Moving house with kids

Posted on Thursday, June 1, 2023

Moving house with kids

House hunting with kids this half term?  Moving home can be an incredibly exciting time for children but such a momentous change can also lead to some worries.  If your current home is the only one you children have known, the prospect of a new bedroom, house and even community can be overwhelming.


At Gascoigne Halman we want house hunting to be an enjoyable experience for every member of your family, reducing stress and upset wherever we can.  Here are our top 10 tips for moving with children…


  1. 1.      Start the process without them

If you are still mulling over the decision to move home, we recommend your first conversations with estate agents and mortgage advisors are done without the children present.  Your first meetings are likely to focus on the ‘boring stuff’ like finances which children are unlikely to understand or enjoy. Children can naturally be quite averse to change and until you have made a clear decision to move, it is best not to worry them unnecessarily.


  1. 2.      Introduce moving home in a fun way

Consider sharing the news that you are moving home in a fun way.  Perhaps ask the children to draw or write out a wish list for their dream home and then discuss as a family, why your current home no longer meets your requirements.  Talk about your own experiences of moving home throughout your life, the houses you have lived in and what prompted those moves.  Then gently explain that you feel it is time to find a new property for your family to grow into, where you are looking to move to and all the positives this will bring to your lives.


  1. 3.      Make house hunting a fun activity

Get your kids excited about the prospect of house hunting.  Older children may enjoy browsing properties online while younger ones may wish to provide you with some guidance on what they would like included in their new home.


  1. 4.      Property viewings

We recommend, where possible, that you make initial property viewings without young children present.  This will allow you to fully take in the property and ask the relevant questions of the owner or estate agent.  If you have to take the children along, give them a task to complete such as counting how many windows the property has, to keep them occupied while you complete the viewing.  Older children may enjoy having a guess at what each property is valued at.


  1. 5.      Sold!

Once you have had an offer accepted on your chosen property, ask to view it again with the children.  This is the perfect opportunity to introduce them to their new home.  Ask them to compare it to their current home and start to imagine how they would like to make their new bedrooms feel like home.  Start sowing the seeds of moving home by asking children to picture themselves playing in the garden or baking in the kitchen.


  1. 6.      Preparing to move

Visit your new neighbourhood periodically while the sales process is underway to continue the moving journey in your childrens’ minds.  Perhaps drive past and celebrate the ‘sold’ sign going up and spend time exploring the local parks, shops and any other attractions.

If you are moving to a new area, join some of the online communities and start exploring sports teams and other activities your children may like to join.  Existing residents are usually very happy to provide online recommendations about their neighbourhood and this can often spark invitations to community events and activities.


  1. 7.      Clear the clutter

Involve all the family in a good clear out to start the moving process.  Get the children to help you go through the house room by room and decide what you wish to take with you.  Things no longer wanted or needed can be sold or given away; a great little enterprise a teenager can take responsibility for!  Give each child a box in which to place ‘memories’ that they wish to take with them to the new home.


  1. 8.     Make room plans

Get the children excited about the move by asking them to help plan colour schemes and themes for your new home.  For younger children this can involve a plethora of craft activities in the run up to the move, while older teens may wish to explore Pinterest and magazines for inspiration.


  1. 9.     Plan out moving day

Make a plan for moving day and agree it as a family beforehand so every member is clear on what will be happening and you can minimise any last minute upsets.  Make sure the children have time to say ‘goodbye’ to their former home, perhaps over a family meal or takeaway the night before moving.  If you are moving in term time, consider a weekday move so you can unpack children’s bedrooms before they arrive at their new home for the first time.  Seeing their familiar possessions within the new property can help alleviate any worries.  Endeavour to make moving day fun for all the family and ensure you take time to celebrate it!


  1. 10.  Love your new neighbourhood

It may take a few weeks to unpack your possessions but take time out from unboxing to explore your new neighbourhood.  Visit all the local amenities, discover walking and cycling routes and sign up for the library and any local clubs.  The more time you spend out in the community, the sooner your children will regain their sense of belonging and start to enjoy coming ‘home’ to your new property.