10 Sanity Saving Tips for Moving with Kids

Cary Teller

A long distance move with kids makes the task much more difficult. It’s rewarding and often fun for the whole family, but kids can’t do as much as adults. They also get bored easily and aren’t afraid to show it. Plan some ways to keep your kids busy during the move to help you keep your sanity. Here are a few!


First, your kids will get bored while you are packing up the old house. They may even be stressed out that their things are going in boxes. Keep them busy to alleviate their stress and boredom.

Let Kids Label Boxes

When you’re packing up at your old place, you can let kids who are old enough and can write, label your boxes. Give young kids some crayons and older kids markers. Encourage them to write labels on the boxes and even draw pictures of each box’s contents. That will make it easier for them to spot boxes that belong in their room when you reach your new home.

Pack a Moving Day Box

Kids have a lot of favorite items, whether it is a beloved pen or a ratty old blanket. Either way, there are a few things that will help keep them calm immediately after the move. Pick a box that is the same size for each child. Tell them to fill it with some items they want with them as soon as they get to their new home. Give them this box when you get to the new place so they can have their favorite things with them to keep them happy.

While Traveling

During long car rides and flights, kids get antsy, which can be a problem for parents. You can keep your kids occupied by filling their time with things they enjoy. Here are some great ideas.

Travel Games

Travel-­size games are the go­to for family trips. You can find a compact, portable version of just about any board game. Word searches, crossword puzzles, and tic­-tac-­toe also make great travel games. If you want to get silly, you can even do Mad Libs. Choose something age appropriate for every child and keep it simple.

Travel Movies

Grab a portable DVD player or tablet for the trip. You will have to bring along a few DVDs if you opt for the DVD player. With tablets, you can just pre­load your kids’ favorite movies right onto the device. Don’t forget to add one or two that mom and dad can enjoy too in case the whole family has slow time during the trip.


Unpacking from long distance moving is the most exciting and tiresome part of a big move. Everyone’s energy can range from grumpy to over-energized while setting up the house. Find a way to channel their energy into something fun so you have more time to unpack.

Pick a Box Room

Like cats, kids love boxes. They can climb in them, draw on them and make forts out of them. Choose a room that doesn’t necessarily need to be unpacked on the first day, and toss all of your empty boxes in there as you unpack. Encourage your kids to build little fortresses and draw on them, assuming they are old enough to be unsupervised with art supplies. You can even let them “camp out” in the box room on the first night.

Unpack Outdoor Toys First

If your new home has a big backyard, it is the perfect place for responsible children to hang out while you unpack. Of course, this plan will only work for older kids and if the weather is right, but you might get lucky. Make sure to pack a box of outdoor toys to keep them occupied. You can send them outside with it the day you move in.

Set Easy, Specific Tasks

There is no reason kids can’t be part of the moving process. If your kids are able to help, pick tasks that are suited to their level of development. Even toddlers can do things like put toys into a toy box or empty boxes of their clothes. Older kids can do things like put away dishes, make beds and clean up packing materials. Tell each kid exactly what you want him or her to do periodically. Don’t forget breaks, though.

Most of all, congratulations on your move and now you just need to get to know the neighbors!



Moving is tough. Add kids into the mix and frustration levels soar. These 10 sanity savers are great tips to throw into your parenting toolbox.

This post was written by Cary Teller exclusively for BonBon Break Media, LLC

Cary is an Oregon native with a flair for fashion and organic gardening. She's passionate about writing and enjoys hiking, reading, and cooking. When she isn't writing about health or fashion, she is playing with her rescue pitbull, Mazie.