Moving With Young Kids

Older sister pulling box with her younger sister inside
Catherine Lane/iStock

With a little extra organization, even toddlers and preschoolers can have a smooth transition to a new location. Here are some ideas from parents who know:

Organize Your Move With a Checklist

Susan Miller, the author of After the Boxes Are Unpacked, created two checklists to help families who need to move. The first is a "Countdown to a Hassle-Free Move" and the second is a checklist for "International Moves." Whether you have young children or school-age kids, these two checklists will help you get organized for your next move.

—T.F. Edwords

Moving With Toddlers

Over the past three years, we have moved twice with toddlers. Through our experiences, we discovered some practical tips to make the transition easier for little ones.

  • Let them pick a few favorite toys to keep by their side throughout the process. These toys will not get packed until the very end.
  • Set aside a stack of boxes for creative playtime. Build a train, using the boxes.
  • Let toddlers pack nonbreakable items. Young children find satisfaction in being part of the team.
  • Try to keep a normal sleep and meal schedule.
  • Be attentive and give grace. Your child's world is changing, but you'll provide the stability he needs to transition to different surroundings.

—Monica Faith Vernot

Moving? Prepare Your Kids

As a military family, we’ve moved many times. When my daughters were little, I talked to them about each move before it happened. When possible, I showed them pictures of our new home and talked about fun children’s activities in the area. While focusing on new adventures we would have, I also let them know it was OK to feel sad or anxious.

On moving day, I helped my girls write their names on boxes that contained their belongings. This gave them something to watch for when our stuff was delivered. I assured the girls that all our belongings would eventually arrive at our new house.

My girls also kept special treasures with them for reassurance. Putting these smaller items in the car ahead of time ensured that they wouldn’t accidentally get packed away in boxes.

Preparing our children helped ease their fears, and together we’ve learned that home is wherever our family is.

—Lindsay Tallman

"Moving With Young Kids," the compiled article, first appeared on in September 2016. "Moving With Toddlers" first appeared in the October/November 2016 issue of Focus on the Family magazine. "Organize Your Move With a Checklist" first appeared on in September 2016. "Moving? Prepare Your Kids" first appeared in the Summer 2012 issue of Thriving Family magazine. If you enjoyed this article, read more like it in Focus on the Family's marriage and parenting magazine. Get this publication delivered to your home by subscribing to it for a gift of any amount.

"Moving With Young Kids" compiled article © 2016 by Focus on the Family. "Moving With Toddlers" © 2016 by Monica Faith Vernot. "Moving? Prepare Your Kids" © 2012 by Lindsay Tallman. Used by permission. "Organize Your Move With a Checklist" is © 2016 by Focus on the Family.

Next in this Series: When Your Teen Doesn't Want to Move

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