Tips to minimize stress while moving the family

Tips to minimize stress while moving the family
Date Published: July 28, 2015
Kari McCoy

Dear Kari,
My husband and I have four children and we are going to move to another state due to a job transfer. We were wondering if you had any tips for us that would make the move less stressful for all of us.

Putting your home up for sale in today’s market is never an easy task with or without kids. Most real estate agents will advise their sellers to pay close attention to the complete picture—both outside and inside the home.
The outside is vital because that is what the buyers see first and there are no second chances since there are too many other homes for sale to look at. Whether your kids are young or older, you can encourage them into helping with the process. It will make it easier for you and smoother for them. Explain the process and get the kids involved right at the beginning and throughout the entire process.
To kids, real estate sounds boring and means your attention is taken away from them. The kids will be much more interested if they are allowed to participate right from the very beginning of the process.
Have the children present when the Realtor first comes over to sign papers with you and to offer the list of how a home is shown. Be wise and take this time as an opportunity to make it a fun event and you just might find the process more palatable.
When selling your home, having the property look its very best is the top priority. This could mean the difference between selling or not selling, or perhaps getting the price you had hoped for or not.
You may want to use the example with the kids of pretending your home is like the packaging of a gift. They can then relate, as they have all been given gifts. Help them remember that a large gift box with fancy paper and a nice bow is a gift that they would want to open right away and a smaller package with worn dull colored package without a ribbon would probably be opened later without much enthusiasm.
Explain to the kids that your home is like a package and you need their help to put the house’s best foot forward so the buyers will want to see and buy their house.
Help your kids make space for toys and items. Out of sight is the best. Reduce any excess or perhaps even consider using a pod or a storage unit. That could offer your kids something to look forward to opening and seeing later. You and the kids can start packing up the little knick-knacks and clear off the counter tops and dressers.
Once the home is in show condition, then sit down with the kids and ask them to help create a short list of to do items. They can do this when everyone wakes up and before they leave the house in the morning.
One more idea you might find useful and fun is every seven days that go by with your home on the market, celebrate with your kids and take them to a movie of their choice.
Make a real point of accomplishment and go out to dinner or out for ice cream to reward them during this process. This will offer everyone a sense of accomplishment with benchmarks.
Be smart and take advantage of a stressful situation and turn it into a fun experience and good memories for everyone.

Kari McCoy can be reached at (916) 941-9540 or