All the experts agree: Moving is one of the most stressful ordeals a family can endure. Just relocating across town with kids, much less across the country, brings out the worst in everyone. Below are five tips for keeping your sanity while making a major move.
Prepare the Kids
Don’t put off telling your kids about the relocation. They’re bound to feel some degree of sadness or fear, so let them talk through their emotions or cry if they’re inclined. Then, you can start to talk about the new place and all the positive aspects of the move. Let them have friends over for a going-away party.
Find the Right Neighborhood
Decide what’s most important to you and scour the internet for neighborhood profiles. There are a number of things to consider: age of the neighborhood, quality of the schools, commute to work, crime rate, amount of green space, conduciveness to walking or cycling, and values that the community has.
Pick the Right Realtor
Your real estate agent should have at least five years of experience and a number of references. Professionals, realize that realtors should be very familiar with the specific neighborhood you’ve chosen. Most realtors have done their comparisons and know the market very well. Learning additional things about schools in the area is something the realtor might know about. The best agents don’t waste time trying to sell you houses that you don’t want. They ask a lot of questions, listen to your answers and show you only houses that you do want. They can advise you to pounce on a reasonable price or steer clear of an inflated one.
Don’t pay to haul a lot of stuff that you should have thrown out years ago. Seize the opportunity to downsize and donate to charity all at the same time. Have a color-coding system for labeling boxes. Make sure that the truck is loaded with the items you’ll need first – kitchen, bathroom and bedroom supplies – closest to the tailgate.
Keep the Kids Fed and Entertained
For the long haul, pack a cooler with plenty of drinks and snacks. Stock the car with games, toys, books and crayons. Take advantage of a great opportunity to visit landmarks and tourist attractions that were once out of your way.
No move is without challenges, but careful planning will alleviate a lot of stress. The excitement of making a new start in a new city will help you forget what a headache it was to get there.
About the author: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area, writing on behalf of Mattox Realty. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn't on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.