Most people know that moving to LA takes careful planning and, more importantly, some serious savings. But once you’re already there, moving to another neighborhood should be easy enough, right? Well, sure — if you only need to pack your things. However, if you’re looking to move to a different Los Angeles address with children in tow, you may be in for a rude awakening!
After all, working out a moving plan is close to impossible when you have little ones running around. Between building up a budget, organizing movers, and packing, even the most patient people can lose it. Luckily, there are ways to entertain youngsters while directing their limitless energy toward productive tasks.
7 Tips to Make Moving in Los Angeles Fun for Kids
1. Make a Memory Book
When you’re planning a move, even within city limits, start by taking photographs of your old place. Ideally, this should be done before you start packing so it’s the ideal task for your children. It will let them come to peace with the move while also allowing them to say goodbye to their old house.
Of course, the pictures will serve a practical purpose. Namely, they’ll help you figure out how your furniture should fit into the new space. It’ll also let the kids look at the way things used to be if they feel homesick at the new place. In fact, they could go around taking both pictures and videos, for good measure.
2. Include Kids in the Decision-Making Process
When a family starts preparing for a move, they often neglect to let kids — particularly the little ones — in on the process. That’s a mistake for several reasons. For one, even if they’re only moving a few blocks away and not even changing schools, kids still feel powerless most of the time.
Try to remember what it was like, not knowing what the adults in your life were planning. With that in mind, ask for your kids’ opinions on important matters! Introduce the move as your family’s next big adventure and take their input seriously.
If you’re choosing between several neighborhoods that are close to each other, like Mid-City and Pico, what’s the harm in asking for the kids’ preference? Take a stroll through each area to get the general vibe or take the whole family apartment hunting. When you decide on a place, bring your kids over and have them choose a color for the walls in their new rooms. That should keep them involved and excited about the move.
3. Declutter as a Family
Most parents know that kids come with a special kind of mess. Over the years, toys and clothes seem to materialize out of nowhere. So use the move as an opportunity to declutter — and allow your kids to choose items they couldn’t bear to part with. Doing so will restore a feeling of agency.
In any case, when you sift through the things and sort them into toss and donate piles, take your kids on the donation trip with you. Showing them how their things will make other kids happy will be a good teaching moment.
You can drop off the donation at a women’s shelter like the Los Angeles House of Ruth. Alternatively, take them to another homeless shelter or charity. Children’s hospitals usually require donated toys to be brand new.
4. Have Them Pack Up Their Own Rooms
Properties in LA County tend to disappear from the market as quickly as they show up — particularly in family-friendly areas like Pasadena, Glendale, or Sherman Oaks, to name a few. So while you’re refreshing real estate sites, tell your kids to pack some of their things.
You’d be surprised by how willing they’ll be to help. Just show them what to do once or twice, and they’ll take over from there. At the very least, they should be able to pack up their own toys.
5. Get Their Stamp of Approval
If you’ve already decided to let your kids pack certain items, you might as well let them decorate the boxes too. Simply hand them some stickers, ribbons, and markers when they finish packing. After writing, drawing, and pasting images on the boxes, they’ll be ready for the movers.
Moreover, seeing their rooms empty, with their stuff neatly packaged and ceremoniously marked, will let the kids say goodbye to the old space. Of course, if you want to keep this tip practical too, have the kids write (or draw) the contents of each box on the side before they close it. That should give them peace of mind if they’re worried about forgetting things.
In fact, you could let every child take a box of important things when you drive over to your new property. That way, they’ll get to enter their home all ready to move in.
6. Have a Last Hurrah in the Old Home
When most of your stuff is ready to go, ask your kids how they want to say goodbye to their old home. You could organize a:
● Going away party. However, since you’re moving within city limits, you can still keep seeing everyone.
● Tour of your family’s favorite neighborhood spots. Visit your favorite parks, zoos, and restaurants the day before the move.
● Small family dinner during which each child can share their favorite memories of the house.
In addition to allowing the kids to say goodbye to their friends and favorite haunts, these ideas would also represent a symbolic break between their old and new lives.
7. Encourage Your Kids to Explore Their New Environment
Upon reaching your destination, you’ll have two options. If your kids want to participate in setting up your new home, let them. They can take their boxes to their rooms and direct you as you arrange their beds and desks. After you set up the bulkier pieces, let them unpack and organize the smaller items on their own.
Alternatively, you could let the kids explore the neighborhood while you unpack. If you’re worried about them getting into trouble, have your spouse or a babysitter go with them. They could meet new friends at the local playground or discover new favorite diners. Thankfully, LA has never had a shortage of interesting places to hang out.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post by Oz Moving & Storage.