhood and school. Such feelings may be further compounded if the move involves crossing state lines.

If you’re concerned about how your child will handle an upcoming move, take a look at this checklist for moving out of state with kids. It was designed to help you better prepare your children for moving day—and acclimating to life in their new abode.

Checklist for Moving Out of State with Kids
  • Encourage communication. Letting kids share their feelings may help reduce anxiety and give you an opportunity to alleviate concerns/dispel any false beliefs they have about moving.
  • Create a photo album. Viewing pics of family, friends and favorite places can soothe children by reminding them of life in their “old” home.
  • Host a going-away party. Having one last get-together can give kids an opportunity to say a proper goodbye to friends and relatives—and create a comforting memory that they can revisit when adjusting to their new environment. Need going-away party ideas? Check out this article.
  • Give them homework. Encouraging kids to research their new city to identify places they’d like to explore (e.g., local parks, restaurants, libraries) or choose décor for their new room can give them a sense of control and get them excited for their new adventure. For younger children, do the legwork yourself and ask them to weigh in on the options!
  • Stick to a schedule. Having a set routine is typically important for kids, so do your best to keep mealtimes and sleep schedules as normal as possible in the days leading up to and following the move.
  • Plan fun activities. Scheduling some enjoyable activities upon arrival (e.g., picnic in the new backyard, trip to the local ice cream shop) may lift children’s spirits and promote a more positive outlook about moving.
  • Make their room top priority. Setting up kids’ rooms first can provide immediate comfort and let them know that you’re thinking about them during the transition.
  • Help them stay connected. Reminding kids to periodically call, text and/or email friends and relatives can help them maintain important bonds and feel less alone as they acclimate to life in their new home.

Check out these additional moving resources:

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