Moving a family to a new home across the country is a complex process. There are boxes to pack and unpack, new schools to choose, and transitions that need to be made. Developing a well-orchestrated plan heading into the move is essential for making things run smoothly, especially when there are kids involved.

Hire help and get organized to best utilize your time

Parents may think that they can take care of all the moving-related tasks on their own, but this is a great time to ask for help. For example, professional movers can be an essential part of your team when you have a large, long-distance move. Hiring professionals can free up a lot of your time, and you can use that time to help your children adjust to their new surroundings.

Many people find it helpful to keep a running checklist going as they prepare for the move. As the sample checklist from Real Simple details, you will have a lot to keep track of from packing to getting school and medical records transferred to prepping what to set up at the new home. Keeping all of the details in one place is vital to staying organized.

Plan before you pack

As you pack, make sure that you label boxes clearly to aid you on the other end of the move. You may want to create a color-coded system with markers or tape to help you keep track of what’s in each box and where it should go in the new house. This type of system will save you time and make it easier to find essentials that you and your children need right away.

My Moving Reviews suggests creating an essentials box specifically for your child. This should contain some favorite toys and extra clothes along with diapers, bottles, wipes, and formula if the kids are little. Keep that box separate from everything else to ensure that it doesn’t get stuffed in the back of the moving truck, as you’ll want to unpack that one immediately at your new home.

The more you can do to keep boxes organized as you pack, the easier it will be to get organized on the other end. Plan ahead so that when the movers arrive at your new home you can direct them on where things should go. Have them do as much of the work as possible, reassembling furniture and getting boxes in the correct rooms, to ease the burden on you.

Be proactive in helping your child adjust to their new surroundings

Your focus may be on the packing and unpacking to a great extent, but your children will need your help in adjusting to these changes. Use the time you save by hiring movers to get your child settled in their new school and unfamiliar surroundings.

Choosing a new school for your child can be challenging, but you can learn a lot by joining Facebook groups or other social media sites for your new city and school district. This gives you a read on your options before your move so you can nail down decisions after your arrival. NY Metro Parents recommends taking kids to their new school as soon as possible as well as registering them for familiar activities like dance or soccer so they can make new friends.

Moving across the country involves a lot of steps and the more organized you are, the more smoothly things will go. When you have children involved, it can be helpful to use professional movers to do the heavy-duty work so you can focus on helping your kids adjust. These types of transitions can be challenging for children, but a well-orchestrated move can make things much easier for the entire family.