A new job opportunity, hoping for a better life in a different place, changes in the family situation – there are millions of various reasons, why families are packing the boxes and moving homes. Sometimes they are intended, sometimes not. Throughout this journey, every parent is dealing with the heartfelt wish to make this change easy and smooth for the little ones.
CUKIBO had the pleasure to talk with a genuinely moving expert. Mattias Ejbe is the founder and CEO of Moveria, the most significant moving website in Europe. Moveria is an independent relocation helper, planning and organizing your move – currently in 12 different European countries.
Mattias, your company supports clients in all aspects of organizing a move, providing practical knowledge and tools. Which three hints are on Moveria's top of the list when it comes to families moving with small children?
What we have learned from our customer´s stories and also from a psychologist specialized in children:
- Let the kids be involved in the move, let them, e.g. have one own moving box that they pack themselves and pack up in their new room. It doesn´t matter if it is not perfect packing.
- Avoid to have the kids with you on a moving day, let them have fun with, for example, friends or grandparents instead of seeing parents who are stressed…
- If possible, then choose a time when you can have some extra time for your children, for example, vacation time can be a good time.
Which common pitfalls did you and all your teams in Europe evaluate throughout the last years working with parents moving to a new place?
When parents are stressed, then the kids get stressed! Involving the kids does not mean that they need to be part of all moments of the move. Small kids don´t even need to know too early before the move.
Is there any advice, parents should ignore from your point of view with a good conscience and without feeling guilty?
That kids can´t handle a relocation, even when there is a change in the family situation such as separation. A study published 2010 in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology did actually show that kids that move often get lower grades in school, but moving is a normal part of life and of growing up. Kids can handle it if they are involved and get the possibility to talk about their view of the move and asking their questions.
Our book, My New Home, supports not only the kids but the whole family on the way to the new place. That's why this topic is so near to our hearts. But also near to so many parent's hearts, who are facing a move in 2020.
Some parents are happy and relieved when the little one is quietly accepting the upcoming changes, not raising any unpleasant topics. To let sleeping dogs lie, they do not start talks about leaving something familiar behind and starting somewhere new. What is your personal opinion here?
When parents are stressed over the move and specific things like “will the moving service work or not”, then children adapt to that, and they may shut down and not ask the questions they have.
I guess you have your own moving experience and story. Can you share with us your favourite moving failure, which you want your clients at Moveria to avoid?
To be an expert, you need to experience the mistakes…Yes, I have done them. I was moving from Sweden to Germany. Everything was on the way, apartment cleaned, and I had left the keys to the new apartment owner. Standing on the train station with a train going in 1 h, finding out that my Passport was still in the apartment, hidden in the kitchen under a cupboard…Even if you think that you have thought about everything and used checklists, there are always things you can forget in a stressful situation. It ended up well though, with some luck we got in contact with the new apartment owners and my brother could drive there and be able to give me my passport 5 min before the train was leaving…
Last but not least: You grew up in Sweden, and that is where you live right now. Which typical Swedish kids' ritual or tradition do you want to share with our audience? What's your favourite?
I directly think of a ritual that my friends from other countries very often point out: “Saturday-candy”. Since the 50´s when there were a lot of caries problems, it was recommended that the kids should only eat candy once a week. And that is still a tradition. So every Saturday most of the kids get some candy, and the rest of the week they will hear from their parents when they ask for candy “it is not Saturday”!
Thank you so much, Mattias, for your time and your insights! Next Saturday we will have some Saturday candies!
Mattias Ejbe was born in Sweden, is a nature lover and lives in Stockholm. When he was 15 he worked as a mover to earn some extra pocket money. Right now, he is focusing on developing the next stage of his company, Moveria, with an even broader spectrum of relocation tools and services for his clients. And he is waiting for the first snow in 2020 to follow his passion of cross country skiing…