Moving your family to, around, or away from Clarksville, Tennessee can be both exciting and stressful. Everyone in your family could be looking forward to the new adventures, new friends, and new opportunities in Clarksville… or focused on the perceived loss of their old connections and activities. Here are a few tips to help reduce the drama and make it a smooth move for everyone in your home.

Before the Move

  • Get your family together to discuss your upcoming move. Frame it as a new adventure and keep it fun for all. Recognize that some family members may not want to move, and may feel powerless in the process.
  • Let your kids pick the colors for their new room. Plan a fun outing together so they can choose new room accents like a bean bag chair or a small colorful tent.
  • Think about the move daily. Part of your family conversation should include a moving day plan. This will provide your kids with clarity, so they know what to expect.
  • Give each kid a moving box that they can decorate. They can use this box for their favorite toys and easily find their special box when every room in your new location is buried in a sea of boxes.
  • Hire a mover to pack your home, if possible. Call on friends, family, and babysitters to keep your kids as busy as possible while you are both packing up and settling in.
  • When you start cleaning out your refrigerator, make a list of your kids’ favorite things so you can easily re-stock when you get settled into your new home. Better yet, ask your kids to contribute by writing their favorite things on your list.
  • If you are moving prior to a new school year, buy any necessary school supplies prior to the move and pack those items in their own box and clearly label `it “school supplies” so you have one less thing to be concerned with when you arrive in your new home.
  • Schools in the Clarksville area are used to families moving because of their large military population. Ask your child’s new (or old) school for tips on an easy relocation!

During the Move

  • Make sure you include the kids in the process. Introduce them to the movers, give them small projects (like dusting or bringing bottled water to the movers). Giving them special tasks will make them feel special and allow the move to be a rewarding experience for them.
  • If your kids have a special toy or items that make them comfortable, keep those things close by. Easy access to their favorite things will help to reduce anxiety and relax them during the moving process.
  • For older children, stock up on activities and books to keep them busy when you are engaged in the moving process.
  • Be easy on your teens, too. They may look like small adults, but they are processing a lot when faced with a move. Don’t forget that a little TLC and some extra time might be the perfect thing to help them ease into their new surroundings.
  • If you are making a long-distance move to Clarksville, carve out some time to have fun along the way. Spend a few days in a new city, find an amusement park, or a relaxing beach. You want your children to remember the move as an adventure and not as a stressful time.

After the Move

  • Set up your bedrooms first. For your kids, use familiar bedding and let them help with furniture placement.
  • Once the bedrooms are unpacked, tackle the playroom and the kitchen. Remember kids love to play and they love to eat. You’ll find that you can get more done if your kids are content and playing.  And everyone will begin to feel more at home once you’re able to eat meals together in your new kitchen.
  • Remember that list from your old refrigerator? Be sure to re-stock our new refrigerator with your kid’s favorites as soon as you can. The list you made will help with that first shopping trip and it will also ensure that you don’t forget to buy more peanut butter or ketchup.
  • While we all want to get settled in as soon as possible, be sure to take breaks and go exploring with your kids. Walks through the neighborhood, trips to a new pizza place, or even hiking a new trail can help them feel more familiar with their new surroundings and find excitement in the new neighborhood.
  • Make it a priority to meet your new neighbors and introduce your children to kids in the neighborhood. As soon as you can, set up play-dates so your children can meet new friends. Remember that children live in the moment; a fun playdate with a new friend can help them feel much more comfortable with the thought of starting at a new school.
  • Take a trip to their new school. Explore the building and make sure your children feel comfortable with room locations prior to starting school. This is important to your high schoolers, too. Seek out any opportunities for your kids to join teams or clubs.
  • Most importantly, be sure to add a little extra TLC during the move for all your children and as they transition to their new home.

Moving is never easy. The first week is always the toughest on your kids. Reward them for getting through a difficult week. Whether you show up at the bus top with some baked goodies or leave notes of encouragement in their lunches, let them know you are aware of the transition and that you are proud of them.

And while it is important to support your family through this life change, it is paramount that you remember to be kind to yourself as well. Take a little time to treat yourself for successfully relocating your family. You did it!