How to Adjust the Whole Family After a Big Move

By Missouri REALTORS

couple sitting o floor with boxes and laptop out reading a magazine
Moving to a new city can be daunting for the whole family. Whether you’re moving cross-country or just across town, new neighbors, new jobs and a new school can make for a difficult transition. And adjusting the family is difficult when you are trying to adapt to change yourself. With these tips and tricks, your whole family will settle in to your new home just a little bit easier.

For you

  • Unpack everything. The easiest way to make your new house feel like a home is to create a cozy environment filled with personal items, not boxes. Once you feel comfortable in your own home, you can start feeling comfortable in your new neighborhood.
  • Get out and explore. Take time to explore your new backyard by searching online, asking friends, coworkers or even locals on the street. Going on fun adventures will help you become acquainted with your new neighborhood, which will make the transition that much easier.
  • Create a routine. Even if you’re new routine isn’t identical to the one in your old neighborhood, stability will help you be more productive and comfortable in your environment. While Netflix is never a bad idea, getting out of the house is super healthy for you.
  • Meet new people. If you’re working in an office after the move, you’ll at least have people to socialize with during the workday. Reach out to them and include your families to help your spouse and children meet new people as well. If you don’t work in a traditional office, the easiest way to meet people is to venture out of the house. Join a gym, get involved at your child’s school or take a class to connect with people with similar interests.
For the kids
  • Prioritize. While you may long to unpack the boxes closing in on you, your children need help processing all the changes in their life. Take cues from them, put your packing aside and focus on putting your kids at ease. While this contradicts the tips above, finding a balance between unpacking and taking care of your children’s wellbeing is incredibly important.
  • Involve them in making your house a home. Many children do better with a move when they feel included in the process. Let your child unpack the silverware, choose their new room’s paint color or organize books. Having a job can help them create an anchor and feel connected to their new environment. And if you’re still looking for the perfect home, involve your teens and get their input.
  • Check out the new school. If possible, visit your child’s new school and check out activities, clubs and sports to help them get involved and make friends with similar interests.
  • Stick with familiar routines. In the midst of change, children long familiarity and routine. Read stories they love, maintain bedtime rituals, sit down together for family meals and play favorite games to ensure their life hasn’t totally flipped upside down.
  • Encourage tears and give them time. It’s natural for your child to be sad, even if they are also excited about moving. Encourage them to talk about their feelings and have a good cry if needed. By consistently talking them out of their feelings of sadness or anxiety they will learn to withhold and suppress negative emotions. You won’t adjust overnight, and neither will your children. Point out the positive elements in your new neighborhood that appeal to your children (parks, stores, schools), but also let them know you’re aware of the things that are not the same between your old and new home.
  • Suggest journaling. Journaling is a great way to release personal thoughts and feelings without the vulnerability of sharing them with another person. A moving journal is the perfect place for teens to capture every moment, add pictures and create a mini scrapbook to look back on.