Moving with Kids: How to Help Children Transition

Long-distance moving with kids

Moving with kids means keeping their safety and comfort in mind during the process. This is especially true when you’re relocating out of state. U-Pack® helps families of all sizes with long-distance moves, and we’ve gathered the best tips to help children make the transition.

Moving with an infant? Check out our complete guide to moving with a baby.

Family with young son and a dog sitting among moving boxes.


7 moving tips for families

If the moving process is smooth for your kids, it will likely be less stressful for you. And one of the best ways to make it easy is by using the right moving service. With U-Pack, we handle all the driving so you can make the trip in the comfort of your personal vehicle. It’s much easier (and safer) to travel with children in a familiar family car than it is to ride in a rental truck (especially if you have kids in car seats).

Aside from choosing a family-friendly moving service like U-Pack, here are some other things to keep in mind when moving with kids:

Talk about the move early (and often)

It’s best to prepare children for the upcoming move as soon as possible. How much you share will depend on their ages. Preschoolers will need less information, while older kids and teens can handle more details.

Here are some books suggestions to read with your child or suggest they read on their own to help them better understand the process of moving:

  • Little Critter: We Are Moving by Mercer Mayer
  • The Berenstain Bears’ Moving Day by Stan and Jan Berenstain
  • The Good-Pie Party by Liz Garton Scanlon and Kady MacDonald Denton
  • Ways to Make Sunshine by Renee Watson
  • One Kid’s Trash by Jamie Sumner
  • The Kid in the Red Jacket by Barbara Park
  • My Very Exciting, Sorta Scary, Big Move: A Workbook for Children Moving to a New Home by Lori Attanasio Woodring
  • The Essential Moving Guided Journal for Pre-teens: All About Me, All About My Move or The Essential Moving Guided Journal for Teens: My Life and My Thoughts Before and After Moving by Sara Elizabeth Boehm
  • 10 DOs & DON'Ts When You're the New Kid: A Survival Guide for Teens Starting at a New School by J.C. Tilton

Make packing fun

Moving with U-Pack gives you the opportunity to pack at your own pace and make it exciting for your children. Younger kids might enjoy doodling on boxes while you pack, and older kids can challenge each other to races to see how quickly they can pack items. Kids who can write can label boxes and help with making inventory lists. Allowing kids to participate in the process can keep them engaged and help them feel like part of the move.

Prepare an “open first” box for your kids

Your “open first” box for kids will be among the last things you pack and load. This is the place for those special things to make the first night in your new home successful. Include things like bedding, nightlights or toys your children will want right away.

Carry essentials in the car

When packing overnight bags for your kids to keep in the car, make sure to include their favorite toy for them to care for during the trip. Just make sure you have it with you before leaving any hotels or rest stops! Here are some other helpful things to include:

  • travel games, books, and electronics
  • small pillows and blankets
  • favorite snacks
  • first aid kit with pain-relieving medicine for kids

Keep kids safe during loading (and unloading)

Children, especially younger ones, need to be out of the way while you’re loading and unloading moving equipment for their safety and yours. With U-Pack, you get three days to load and three more to unload, so you’ll have plenty of time to take care of your kids and belongings.

Loading days are good opportunities for play dates with friends, or if you have older children, they could help keep their younger siblings entertained. If you want your children involved on moving day, consider giving them important duties like opening doors or counting boxes. Many tasks can be turned into games to make the days enjoyable for kids.

Give children some control on the drive

Make the drive to your new home even more fun by allowing your kids as many choices as possible, whether it’s picking a restaurant or sight-seeing location or deciding what music to listen to in the car. Just letting children make a few decisions can help them feel excited about the journey.

Seek help (if necessary)

Remember that adjusting to their new surroundings can take some time. A new city, a different home and an unfamiliar school all at once is a lot to process. Children process change at different rates, so allow for some bumps in the road as you start life in a new place.

If your child seems to be struggling leading up to the move or in the new town (depression, anxiety, anger issues, etc.) reach out to a school counselor or their pediatrician for recommendations to help them cope.

Ready for your move?

If you haven’t already done so, request a free quote online or give us a call at 844-362-5303844-594-3077 to speak to one of our moving consultants. We’re here to help you make the most out of your family’s out-of-state move!