Friday, December 29, 2017

Of Moving, Marketing & Family Dynamics: Tips to Prepare for Your Next Move

America is always on the move--but our peripatetic activity comes at a high price. If a move is in your family's future, check out this blog entry by me and my colleague Alexis Hall. In it, you'll discover information about how to handle the fiscal and emotional costs of moving.

The 2017 National Movers Study by United Van Lines ranks states by the percentage of people leaving the state against those moving in. The ten states from which people move the most are Kansas, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Massachusetts, Ohio, Kentucky, Utah and Wisconsin.

In general, a person in the United States is expected to move 11.7 times in his or her lifetime, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. How much you'll spend on each move depends on more variables than you can count on two hands (but here's a good moving calculator to start your moving math).

Although the Census Bureau doesn’t directly ask Americans about how many times they’ve moved, their estimated figure comes from two pieces of information: which age groups are most likely to move in a given year and the overall composition of the U.S. population.

Between 2012 and 2013, 28 million Americans 15 and older moved — that’s 11% of the population in that age group. Dig behind that number and you'll see there’s a lot more to it than age: America's wealthiest individuals are most likely to stay put (7% of Americans with an annual income of $100,000 or more moved), those earning $5,000 or less had a "move rate" of 13%.


In terms of family dynamics, you might think it's easier and less stressful to plan your move without involving your kids. The opposite is true: kids are more likely to be stressed if they aren't part of the process. Involving them helps them to feel in control over some of the upcoming changes. Plus, believe it or not, your kids can actually help you move (I know, crazy concept, right?).

Here are some tips to plan and execute a smooth move:

  1. Pack up your child’s room last using these handy tips from The Spruce.
  2. Stick with your usual meal and bedtime routines to give your child as much consistency as possible.
  3. Hire professional movers to handle the heavy lifting while you supervise and keep an eye on the kiddos.
  4. Psychology Today notes that letting your child help make some decisions post-move can help them make positive choices in the future.
  5. Ask friends to help look after the kids and consider dog boarding for Fido to ease moving day woes.
  6. Let your kids help unpack to get them excited about the new house.
  7. Help them mentally prepare before the move, and help ease their anxiety afterward. Some kids may struggle for up to 6 months after a move, and that’s OK.
  8. Pump them up for their new school so that is less scary and more exciting on the first day.
  9. Help your kids create a memory book of their old friends, neighborhood, and home so they can revisit their past on lonely days.
  10. Don’t neglect your own self-care: you can’t help your kids if you’re overwhelmed, yourself!
Now that you have some ideas for including the whole family in your move, make it a game or a contest. Encourage your family members to get creative with decorating ideas, organizing the rooms, etc. The more you involve family members--especially kids--in planning and executing your move, the more you'll all feel supported, helped... and ready for your next inevitable move!