How to Move House With a Big Family

As everyone probably knows, moving house is stressful at the best of times. In fact, it’s pretty well established as being one of the most stressful experiences most people will face in their lives. If you’re trying to move with a big family in tow, the problems associated with moving only get bigger. After all, you’re dealing with more people, more belongings, more opinions, until it becomes harder to get everyone organised than it is to herd cats. How can you navigate this time quickly and easily? Unfortunately, the answer is that you can’t – at least, not entirely. Moving house with a big family is a complicated process, and it’s never going to be easy! However, it can be helped along by certain considerations and methods that will get your family up and moving with as little fuss as possible.

Make Lists

One of the best ways in the world to feel organised and on top of something is to make a list. This is especially true when you’re moving house, as it can often feel like your life is full of chaos that you cannot control. To combat this feeling, try to make a list of all the tasks that need to be accomplished. Once you’ve done this, you can separate it out into chronological order, different sections to focus on one at a time, or you can even break it down into individual to-do lists so the responsibility is shared between the family. The process of writing a list is itself therapeutic, and it will help you to see both the details and the overview of your move, so you can start feeling back in control.

Get Your Kids to Help

If you have a big family, one of the first things you learn is how to get everyone involved. Remember, you simply do not have the bandwidth or energy to pack for everyone, and you’ll need to make sure everyone else pulls their weight. Depending on the ages of your kids, this can be accomplished in different ways, but getting their help will make everything feel a whole lot more manageable. You could make everyone responsible for their own items, or portion out responsibility for shared areas or other tasks.

Gamify the Process

These days, gamification is everything. Gamifying something means turning it into a game, and you can see examples of it everywhere, from language-learning apps to fitness techniques. If you can turn the process of moving house into some sort of game or competition for your family, this will act as a huge motivator to get everyone helping. Of course, the complexity and rules of the game will differ depending on ages, but it could be as simple as a race to see who can get their room packed up the fastest, or whose boxes are the neatest. Have a thinking session to come up with some ideas that you can tailor for your own family, and start having fun!

Have a Packing Schedule

The last thing you want to do is to leave everything until the last minute. You can probably imagine that sinking feeling of dread that would come from waking up on the day of your move with everything still to pack and get ready. And yet it’s also so easy to end up putting big tasks like this off, isn’t it? You can easily focus on the little things and end up with a mountain of work left to do and no time to do it in. For this reason, it’s not just lists that are an important tool to use, it’s schedules as well. Once you have a grasp on everything there is to be done, write or print out a calendar leading up to your move-out day, and assign the tasks to different days or weeks. Be kind and reasonable to yourself here, and don’t give yourself too much to do on any one day. This way, you can relax, spread out the load, and still live the rest of your life while you’re doing it!

Get Professional Help

Of course, this isn’t a process that you have to go through alone if you don’t want to. You’ll probably need to book a removals company to transfer all your belongings to your new house in the first place, so why not take full advantage of this service? Most removal companies offer a variety of extra help, from packing and unpacking boxes, to providing storage if you need a midpoint place to keep stuff between homes. If the thought of packing up your entire home overwhelms you, and you don’t feel the need to keep full control over how everything is packed, then you should definitely investigate a service which can help you to do this.

Use Good Quality Boxes

Is there anything worse than struggling with unwieldy boxes full of precious belongings, and also worrying that it could fall apart at any moment? When you’re preparing for your move, it may be tempting to skimp and save on boxes. They seem the least important thing right? After all, they’re only being used to shift stuff around and then they’ll get recycled or put into storage for years. Don’t fall into this trap! Good quality cardboard boxes are one of the keys to a successful move, and you devalue them at your peril. 

Take Care of Your Health

Moving is a stressful process, especially when you have many other people to factor into the scenario, and it’s very important that you make sure to take care of your health. This means both physically and mentally. You will probably be involved in more manual labour than you usually are, and you don’t want to risk injuring yourself or even pulling a muscle in the process – because then you’ll have to deal with moving house whilst being in pain and with limited movement, which is even worse. Make sure you’re always lifting within your means, asking for help if necessary, and treating your body to the necessary after-care. You can always go and get a massage to work out the soreness if you need. This could kill two birds with one stone and also help soothe your mental health at the same time. The stress of moving shouldn’t be underestimated, and you’re likely to feel frazzled under the pressure. However hectic your schedule, take time out for yourself to recuperate, and you’ll find everything becomes a lot easier to deal with.

Care for Your Kids’ Mental Health

It’s important not to forget that as stressful as moving is for you, it’s stressful for the rest of your family as well! This is particularly true for children of any age, especially if this is the first time they have moved home. Being uprooted from what they know can be a traumatic experience for your kids, and if you’re experiencing any sort of bad behaviour from them at this time, this could be the reason for it. Make sure to talk to your children and discover how they’re feeling about the move, so you can support and reassure them if you need. Any feelings of doubt or fear could be multiplied tenfold if your move also involves moving cities, where your child might be leaving behind friends and a known environment for somewhere completely new. Whilst you will be swept away by the practical stresses of moving, this cannot get in the way of ensuring your whole family feels positive and excited about this major change in all your lives.

Shift Your Mindset

This is perhaps the easiest advice to give, but the hardest to employ. However, if you can put it into use, shifting your mindset is the best way to make moving home feel like a manageable exercise. If you are feeling particularly stressed or overwhelmed about the move, don’t push through and ignore your feelings. This will only lead to a higher risk of a greater emotional reaction down the line! Instead, put everything aside for a moment, take a seat, and allow yourself to work through everything you’re feeling. Take a minute to remember why it is that you’re moving, what excites you about your new home, and imagine what will be good about your life there. Shifting your mindset this way will keep you focused on the positive reasons for your move, allowing you to see past any immediate stresses with greater clarity.


Moving home with a big family in tow brings its own host of hurdles to overcome, from organisational issues to keeping everyone feeling positive. However, you can work through these challenges together. By forming good lines of communication, getting everyone involved with the move, and taking care of your own physical and mental health, you will be able to forge a path through any difficulties. In no time at all, you’ll be settling into your new home, watching your kids discover a new neighbourhood, and you’ll know that all the stress and work of moving will have been worth every second.


Leave a comment