Getting your home ready for a sale, selling it and moving are stressful enough on their own. Add children to the mix, and you have a recipe for a major headache or for a few meltdowns. Moving with kids doesn’t have to be an unpleasant experience. Get them involved in the process of moving, and get them emotionally ready for changing homes in order to make things go as smoothly as possible.

Pack up toys before you start showing the home

When you’re showing your home to potential buyers, it should be as neat and tidy as possible. That’s not always achievable when you have kids and a lot of toys. Conquer clutter, and make your home presentable by packing up your children’s toys well in advance of the move. Have the kids pick out a couple of toys to leave out to play with. Keep the rest in a box in an out-of-the-way area, such as a shelf in the basement or the back of a closet. Let the kids pick out a few new toys and rotate them every few days so that they don’t get bored with the selection.

Help kids say good-bye to the neighborhood

It’s easy to get so wrapped up in the process of showing your home and packing that you forget about the emotional attachment you and your kids have to your current location. Before moving with kids, give them a chance to say a proper good-bye to their old home and old habits. Have your children write the new owners’ children a welcome letter. Go out to dinner one last time at your family’s favorite restaurant. Spend one last day at the kid’s favorite playground or park. As a family, make a list of all the things you want to do one more time — or for the first time — before you leave your old home. Then make every effort to do those things.

Get them involved in the move

While you might not want your children helping you pack up fragile glassware or heavy books, kids can help with the soft items or with their own toys. It can give your child some peace of mind if she sees the things she loves the most getting packed up to go to the new home. After you’ve packed up your child’s favorite items, let her draw on or label the box so that she can find it easily when you get to your new place.

Introduce your family to the new neighbors

Help your children get used to the home and neighborhood by going out of your way to introduce your family around. You might have already met the neighbors when you were deciding on the home in your new Atlanta neighborhood. Expand on that initial connection; invite some of the families over for dinner or a picnic once you’re settled in so that you and your kids start to feel at home as soon as possible.

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