Selling a home in Orange County is almost always a tough decision. You might be leaving friends, good schools, your favorite restaurant… But chances are, you know the move is for the best. Now that your family home is sold and you and your partner have made the big decision to move, the question is: how do you tell your children? And how do you even begin to pack up a house with small children [actively] living in it?

Read on for 7 tips for moving with small children….

1. Call a family meeting. At The Marquis Team, we are big on family. Make your kids’ favorite dinner, or order in their favorite meal (remember, this is now about them), and gather around the kitchen table for an honest, open conversation. Whether you are moving because of a new job, family needs, or just ready for a change, let your children know that you’re excited about it. Encourage them to express their feelings and any concerns. If this is their first time moving, share with them your first-move experience. And of course, let them know you’ll be depending on them to help out during the move, from packing to settling in to the new place.

2. Ask Your Kids for their Feedback. Kids need to feel apart of. Once you’re deciding between a few homes, get some feedback from your kids if possible. Photos and videos work if you’re moving far away. Let them know you’ll take their comments into consideration when making the final decision. After you’ve picked the house, have a little family celebration.

3. Clean House. What do you need in the new house? What can you give away to a Veterans group or Goodwill? Get your kids to help you go through the house, room by room, to identify what goes and what doesn’t. And definitely keep items that hold important memories to you and your family.

4. Research!  Learn as much as possible about your new neighborhood and town and share what you find with your kids. An experienced realtor will be able to provide you with a lot of great info about your new home and community. Be careful not to oversell and raise expectations, as that can lead to disappointment. Be honest and open.

5. Make Room Plans. What’s more exciting for a kid then the idea of a brand-new room? Discuss their ideas for their new bedroom, but don’t limit it to just those rooms — let them take an interest in the rest of the house. Take a family trip to the hardware store to look at paint swatches. Or visit a home goods store and let them pick out fun pillows or accessories.

6. Goodbye Doesn’t Mean Forever! One of the most difficult things about moving for any child is saying goodbye to friends. Lessen their anxiety  throwing a get-together with family, friends and neighbors and call it a “See You Soon” party. Thanks to social media, kids can keep in touch online, in person, and on the phone! During the party, take lots of photos so you and your kids can share them online.

7. Act Like a Tourist. Once you settle into your new home, take the family out for a day of exploring. Whether you its hitting the natural science museum, hiking, biking, or just walking around town, it’s important to engage your kids and show them all that your new hometown has to offer. If they’ve met some new friends in your neighborhood or at school, encourage each child to bring a friend along on your outings.

Moving can be stressful, but it can also be fun! Make sure your realtor at your new home guides you through the process and helps you and your family ease your way into your new life. Cheryl Marquis is an experienced realtor and has helped many families relocate across town and across the country. Discuss your move with her today.

For more Orange County real estate news and happenings, follow Cheryl on Twitter @CherylSellsOC or check her out on Facebook at CherylSellsOrangeCounty.