Moving can be a challenge for anyone at any age, but it can be even more stressful for kids who aren’t part of the decision-making process. Whether your children are toddlers or teenagers, there are always additional challenges to moving when kids are involved.

So, while uprooting a teenager or switching your child’s school is often difficult, moving a toddler has its own set of challenges. It’s important to let your child know that they’re not leaving their bed and toys behind, and that you will all be there together as a family when you move into your new home. The more they understand this, the easier it will be for them to accept this change in their life.

Helping a toddler deal with change is all about validating their fears and feelings, listening to them, and laying out expectations for them in ways that they can understand. Make your message about this change positive and clear, and reinforce it many times as you lead up to the move.

  1. See the move from your child’s perspective.

    Adjust your point-of-view to understand how your child sees the move. Will they be leaving the place they’ve called home their entire lives? Are they having to leave family and friends they’re used to seeing regularly? If so, that can be a scary thing.

    Toddlers prosper with structure and routine, so not only will they be feeling the loss of their home, but they may also be disoriented from the many changes around them. It will be normal for them to exhibit uncharacteristic or frustrating behaviour at this time.

    Once a child knows there’s nothing they can do or say to change the fact that they’re moving, they may feel helpless. Many toddlers act out physically when dealing with a big change and it’s crucial they feel heard and accepted even during an outburst. Only by seeing the reason behind bad behaviour will you be able to address it and help them, so be patient with your child as they deal with their emotions. They may need a little extra attention and understanding, which will put even more demands on your time, so be ready for this.

  2. Talk to your kids about the move.

    Processing a move can be hard for toddlers, so start talking to them about the move as far in advance as you can to help prepare them.

    Your toddler may not be able to fully grasp the concept of moving into a new home, but it’s important to let them know it is happening ahead of time. Preparing your child before the move will have a big impact on how easily they will adapt once they’re in the new home.

    Here are ways to make the conversation with your little one go smoothly:
    • Let them know that everything will stay the same in the new home. If their routine and family structure will not change, tell them that.
    • Emphasize that you will be taking all of their stuff with you. Their toys, blankets, and furniture won’t be left behind.
    • Try using a story to convey the situation to them in terms they can understand.
    • Get down to their level. Pick up your child or sit with them so that you can make eye contact.
    • Let them know what to expect on the day of the move without overwhelming them with too much detail.
    • Slow down and watch for your child’s nonverbal cues so that they know you are really listening to them.
    • Talk normally and in full sentences to them without using baby talk. Slow your speech down and give them time to fully comprehend what you’re telling them.
    • Offer your toddler real choices to make them feel like they are not helpless. Do they want to carry a special toy with them? Do they want to pick out their own outfit for moving day?

  3. Take your child to your new community before the move.

    Once your toddler understands that nothing bad is going to happen, you can start getting them excited about the move. If possible, take them to your new neighbourhood and show them around. Is there a park close by? Take them there! Start making positive associations with moving to the new area and your toddler will see it as an adventure, not a loss.

    If possible, organize a playdate in the new area or visit the local playground to get to know the kids there. Get them excited about the relationships they’re going to make and foster in the future. Relate your move to the fun people in the new neighbourhood to make it appealing. Have you chosen a new daycare or play school in your new neighbourhood? If so, take your child there for a visit to meet the caregivers and teachers so they know what to expect on their first day.

    If you’re moving long distance and can’t bring your child to the area before you move, try teaching them about your new town, city, or province. Show them pictures and tell them about all of the fun things that will be waiting for them once they move. Make the story about the new place, not the one you’re leaving. Compile a list of the parks, ice cream shops, libraries, schools, and friends’ houses that will be waiting for them once you move.

  4. Stick to your routine.

    If you have a bedtime routine in place or a napping schedule, try to keep that as consistent as possible before, during, and after your move. Children fear the unknown, and this move is a big unknown for them. Maintaining their basic day-to-day activities at regular intervals can help calm those fears and anxieties.

    Routines help children learn to make decisions for themselves and take charge of their day. When they consistently have a nap on schedule then they naturally get tired at that time. That sense of control is crucial with such a big change coming in the near future.

    Establish that same routine in your new home as quickly as possible. Even though the walls around them have changed your child will feel that their world is still the same. This routine will also help your child go to bed on time, and a well-rested toddler is a happier toddler. This may mean that you unpack a little slower than you’d like, but the payoff is worth it.

