Moving Made Easy

Your Moving To-Do List

In advance

  • As soon as your plans are firm, tell the kids. Mark moving day on the calendar with a big red exclamation point!
  • Contact new schools and day-care centers to get information and enrollment paperwork. Ask a real-estate agent or the local chamber of commerce for recommendations on pediatricians, family practitioners, and veterinarians. Send away for pamphlets about fun places and events in your new town.
  • Read books about moving. Some suggestions for young children: I'm Not Moving, Mama! by Nancy White Carlstrom (Aladdin, 1999); Goodbye, House: Kids' Guide to Moving, by Ann Banks and Nancy Evans (Crown, 1999); and the classic The Berenstain Bears' Moving Day, by Stan and Jan Berenstain (Random House, 1981).

On moving day

  • Keep all essentials -- medication, diaper-bag items, favorite blanket -- close at hand so they don't get lost in all the confusion.
  • Childproof your new home even before your belongings are completely moved in. Install safety locks, gates, and outlet covers immediately.
  • Take a house tour that features stops like "the bathroom where we go potty" and "the room where Mommy and Daddy sleep and are always there for you."

The Best Time to Move

Many families don't have the luxury of choosing the time when they move. That decision is often dictated by the start date of a new job or the closing date on a house, or both. But if you do have leeway, it's best to move in late spring or early summer.

The pace of life is more laid-back at this time of the year, and you'll have a chance to settle in before everyone's schedule picks up in the fall. What's more, it's easier to meet neighbors during warm-weather months. Kids are more likely to be playing outdoors, and communities generally hold block parties, street fairs, and other neighborhood events. And if your children are school-age, this timing allows them an opportunity to adjust to their new home during vacation and begin school at the start of a new year.

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Copyright © 2002 Emily Perlman Abedon. Reprinted with permission from the June 2002 issue of Parents magazine.

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