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How to make moving house with your kids as easy as child’s play?

Moving house with children can be an exhilarating yet challenging experience for any family. The process involves not only the logistics of packing, transporting, and settling into a new home, but also managing the emotional and psychological impact on your kids.

Most will experience some level of anxiety about leaving familiar surroundings, friends, and routines, making it essential for parents to approach the move with empathy and careful planning. But by involving children in the process, addressing their concerns, and maintaining a positive outlook, parents can turn moving into an adventure that fosters resilience and excitement about new beginnings.

Here’s some practical tips and strategies Parenting Place presenter and content editor Ellie Gwilliam says can make moving with kids a smooth and memorable journey for the entire family.


There’s a lot to consider when picking the most suitable home for your kids, with a lot of that depending on what age they are at the time you move. Gwilliam says if you’re lucky enough to be in a position where you can choose your new property, the first things that come to mind are safety and community.

“Things that would really add value for a family, especially with young children, is if there’s a fenced back yard or section so kids can have that access to the outdoors safely.”

“You might want to be thinking about the neighbourhood and surrounding areas too. What could you have access to as a family within an easy walking distance, or bike ride.”

Local community groups, activities and access to a local library are also things people with a family may want to consider.

Gwilliam says then there’s the house itself.

“Is it healthy and dry? If it's an older house, is it insulated, and does it get lots of natural light? Evening little things like is there a washing line in an area that gets lots of sun.”

Schooling is also likely to have a big impact on your decision too.

“Kindies and schools, and then right through to high schools there'll be different enrollment zones, so you’ll be wanting to think about that too.”

Gwilliam says it’s also important to consider your long-term future in the property.

“Ask yourself questions like will this house accommodate us as we grow, and what are our plans here? Are we here for a season, or is this more of a forever family home, and if that's the case is it going to be big enough?”

In the process of choosing a home Gwilliam believes it’s important to involve your kids as much as possible but says tread carefully when it comes to taking them along to open homes.

“I remember going to a few with our kids and that was pretty tricky at times, because they could be really critical and not have much of a filter. I also remember at one open home, one of our daughters actually used the toilet.”

“I still think bringing our kids along for the journey as much as we can with these big decisions is important though, so it's not a big shock and surprise for them.”

That could be as simple as being available to answer questions.

“Their brains are going to process things differently, so be available to address any curiosities or concerns because it can be really confusing for young kids.”

“Once you’ve made the decision about the home, then maybe this is the time to bring the kids in. So that’s giving them an opportunity to have a look around the neighbourhood and get familiar with what the change will look like.”

Gwilliam says even taking pictures of the new place to show your children ahead of the move can be helpful.


Gwilliam says age will likely determine how your children will react to a move, and kids will present their anxiety and “big feelings” in lots of different ways.

“I remember when we moved house, and our eldest was 10, that was hugely upsetting for her because her friendships and her hobbies and everything she was really into was her entire world.”

“The younger ones didn't have as much of a social experience and were more flexible, but for a 10-year-old and for older kids, that's a massive upheaval for them.”

Parents are reminded to stay curious to combat any moving jitters.

“Curiosity is really a great tool for us, and asking ourselves what could be going on for them? Maybe they’ve got a sore tummy quite often, or perhaps they’re more cautious about doing something they were normally confident doing.”

“Things like that could indicate increased anxiety.”

Gwilliam says there’s some great tools available to help your family navigate anxiety and could include something as simple as using the right language to help them articulate their feelings.

“Things like specifically asking if they’re worried or if they’re nervous.”


When it comes to the big day, there’s a few things that can be done to make the move smoother.

“Getting kids involved as much as possible even at a young age. Give them a box to pack their really special things so they feel confident that their toys and favourite teddy are coming with them.”

If your kids are really young Gwilliam says it might pay to get someone to look after them while you take care of the bigger tasks.

Once you’re in the new place it’s advised to set up the kid’s bedrooms as soon as possible.

“So, they have that sense of security, and a place they're really familiar with.”

“We're basically showing our kids that change is hard, but it's okay, and things that remain constant will help to support them through that upheaval.”

Gwilliam says a move is a great opportunity to teach your children valuable lessons in resilience, and part of that could include giving them some responsibility to help set up the new place.

“I think anytime we can extend our kids some choice and agency we should, even if it's something you might rearrange later. By doing this you're giving them the opportunity to feel like they're a part of something.”

“Being part of the family is powerful for our kids, it can help them feel comfortable to deal with the bigger feelings.”


A move can be just as stressful for adults as it is for children, and at times it can be hard to contain that emotion.

Gwilliam says our kids will be watching to see how we navigate the change and challenges, and it’s important to be upfront and honest about how we’re feeling.

“Admitting you’re stressed and thinking about how you can show them a constructive and honest response to something that’s pretty tough.”

“Saying things like I need a break; I need 10 minutes on the couch or let's do something together to relax or unwind can be really helpful.”


Gwilliam says the key thing in the days after the move is acknowledgment.

“It's massive for us as adults, but it's massive for our kids as well. Sometimes we want to fix the problems as parents, but we actually can do our most valuable supporting by just listening to our kids share their emotions.”

“We probably won't be able to fix some of the stuff they're struggling with, whether that's friends they've left behind, or the nerves of heading to a new school. Those aren't easy fixes, those are things we actually just have to walk through as humans.”

Implementing as much familiarity as possible into any new routine can help when there’s a lot of things that children can’t change.

“Perhaps it's inviting friends and family to visit the new house, or maybe friends from the old neighbourhood.”

Focusing on the positive and exciting elements of a new home can also do wonders.

“Our kids always surprise us with the things they find really exciting about a new place. I remember moving house and our kids being thrilled about all the trees that were in the neighbourhood.”

“My colleague was saying that their kids were super excited because their new house had really big wardrobes, which would be good for hide and seek.”

“Some things will be hard and tough, but there will hopefully be some real joy to be found too.”

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