  5. Be patient with your child. 

    For all your upbeat conversations and well-intentioned neighbourhood playdates, your child might still be anxious about the move. That is perfectly normal, so allow them to express their anxiety. Answer any questions they have about the move and be prepared to give them the space they need. Keep your answers clear and simple. They will adjust to your new home eventually, but it may just take some time to process. Here are some tips for being patient with your toddler:
    • Pick your battles. This is a hectic time already, so your child’s behaviour is not going to be perfect. Accept that some rules will not be followed.
    • Give yourself a timeout to unwind. Have a cup of tea or go for a short walk when things get to be a little too much.
    • Ask for help when you need it. You may need a babysitter or an extra set of hands while you pack your things in order to keep your child’s routine consistent. That’s ok!
    • Count to ten. When you’re feeling frustrated, take 10 seconds to calm down before you act on that frustration and it will do wonders for your patience.
    • Enjoy some time with your child in your home before you leave it. Make some memories in this home and really soak in these moments.

  6. Be strategic about packing your kids’ things

    Leave your child’s things to the end of your packing. Avoid packing up their bedroom until you absolutely have to so that they have a familiar place to retreat to as the house around them changes. When you do pack up your child’s things, involve them in the process. Help them fill a box with their toys so they feel included. Take special care of that box and label it in a way that your child can understand.

    Pack the boxes with your child’s things into the moving container last, so they will be the first things that you unpack and open in your new home. Make a big deal about unpacking it and emphasize that the rest of their things will be unpacked shortly too.

  7. Have a plan for moving day.

    Arrange for your toddler to have a babysitter for moving day if you are moving locally. With boxes and furniture being moved, the noise and chaos of the day is no place for small children. There are too many distractions for you to give your toddler your full attention, so it’s best to leave them out of it. Just make sure that they arrive in your new home with enough time before bedtime to explore the house or they may not be able to get to sleep! If a babysitter is not an option for you, take the time to explain what is happening step-by-step to your child. Those boxes will be transported to your new home, they’re not going to disappear. Give them extra attention and include them in the process by asking them to watch over a very special stuffed animal or to take care of that bright blue sippy cup.

    When everything is packed and out of the old house, walk your toddler from room to room to say goodbye. Let them take their time and answer any questions they may have on your tour. This closure can be good for both you and your child.

  8. Keep safety top of mind when moving. 

    Keeping your child safe during and after a move is important. If possible, try to “baby-proof” your house before your child arrives. Your child will want to explore their new surroundings so there’s a higher chance of them getting into things they shouldn’t. Here are some precautions you can take to ensure your child’s safety:
    • Put away cleaning supplies and anything else your child could ingest.
    • Don’t stack your boxes too high or leave piles of things laying around.
    • Bring your first-aid kit with you when you move, don’t pack it away in a box.
    • Have your emergency numbers programmed into your phone or write them down and stick them on the fridge.
    • Make a safe space right away where your child can roam free.
    • Let your child explore each room as they are set up. Make each room a surprise to keep them out of unwanted areas.
    • Get your child out of the house while furniture is being set up. This is a great time to visit that local park you’ve been raving about for the past month.
    • Don’t leave cords or scissors within reach of your toddler.

  9. Allow time to unpack and get settled. 

    It’s important to build a sense of familiarity for your toddler shortly after your belongings are delivered to your new home. If possible, don’t throw out any of your child’s old furniture or make any upgrades right away. Unpack their things first and bring out their favourite book or toy right away to give them a sense of security. It may be tempting to bring out your dishes or clothing right off the bat, but this small act of kindness sets the tone for the first few days in your new home.

    Try to keep your child’s schedule the same for these days. It’s a big chore to set up a new home and you may be feeling overwhelmed, so this consistency can be good for you too. Feed and bathe your child at the same time as always and take some time out of your day to play with them.

    In the first few weeks of your new living situation your child is going to need more assurance and soothing from you than they usually do. Make sure you are available to them every day. Take reduced hours at work or hold off on dinner plans until your new house feels like home to your child. Read them a few extra bedtime stories; the unpacking can wait.

Is Moving Good for Kids?

We know that moving is tough for children, but can it have a positive effect on them too? Of course it can!

Staying in one house for your whole childhood is not the only way to create stability. Empowering your toddler by offering simple choices and talking to them about the moving process allows you to lessen their anxiety and remind them that you are a constant in their life.

Moving teaches your child important lessons, especially about how to deal with change. How well they learn that lesson is partly determined by your child’s personality and partly by how you handle the situation. It’s up to you to create calm in the middle of a storm, and to showcase the attitude you want your child to adopt. You can lead by example.

Your toddler will experience big emotions with a move: excitement, anxiety, fear. This is an opportunity for you to validate those emotions and teach them how to handle them. Accept their emotions without judgement, listen to them, and watch for ways they are communicating physically. By normalizing these big emotions, you are helping your child build self-esteem and hearty emotional health.

Moving with a Toddler Checklist

Moving is exciting and exhausting, but also manageable with the right plan. Here’s an easy-to-reference checklist to keep you on track:

  • Talk to your child about the move ahead of time.
  • Make the move a family experience.
  • Allow your toddler to express angst about the move.
  • Take a tour of your new community to build positive feelings.
  • