Blending two families is a big step. Moving to a new home together can be an exciting and memorable experience. Merging two households can also have challenging and stress-filled moments, especially when kids are part of the picture.
What is a blended family?
A blended family – or step-family – is when a couple combines as a family with their children from previous relationships.
We have moved and helped settle blended families of all sizes into various households around Oregon and the Portland-metro area. Check out our pro-mover tips for a happy and successful move of your own:
First Things First: Discuss Finances
Sit down together to review your finances and goals before making the big move. Now is the time to be transparent and honest about debt, income, and goals. Moving can be expensive. From start to finish, costs add up between home repairs, packing supplies, truck rental, storage, time from work, and needs around the new house.
At first glance, hiring professional movers may seem like a budget buster. But a reliable, licensed moving company will not only ease some of the stress of your blended family move, they’ll likely save you money in the end. An experienced, professional mover can do what you can do in half the time – and usually better.
Plan Your Move Wisely
Create a plan leading up to and including the big day to ensure a successful move. The more prepared you are in advance, the more smoothly it will go.
Assign moving tasks (e.g., schedule movers, purchase packing supplies, plan pet transportation). Who will be responsible for what? Give kids specific and age-appropriate duties to keep them invested and involved. Don’t forget to have a plan to have little ones safely looked after and out from underfoot when moving day arrives.
Think about your shared belongings. Will a storage unit be necessary? Make an itemized list to help you decide what size self-storage space you’ll need.
Include Your Kids
Those in the know suggest including children in the moving process when merging families. Make your move a “family affair” right from the beginning and include them in the decision-making; discuss where you’re moving to, look at homes, sort and pack up together. The more engaged they are, the more the kids will “own” and connect with your new home and the blended family unit.
Listening to your kids can go a long way towards creating a happy blended family. But sometimes, a move calls for negotiation or compromise. If one family must relocate or one bedroom is larger than another, look at the ages and needs of the kids in your blended family. Elementary-age kids sometimes adapt more easily than high schoolers poised to graduate.
Declutter When Combining Households
Downsizing is often necessary when combining two households. Use the merge as an opportunity to declutter, toss, donate, and organize. Go room by room and be thorough! The more you purge and organize, the easier packing and moving will be, and the less crowded you’ll be in your new shared space. Be sure to coordinate and get rid of duplicates too. You’re not going to need two ice cream scoops or more than one coffee maker.
Include the kids in the declutter effort. Put them in charge of their own rooms and let them sort, organize, and choose what they treasure most and want to bring along to make their new home feel familiar. Have them put aside a “favorite things” bag or box that can be given to them in a quiet corner of the new house on moving day.
Use Your Move to Bond
New house, new neighborhood – and pizza on moving day! Moving can be a family bonding experience as well as an exciting time. Bonding with stepchildren is an important part of building trust and a healthy household in your new space. You’re on this adventure together, experiencing new things as a blended family for the first time.
Take time out for fun throughout your move. Share a moving checklist with the family and enjoy a mini celebration each time a “to do” item is crossed off. Take lots of photos of your old home and the new.
Claim Your Territory
Once you have moved and are settling in, be sure that everyone has their fair share of space. Combining households is a major undertaking. Adjusting to new family dynamics can be demanding. Understand that, while bonding is important, you’ll also all need your alone time and opportunity to recharge.
It’s also smart to be ready to run interference if kids become territorial about personal belongings. Those instincts will be heightened in a new home in a blended family scenario. It will be important for the new family to respect each other’s things and need for “alone time” now and then. Your family unit will be happier and stronger together!
Priority Moving is a Family Affair
We’re all about family at Priority Moving. As a family-run business and one of Oregon’s premier moving companies, we know how important family is to our customers. Our rates are competitive, and our experienced movers help save you time and stress as you combine households. We’ll pack up, move, store, and unpack your belongings safely and without fuss.
If your blended family is getting ready to move and merge, give us a call! We’ll provide a free estimate and the information you need to ease the transition. Your family will be sharing your new home sweet home in no time.