For kids who have lived in the same home their entire life, moving house is the biggest change they can imagine. Not only does moving mean a new school, neighborhood and friends, but the staging and selling process itself disrupts children’s routines.
Here are seven things parents can do to minimize stress for their kids and themselves when selling a home:
Staging and Selling
1. Let Kids’ Rooms Lie
Staged homes sell faster and for more money than unstaged homes, but not every room in the house needs to look picture-perfect.
According to the National Association of Realtors’ 2017 Profile of Home Staging, children’s bedrooms are one of the least important rooms when it comes to home staging, second only to guest bedrooms.
Keep kids’ bedrooms tidy by making the bed and tossing toys into a chest before showings, but don’t fret over a rumpled blanket or disorganized closet. If you go ahead and hire a cleaning service to come in and handle a deep clean, you’ll likely be able to keep your kids’ rooms in decent shape throughout the listing.
2. Keep it Minimal
Reduce the toys and clothes you have to wrangle before showings by packing up the excess. Box up out-of-season clothing and all but a select few toys so that even if kids scatter everything they own, you can clean it up in just a few minutes. Mindful offers tips for helping kids say goodbye to excess toys without the fight.
3. Pack Go Bags
As an adult, it’s easy to kill a couple of hours during an open house or showing. Kids, however, are harder to entertain. Keep a bag stocked with portable activities, snacks, wipes, spare clothes and other supplies so you can grab it and go when a showing is scheduled.
4. Know Where You’ll Go
If driving around in circles with a car full of kids isn’t your idea of a good time, plan where you’ll go during showings. Local parks are great when you need to kill an hour or two, but have a backup destination for rainy days.
You can also use this time to run moving-related errands, like picking up packing supplies, dropping off unwanted items at a thrift store and refilling prescriptions.
5. Prioritize a Great Neighborhood
Adults spend most of their time at home indoors or in the yard. But kids venture out, roaming the neighborhood and playing in the streets.
Make sure the neighborhood you choose is safe for kids by researching the best neighborhoods in your desired region. That may mean spending more for a home, but you can’t put a price on the peace of mind of knowing your kids can play outside safely.
6. Visit Before You Move
Most kids feel nervous about moving. They worry about making new friends, fitting in at a new school, and if they’ll like their new neighborhood as much as the old one. While time eases most of these fears, parents can help kids adjust by visiting the new neighborhood before the move.
Show kids the local highlights like the great park down the road, and schedule a tour of their new school so they don’t have to worry about getting lost on the first day.
7. Get Kids Involved in Packing
Moving day can be hectic, and bored kids only add to the chaos. Keep kids engaged by giving them specific tasks to help with during the move.
Older children can pack up their own bedrooms, look after pets while the adults pack, and help label and organize boxes. If you have young children, it’s wise to hire a babysitter for the day so you can focus on packing.
Since moving day can present a lot of challenges with smaller children, and depending on how much you have to move, hiring a moving company is your best bet. This allows you to focus on your kids and not worry about schlepping furniture and large boxes to a moving truck. Some companies will even assist with packing and moving.
Whatever you do when selling your home and moving, don’t hide the upcoming changes from your kids. While it’s normal to want to protect children from the chaos of moving, a surprise move can be traumatic for children who crave familiarity and routine.
By prioritizing kids’ needs throughout the process and emphasizing the positives of their new home, parents can assuage children’s worries and make moving a more pleasant experience for everyone.
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