Moving with Kids: During the Move

Moving advice, moving activities & moving resources for Moving with Children of all ages.

During the Move


Moving Tips & Activities to Keep the Family Sane on Moving Day

It’s moving day, and it’s time to get your team together for the move! Read our moving tips for kids below to help your children feel very much a part of the moving process as they check off their own moving “to-do” lists. You’ll find helpful moving advice and useful moving tips to keep the kids focused (and happy) while doing their fair share of the packing and moving chores.

There’s a lot for children to do from the moment they learn about the move, so be sure to get them involved!


Packing Up and Moving Day

Saying farewell to favorite people and places — even to the old home itself — is important for young children. Preschoolers and toddlers may need help in understanding that their same friends and neighbors will not be in the new place.

The actual process of packing up and putting things away in boxes may be emotionally trying for preschoolers, as they see familiar and favorite objects disappear into boxes. Try to pack your preschoolers’ belongings as late in the moving schedule as possible, and reassure them that their belongings will be going to the new house.


If you have pets, remember that moving is tough on them too. For a young child who’s attached to the family dog, cat or bird, the pet’s discomfort can heighten the child’s anxiety. Talk to and share with your young child how the family pet may react to lessen unhappy surprises.

For older children, saying goodbye to friends will also be very important when come times for moving day. Your teen or pre-teen might want to host a going-away party for friends or plan a series of overnights with his or her best buds.

Although there is plenty to be done that you need your pre-teen’s or teen’s help with, but remember to be understanding of his or her needs too.

Moving Day Checklist for Younger Children

  • Packing Time! Time to Sort Your Stuff! Moving is a good reason to get rid of things you don’t want anymore, which will also make room for new things you might get in the future!Go through your all toys and games and group them into three piles:
    • First Pile: Things you want to take with you to the new home.
    • Second Pile: Things to toss out (broken toys and games with missing pieces).
    • Third Pile: Things you don’t want but could be given away to other kids.
  • Ask: “What Else”! Ask your parents what else can you do to help with all the sorting and packing that needs to be done. They will appreciate your help!
  • Mark Your Stuff as “Yours”! Design your own personal “seal” for marking your boxes as YOUR property! As your belongings are packed, draw your “seal” on the outside of each box. Be creative! You can create your own work of art to mark your belongings.
  • Get Ready for Your First Night! Your first night in your new home is very special. Be sure to have your favorite pajamas, your trust blanket or stuffed toy, or your favorite book packed away in your suitcase or backpack. This will be your very own piece that you’ll personally be in charge of to take with you to your new place to get ready for your first night in your new home!
  • Don’t Forget to Bring Some Entertainment! Don’t forget to take some things for you to do on the airplane or in the car on the way to the new home, such as books, video games, action figures, or crayons and paper.

Moving Day Checklist for Teens and Pre-Teens

  • Help Out During the Move Now is a great time to show your parents how mature you are and that you can handle responsibilities. Packing is certainly a lot of work and your parents can use your help. You may have younger siblings who are anxious about the move and could use your big brother/big sister advice and comfort. Think of things you can do to help out with moving, including spending more time with your siblings and taking charge of them on “Moving Day”. Volunteer your own ideas and help your parents develop and execute a packing and moving plan.
  • Ask: “What Else”! What else can you do to help your family with all the sorting and packing that needs to be done? Ask your parents and then put a check-mark here for each task you complete. The more you have and get to check off, the prouder you should be of yourself!You can also sort through your stuff and determine which are:
    • Things you want to take with you to the new home.
    • Things you don’t want and could be given away to other kids.
    • Things to toss out.
  • Mark Your Stuff as “Yours”! Design your own personal “seal” for marking your boxes as YOUR property! As your belongings are packed, draw your “seal” on the outside of each box. This will make it easy to find your box with your belongings when it comes time to unpack them in your new home.
  • Strategic Packing Come up with a plan for packing up your own stuff. Pack the stuff first which you can do the longest without. What things can you part with for only a short while? Pack those last! Label your boxes carefully so you know what’s inside them when it’s time to unpack.
  • Get Ready for Your First Night! You certainly don’t want to have to unpack the minute you arrive at your new home, so set aside things for your first night and morning, or even a few days. Pack up these “must-haves” to take with you in a suitcase or backpack — things such as your toothbrush, favorite clothing, shoes, CDs, photos of friends, etc. Include (within reason) anything you can’t live without!
  • Don’t Forget to Bring Some Entertainment! If your family is driving or flying a distance to the new home, pack your “survival kit” to help you with the travel: magazines, video games, music CDs and CD player, movies and a portable DVD, snacks — whatever you need to survive hours in the car or in the air!

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