Volition Removals have put together a handy guide to Moving House With Children for making things slightly more stress-free and asked bloggers to share their top tips for making things go smoothly. It's actually got some really good ideas and sensible advice in it so it's a great place to start, but I have a few top tips of my own to add.
Explore the new area in advance on Google Maps - Using the street view, you can go for a virtual walk around the neighbourhood, which can help younger children feel slightly more at ease because it won't all seem quite so alien and unknown when they move in. Follow the route to school or the nearest park, look out for gardens with play equipment in and point out that they could be new friends, try to find some interesting-looking places to discover on adventures when you get there.
A warm welcome in the new home - In the weeks before you move, go around all your old neighbours or maybe ask your kids' teachers and try to collect up farewell letters, drawings and maybe photos or postcards from their friends and neighbours. Put them all in a big envelope - or maybe even just send one letter or postcard, it's the thought that counts ! - and send it off a day or two before you leave so that it will arrive in the post at the new address in the first few days when they may be feeling lonely.
Reassure them that Father Christmas and the Tooth Fairy will know how to find them (even if there isn't a chimney any more !) - It's funny the things small kids worry about, so help put their minds at rest about this one. Maybe send a letter or card from Santa to arrive at the new house welcoming them and saying he's noted their change of address !
Prepare an emergency kit - Not just plasters and a first aid kit but also toilet roll, washing up liquid and cleaning products, tea bags, milk, sugar and a few mugs, that you might want before you get around to opening up any of the boxes. Let the kids pack a little suitcase - it might seem like more of an exciting adventure like going on holiday rather than filling up boxes that look like they might never be unpacked again ! If you're moving abroad, try to stock up on some of the kids' favourite snacks and sweets that they may not be able to find in their new home.
Disclosure : This is a sponsored, but hopefully useful, post !