Posted this APS (active posting season)? If so, as you say goodbye to your friends, neighbours, and community, here are 10 things to do before your stuff is loaded on the truck and you are off to your new destination.
1. Let People Know
Make sure that your family members and close friends hear the news from you and that when you give the news you have time to sit with them (distraction free) and talk about it.
2. Make it an Adventure
Make the move feel more like an adventure for your kids – set goals for them, challenges, quests to discover information about your new place.
3. Share the Decision Making
Give your family members as many opportunities to make some decisions too. When you are posted, your entire family can feel powerless to do anything – giving them a say in even small things will help with that feeling.
4. Research, Research, Research
Research what is in your new neighbourhood and community so that you can talk openly, honestly, and factually about the changes that will be happening and the good and bad things about their new home.
5. Throw a Party
Have a moving party. Throw a party not to celebrate all the things you are losing but to honour all of the people that you work with, play with, talk to, hang out with, etc. and celebrate your friendships.
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6. Record Move
Keep one yourself or have your children keep a scrapbook, log or journal of the move so that you (and they) are able to process what is happening and what you are feeling and record the funny and sad moments to reflect on later when you have finally moved and settled in.
7. Snap Lots of Shots
Take pictures throughout your move, including house-hunting trips you may be allowed to go on. Don’t just take them of your new home but also of the local parks, mall, sports centres, etc. Your children will believe what they see and, unfortunately, not always what you say (even though we are usually right 99.99 per cent of the time!)
8. Seize Reorganizing Opportunity
Use your move as a chance to sort out and re-organize yourselves. Have your kids go through their toys, books, clothes, sports equipment, etc. A good rule of thumb is if you haven’t used it since your last posting you may never notice it is gone! Have a ‘We’re Moving Garage Sale’ to try and reduce any clutter you may have.
9. Pack Stuff Needed During Move
Give your children and yourselves one box or suitcase to put things in that you will want to access throughout the move and have close by. It is a great way to see what is important and essential to your life and to that of your family members.
10. Reassure Your Children
Don’t brush off worries or fears that you are feeling or that your kids express to you. It is easy to say that there will be bigger or better where you are going but that doesn’t help in the moment and may not end up being true. Try responding with reassurance and being open about how change can be challenging and scary but also exciting and open up possibilities you wouldn’t otherwise have known about.