Top Tips For A Stress-Free Family Move (1)

The Relocation Consultancy - Helping Assignees Settle In A New HomeThis week we will be posting a selection of articles to provide advice on what to keep in mind when relocating with children. The first article in this series considers approaches that may be useful prior to the actual move:

1. Keep the children involved. As soon as you know there’s even a possibility of a relocation, include your children in the conversations. Don’t wait until it’s a sure thing and then spring it on them.

 2. Respect their feelings. Listen to their concerns and tell them to come to you with their fears, anxieties and questions. Quite often, children can make assumptions that are quite far from the reality – keeping the lines of communication open with them will help them to adapt. Even if you are unable to accommodate their requests, treat their feelings with respect.

3. Get an age-appropriate book about moving. Younger children may not fully understand what ‘moving’ means. There are a wide variety of age-appropriate books about moving available that could be beneficial to read together.

 4. Explain everything, assume nothing. Assume your children know nothing about what a move entails. For example, young children may be confused about what they can and can’t take. They may need assurance that their toys, clothes and belongings will be put into boxes and taken to the new house. Walk around your house with them and point out the sorts of things that will go with you (e.g. “yes, your teddy is going to the new house; no, that carpet is going to stay here.”). Young children really do need it to be explained to them in very simple terms.

5. Reassure your children that you will remain a constant in their life. When young children lose the security of their family home, they may become insecure about losing other important things in their life. It is well worth reassuring them that, even when homes and friends have to change, you will always be there for them.

6. Make a memory board. If you’re relocating to a new country for work, or preparing for a long-distance move, it’s highly likely that you’ll be leaving family and friends behind. Help your children gather together photos of their favourite people/places and make a memory board with them. When you arrive at your destination, they can hang this memory board in a special place and see their loved ones every day.

7. Let the children help you pack. If they’re old enough, let your children help you pack/sort some of their personal belongings. If some items are being put into storage, ask them what they would like to keep and what they don’t mind parting with for a while.

 8. Take up babysitting offers. It’s hard to accomplish any task quickly with small children under foot, particularly if they enjoy unpacking items as you just put them in the box! Where possible, plan to pack when the kids are asleep, at playgroup or at school, and accept the help of friends and family to look after the kids where possible.

9. Time your move carefully. Sometimes, circumstances dictate when you have to move. However, if you do have a choice, try to time your move so that it occurs at a relatively calm period in your child’s life. Take school schedules into consideration, and avoid moving when other big changes (like potty-training) are happening, too.

10. Make sure you have a ‘contents list’ for each of the children’s boxes. If you’re travelling from overseas, the time between packing the box and opening the box can be weeks or even months! It’s highly unlikely you will be able to remember the detailed contents of each box without a list – knowing where a particular toy is could save a future tantrum!

11. Pack one box of toys last. If you pack all the toys away first, you’ll just be left with bored children who will need you to occupy them! Make sure you keep aside some of the toys and activities that you know will keep the children busy up until the last minute.

12. Plan a nice goodbye to your current home. Before you move, throw a going-away party for your kids with their friends. Make sure they know when they are going, when they will be back and how they can stay in touch with each other. Children love a celebration, and this can be a great way to turn your move into a positive, exciting experience.

If possible, try to help them maintain contact with their friends whilst they are away, perhaps by telephone, email, Skype and the internet.

The Relocation Consultancy are experts in destination services and provide a range of options to support families moving to the UK. For a FREE consultation on the services that may be suitable for you, call +44 (0)118 947 0029 or email

Case Study: Relocating an employee from Australia to London

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Michael, a Maintenance Adviser for an international oil and gas company, had been offered a 15 month assignment to London in the UK. He planned to relocate from Australia, with his wife and four children, aged 2, 4, 6 and 9 years old.

Michael’s family was one of a group of 12 families moving to the UK for a specific project, so TRC were contracted by his company to arrange their destination services. For a detailed description about how The Relocation Consultancy helped with this corporate assignment, go to

The Relocation Consultancy are experts in destination services and provide a range of options to support families moving to the UK. For a FREE consultation on the services that may be suitable for you, call +44 (0)118 947 0029 or email Alternately, you can find out more about our services at

TRC Working With Sustainable Prospects

The Relocation Consultancy (TRC) are pleased to announce that we have invited ‘Sustainable Prospects’ to join our ‘Managed Network Of Suppliers’. Whilst TRC will continue to provide quality destination services to our clients (supporting them with all the various tasks involved with settling into the UK) we will be recommending that they use the services of Sustainable Prospects to help the assignee and their family adapt to the change involved.

Sustainable Prospects support both the assignee and their spouse/partner to manage change effectively. Their personal coaching services are designed to support anyone on international assignment through effective, one-to-one coaching conversations, tailored to the needs of each individual or couple. They offer coaching on career guidance and development, work related challenges and personal or relationship stress or difficulty. They also support groups of employees through workshops and seminars on issues related to specific locations or challenges common to the group.

View TRC’s ‘Managed Network Of Suppliers’ here.


The Relocation Consultancy are experts in destination services and provide a range of options to support families moving to the UK. For a FREE consultation on the services that may be suitable for you, call +44 (0)118 947 0029 or email

Sustainable Prospects coach individuals, particularly those managing any form of change or transition – international relocation, promotion, self employment, redundancy or retirement. They also offer specialist support to anyone seeking a ‘green’ career path – supporting the sustainability agenda. They can be contacted on +44 (0)1235 767333 or by emailing

Countdown To A UK Relocation (2-4 Weeks Before)

This is the second edition in our ‘Countdown To A UK Relocation’ series, which aims to tackle the actions that need to be considered for a successful relocation. This week we look at the various tasks that should be considered in the month before the move takes place. Moving to a new country can involve a great deal of processes, but with good preparation any potential stress can be minimised.

Whilst the following list isn’t exhaustive, it should provide some ideas to help with planning a future relocation:

  • Take a ruthless walk through the house to determine what you really want to take.
  • Clearly label items – e.g. ‘left in house’, ‘put into storage’, ‘take to the UK’.
  • Have a clear-out. Hold a garage sale or call a charity for pick-up.
  • Clean out club, gym and school lockers.
  • Arrange for the disconnection or changeover of utilities.
  • Begin packing less-used items. Number and label each box and keep an inventory.
  • Retrieve and return all borrowed items from neighbours & friends; return library books.
  • Pick up all dry cleaning, pictures at framers, etc.
  • Clean out food cupboards. Don’t buy any more food than you have to.

The Relocation Consultancy are experts in destination services and provide a range of options to support UK moves. For a FREE consultation on the services that may be suitable for you, call +44 (0)118 947 0029 or email