It's finally happened. We've moved our family into the new house. Despite the workmen still coming in and out daily, it is beginning to feel like home. Sitting on our couch by the fireplace. Putting Ocho to bed in her wooden crib rather than a pack n play. Putting our Ketubah on the wall and our mezuzah on the doorpost.
There have been so many emotions in moving to a new place. Boxes everywhere, tears were shed. On the way over to the new house EG told my in-laws that she wasn't going to sleep there. That she was going home to Grandpa's house.
It's always tough to transition the family into a new place, so here are a few tips for doing it with kiddos:
1. Prioritize their spaces. I know this seems a bit counter intuitive, but the reality is that you can unpack the kitchen while the children sleep, but you can't put away their toys in their rooms. The faster they feel safe, secure and home the better off everyone will be. It also helps to let them explore where toys are, clothing, and all the things they may have missed during the move.
2. Think about windows, doors and lights. There's nothing worse then getting out of the shower after washing off all the moving dirt to suddenly realize that the whole neighborhood can see you in your towel. It seems obvious, but children are exceptionally sensitive to light and are so quick on the pick-up. They might open the door you never thought they would. The last thing you need is your 3 year old opening the front door while you think they are safe inside the house. Trust me...
3. Do it all at once. Just like ripping off a band-aid and moving to a toddler bed it's best to just do it all at once. There won't be that many days of transition and the faster you establish the 'new normal' the better off you are. It can be tempting to try some sort of easing into it, whether letting Ocho sleep in the pack n' play, or letting everyone play at the new house then return to the old to sleep. It just confuses things and prolongs the adjustment period.
4. Set up Standards. One of the hardest things with moving is figureing out where everything should go. As an adult it's okay to think that you can put something somewhere then move it. But for kiddos that's so much harder. We have totally lost that battle on the shoes. We didn't have the support we needed to put together our shoe cabinet until just last night, so everyone has just started throwing shoes on the floor by the door. Can we change it? Yes, but it will take time and diligence. Plus a rug by the the garage door..
5. Do something nice for yourself. Something to make your home yours. Putting up the mezuzahs was ours, but also commanded. This door hanger, however, makes the house feel like a home. It was a gift from Working Dad's brother and his wife. And we love it. It makes our house chime with happiness whenever you open the door. It's your home... do your thing!