The Ultimate Moving Checklist For Families

March 31, 2021

Although the average American moves about 12 times throughout their life, the first move is never easy, especially for a child. Moving with family can be both exciting and exhausting at the same time, so you will need to prepare for the trip well in advance. Fortunately, keeping a detailed moving checklist with all the essential tasks can make the entire cross-country moving process significantly easier, allowing both you and your children to adapt quickly to their new surroundings.

Inform the children about the move

Keeping your children out of the loop about the relocation might save you some stress earlier on, but you will only be postponing the inevitable. While you will undoubtedly run into some opposition, it is much better to be straight with them and explain why you need to do this and how you are all going to benefit from the move. Be creative when persuading them about the relocation.

They will certainly like it if you are moving closer to their grandparents or a much bigger place. Having a chance to say goodbye is also crucial for your children’s mental health and stability, giving them enough time to do it properly with all their old classmates and friends.

Make the process easier by hiring movers

Relocations take a lot of time to organize, and even more so when you have children to watch over. For this reason, it might be best to hire a professional company to assist you with the cross country moving. Having a team of movers that can handle most of the tasks like packing and truck loading will allow you to focus on other details.

Remember that you still need to declutter, transfer your utilities, cancel the children’s extracurricular activities, and transfer them to a new school. The list of obligations goes on and on, and it alone will keep you busy for a while. That is why it is always a good idea to get at least some professional moving services, as it can help you free up your schedule.

Involve the family in the preparations

Although having to pack and keep an eye on your children may be exhausting at times, involving them in some of the day-to-day activities will keep them entertained, at least for a while. You can make it fun by starting a competition on who’s the best packer in the house. If you have any teenagers in the house, they might even truly help you out with the preparations.

Be aware that while your children may be willing to help with packing, you will have a tough time convincing them to give up any of their toys. If they have too many toys that are rarely used, and you are confident that they will not notice them missing, carefully pick the pieces once they fall asleep and place them in the donations box.

Prepare all the essentials for the trip

Before you box everything up, remember that you also need to pack all the essentials in a separate bag. Doing this means that you will have easy access to anything you might need during the trip, which is especially important when relocating across the country with children. To avoid any confusion, pack a separate bag for each member of the family. While everyone should have enough water and some snacks, you can also prepare a light meal and sandwiches for the trip.

Other things to put in the bags include a few changes of clothes, personal toiletries and medication, electronics chargers, and important documents. Make sure you also bring some toys, so your children do not stare at tablets for the entirety of the trip. If you have a baby on board, the bag also needs to contain baby powders, diapers, some wet wipes, and anything else you need to keep it healthy during the trip. Unless you are relocating by yourself, remember to pack all the home essentials in separate boxes as well.

Help your children adjust to their new home

Although moving can be hard on anyone, it is especially exhausting for the little ones, so it might take them some time to adjust to the new surroundings. You can get them accustomed to the new home a bit more easily if you take them out there at least once before moving permanently.

If that is not possible, a few photos of the large backyard can also excite them about the change. Introduce them to the local community by taking them out for a walk at the nearest public park. Once they get to know the neighborhood and start making friends, they will feel at home once again.


While moving with children is not that different from a common relocation, there are undoubtedly many more things that you need to consider before you can even begin preparing. However, if you start on time and keep track of all the essentials, you and your family should be able to move across the country without any problems.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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