The Big Move
As the long
days of summer continue and schools across America prepare
to open their doors again in the fall, many children will
face the difficult task of saying good-bye to friends and
former teachers as their families prepare to move to new
homes and communities.
"Parents typically try
to time their moves so that the school year is not
interrupted," says Paula Felbein, marketing manager for
Allied Van Lines, the world’s largest mover.
According to the U.S. Census
Bureau, more than 11.5 million children under the age of 18
move each year.
"Regardless of the
timing or destination, moving is often an unsettling
experience for children," says Felbein. "It’s
natural for children to be concerned about leaving their
friends and fitting into their new surroundings."
Allied has many tips to help
families make the transition to a new home easier for
• Tell your child about
the move as soon as possible. A child shouldn’t overhear
the news by accident.
• Talk to your child
about the move, sharing the details, encouraging their
questions, and listening to their thoughts.
• Allow your children to
participate in planning the move. Let them pack a few
boxes of their own belongings, or ask them for input
regarding the décor of their new rooms.
• Encourage your children
to exchange addresses and telephone numbers with friends.
• Provide your children
with a sense of continuity by enrolling them in similar
activities, such as scouts or little league, in the new
• Contact teachers and
principals at prospective schools to inquire about
testing, attendance, special programs, extracurricular
• Be sure to position the
relocation as an exciting adventure, focusing on the
opportunities for the entire family. Children will be more
likely to accept the situation in a positive manner.
TEN TIPS TO
ORGANIZE A GOOD MOVE
a master "To Do" list. Your mover can provide a
generic list that can be customized for your particular
situation. Set up a calendar with dates when tasks on the
"To Do" list need to be accomplished.
2. Sort through belongings
and eliminate items that are no longer needed or wanted.
To help you decide what to keep, ask these questions: When
was the last time I used this? How does it make me feel?
What is the worst possible thing that would happen if I
didn’t have this? If you have a great degree of
hesitancy, keep it.
3. Recycle belongings that
are staying behind. A garage sale can be a lucrative and
fun way to reduce the number of items to move. Or consider
donating old linens, toys and games to local homeless
shelters, children’s hospitals or schools. Oftentimes it’s
easier to "let go" of an item when you know it
will help others less fortunate.
4. Use up supplies that are
not transportable. About 4-6 weeks before the move, use up
cleaning supplies and eat food items in the freezer.
5. Pack ‘like’ items
together. Games, pet supplies, photos, sewing supplies and
toys are all items that should be packed together in
appropriately sized and labeled containers or boxes.
6. Organize vital moving
documents in a small portable file box and take it with
you on moving day. It’s a good idea to have on file the
registration number, the names and phone numbers of the
origin and destination agents, the driver’s name and
vehicle number. Other items that may come in handy include
your address book and a telephone book from your old
hometown in case you need to reach someone.
7. Place colored stickers
on moving boxes, once you’ve finished packing. Use a
different color for each room in your new house. To help
everyone remember which color goes where upon arrival,
place a matching colored balloon on the door of the
8. Put together a
"survival box" full of items that will be needed
immediately upon arrival. Necessities such as light bulbs,
linens, paper products, garbage bags, soap and tools are
all smart items to include. Take the box with you instead
of loading it on the van so that you won’t be caught
unprepared if you arrive before the moving van does.
9. Make appointments to
have your hair cut, the car serviced and current
prescriptions filled shortly before the move. By taking
advantage of these services before the move, you won’t
be pressured to find new service providers immediately
after arriving to your new home.
cards out to creditors, insurance companies, friends,
magazine subscriptions and utility companies. You can
access change-of-address forms through Allied Van Lines’
Web site, located at www.alliedvan.com. Or, stop by your
local post office and pick up a change-of-address kit
filled with cards and a helpful checklist to help you
remember who to send cards to. Leave a forwarding address
with the post office once you know where your new home
More tips and helpful
information on moving with children of all ages can be found
on the World Wide Web at www.alliedvan.com, or is available
free to consumers at local Allied Van Lines agencies or by
writing to Allied Van Lines, P.O. Box 9560, Downers Grove,
IL 60515 and requesting Allied’s "Guide to a Good
Reprinted with permission of
Allied Van Lines. 2001.