Moving is a challenging process even when you’re doing it alone as a grown adult, and when you add your kids into the mix it can become even more challenging. However, with proper planning and time management, you can make moving as stress-free of a process as possible. Here are some tips to help you fully prepare to move with your family.

Bring Your Kids House Hunting With You

Whether you’re looking for a multimillion-dollar condo in Manhattan or a more reasonably priced home in an Ohio suburb, you should bring your kids along as you look. Making them a part of the process will help them feel like they have some control over the changes happening in their life. It can be overwhelming for kids to adjust to a new space that they’ve never seen before and being able to see a home before you buy it may help the transition a little bit easier.

Tell Your Kids About Every Step

One thing that can make moving more confusing for kids is not knowing what’s going on. Even if you aren’t completely sure what each step will entail, telling your kids what exactly is going on with each step of the moving process can make it seem less like a mysterious, scary thing. If your kids fell in love with a house, but you knew it wasn’t the right option for you, tell them why instead of going with the classic “because I said so” line. If you’re looking for a home where you can install solar panels, which have been installed 35 times more than in 2018, you can tell them that you wanted a different roof. Even if they don’t fully understand your reasoning, knowing it can be helpful.

Start Packing Early

Once you have a solid moving date, you should start packing right away, even if it’s a few months away. Some kids get overwhelmed by packing, so the earlier you start, the less you’ll have to do packing while your kids are around. If your kids are asleep or at school or daycare, you have a great opportunity to get packing. While you’re packing, you can also start to declutter and get rid of things that your kids no longer use. Again, they might get upset by losing things that they no longer use, so it’s best to give them away or donate them when your kids aren’t around.

Creating a Color Coding System

Color coding your boxes makes things move much faster when your movers come. Get rolls of different color duct tape and assign each room a specific color. Let your kids choose what colors they want before assigning the other room’s color to keep them in the loop of the moving process and make them feel included. Use a poster board to create a key that will help the movers on moving day — put a piece of each tape with a label of what room it is associated with. Do this with every box and any piece of furniture that can have tape placed on it to help streamline the moving process. Plus it’s a great way that you can have your kids help — tell them to put a piece of tape on every box in the room and let them have fun with it. And on moving day, it will save you a lot of “where does this box go?” questions from your movers.

Get a Real Estate Agent That Understands What Your Family Needs

A good real estate agent can make or break your family’s house hunting experience. Make sure that you look for an agent who has worked with families before so that they know how to look for everything you feel like your family needs. When it comes to car buying, 54% of people would rather go to a dealership with a better experience over a lower price, but when it comes to house hunting, you don’t need to compromise.

Get a Babysitter For Moving Day

Moving day is likely to be a very chaotic experience no matter how far you’re moving. Although having your kids involved in every step of the process is important, they may end up getting in you or your movers’ way during your moving day. To make sure that they are safe, out of the way, and not getting into any trouble, you should be a babysitter. If you have friends or family that can watch them at their house, that would be a great option.

Have a Moving Day Go Bag

Being properly prepared for moving day is what will make everything go as smoothly as possible. Make sure that in your moving day go bag you have essentials like toiletries for that night, a spare change of clothes, pajamas, and snacks, but also include things like coloring books and their favorite toys. Having these things within easy reach will prevent you from immediately having to dig into your boxes as soon as you get to your new home.

Keep Your Routine in Your New Home

Change can be very difficult for kids, and moving is already going to be a huge upset to their normal routine. That’s why it’s important to stick to your normal daily routine as much as possible. On moving day, make sure you have the same morning and night routine that you usually would, and try to immediately get back into your normal routine once you’re in your new home. That’s part of the reason the go bag is so important — it will help you stick to your usual routine without having to search through your still-packed things for your kids’ toothbrushes or favorite teddy bear.

Moving can be a very stressful experience for adults and children alike, but these tips can help make moving a more manageable and easy experience. The real keys are making sure that your kids are kept in the loop and properly preparing for moving day. There will be a lot of changes to your family’s daily life when you first move, but getting back into your usual routine will make things easier and go a long way to make your kids feel like their normal lives haven’t been interrupted too much.