Moving to a Larger Place as Your Family Grows

Jon Fesmire |

Are you feeling cramped at home? Was your house or apartment the perfect size when you moved in, but now feels small because your family has grown?

As time goes by, families and living situations change. Maybe you and your partner have had a few children since moving into your house, and there’s just not enough room for everyone. Maybe you’ve adopted children, or your parents have moved in with you. According to a Pew Research report in 2018, multi-generational homes have become more common, and now about 64 million Americans live with kids and grandparents.

If your home is too small for your family, it’s time to move. Here’s the irony: in order to get past the stress of living in cramped quarters, you’ll have to go through the stress of moving. In the end, though, it will be worth the effort.

Getting Your Family on Board

Getting your family members to see the advantages of moving should be the easy part, but you can still expect some resistance. Listen to their concerns. For example, your kids may not want to move away from their friends. You and your partner may need to get new jobs.

Discuss options with them. Perhaps you can move to a bigger place nearby. Or, maybe moving farther away is necessary, but you can remind your kids that this is the age of the Internet, and it’s easy to stay in touch with their friends. Perhaps your job will allow you to telework or at least give you a good recommendation as you look for a new job.

Finding a Home

There are many excellent places online that will help you find a home. These include Craigslist, Trulia, Zillow, HomeFinder, and others. If you plan to move somewhere within an hour or so away, you can drive up to look at places in person and perhaps get tours. If you’re planning on moving farther away, maybe even out of state, you’ll still want to have a look at the places you like the most.

Before going for an actual visit, though, use Google Maps to have a look at the building and the neighborhood. We also recommend using the Neighborhood Scout website, which lists all sorts of information about cities and neighborhoods, including income data, crime statistics, and a lot more. Once you’ve narrowed down your options and you are seriously considering a few options, go see the places in person.

Be Flexible

Keep in mind that you may not be able to find exactly what you’re looking for. Maybe you want a five-bedroom home so you have one room for you and your spouse, a room each for your two kids, a room for your mother, and a home office. You may not find one at all, or not find one you can afford. But maybe you can afford a four-bedroom home with a large master bedroom, and you could set aside a section for your office. When you look at homes, think creatively about how you can make them work.

Rent a Storage Unit

Once you’ve found a place and have set the process of buying or renting it in motion, it’s a good idea to temporarily rent a storage unit. As you pack items you won’t need until you have moved, you can put them in your unit, making room in your house or apartment, which will make the rest of the packing and moving process easier. After you pack the truck on moving day, you can stop by your storage unit and get everything you dropped off earlier.

Packing, Working Together, and Moving

We’ve covered packing for a move in other articles, so we’ll just sum up here. You’ll want to declutter, which will help get rid of things you don’t need, so you won’t have to schlep them to your new place. Pack up your things in sturdy boxes. Assign tasks to members of your family, and show your kids how to pack the boxes effectively.

On moving day, get some friends to help you pack everything into your moving truck. Alternately, you may want to hire movers to do the packing, driving, and unpacking for you.

Change your address with the post office and get your electricity and utilities at the new address switched to your name.

After you’ve moved in, don’t take too long to unpack. We recommend getting it done within a week or two. Otherwise, you may just get used to having boxes everywhere and feel too overwhelmed to unpack them.

Get your kids enrolled in the new schools, register to vote, and change your address with your bank and other accounts, including Amazon, your subscription services, and so on.

This can be a long process, but a necessary one as your family grows. Once you’re settled into the new place that you chose carefully, everyone should feel less stress and will be able to enjoy living in a larger home.