Moving houses can be a big decision and a big change for everyone involved, more so if you have kids and/or pets. Although it takes adults a while to settle into a new house and new surroundings, it can be way trickier for kids and pets to adjust to such newness. If you are not careful with your planning and moving, the moving process might end up being extremely stressful and unsafe for them. How can you make moving houses easier on and safer for your kids and pets?
Keeping your kids safe when moving houses
There are a number of small steps that you can take right from the planning stage to ensure the move is safe for your kids, and they do not get stressed or injured in any way in the process.
- Visit the new home: If possible, try to visit the new house with your kids and let them explore the new house and get used to it before moving. This will let you know if your kids like the place, what they have to say about it, and how comfortable they seem. Such visits will also ensure that on moving day, your kids are not surprised by the new surroundings but are already familiar with it.
- Move during holidays: This is a great idea if your kids are still in school. You can have a farewell party with your kids’ old friends if you are moving far away, get them to meet the new kids in the neighborhood, and give them time to settle down before they start school.
- Hire a sitter for your kids: On moving day, there will be a lot of things you will need to do, and you do not want to be dealing with small kids who need constant attention. It would be a good idea to hire your usual sitter for the day, at least till the moving company finishes its work and leaves the house.
Ensuring the safety of your pets when moving houses
Be it dogs, cats, reptiles, fish, or any other kinds of pets, moving can be stressful. Here are a few steps you can take to reduce the stress and make your pets comfortable:
- Keep them locked: Get your pets into their cages or crates before the movers arrive and herd them into a room away from all the activity in the house. Ensure that you lock them in their cages or keep the windows and doors of the room secured. This will ensure they do not escape from the house out of fear.
- Keep noise to a minimum: Moving is noisy, and you cannot completely avoid noise on moving day. However, you will need to try and keep noise to a minimum so your pet does not get stressed or try to run to get away from the noise. Keep the moving company personnel and the noise they bring away from your pets. Alternatively, you can keep your pet at a foster home or a neighbor’s place, especially if your pet does not deal well with too many people or noise.
- Get a mild sedative or relaxant: This is especially a good idea for cats and dogs, and possibly even reptiles, if they do not like traveling or get scared on car rides. A mild relaxant or sedative simply calms them and does not make them pass out. They are aware of their surroundings but do not get scared, which makes moving smoother and less stressful for everyone.
Pack all the essentials you need for your pet (food, water, bowls, medicines, treats) for the journey to the new house so you can keep your pet comfortable throughout the journey.
Tips for helping kids and pets settle in the new house
- Take familiar toys and bedding to the new house to make kids comfortable and help them settle in quickly.
- Arrange a small party to help them get to know the neighborhood kids and make friends before they start school.
- Have some of their favorite food and sweets handy when you get to the new house, in case they get cranky or sad about leaving the old house.
- Get their bedding or cage, toys, and food and water in place as soon as possible once you reach the new house. Comfort and familiarity help pets settle down faster.
- Get back to a routine your pet is familiar with, be it feeding time, walks, or other activities as soon as possible after moving.
- Check with the vet for any specific steps you need to take to get your pet settled. Certain pets can take longer than others to settle in, especially cats, so be sure to secure them in the house and make them feel safe.
Moving with kids and pets can be tricky but, with proper planning, you can ensure that moving day progresses smoothly with minimal glitches and your kids and pets stay safe.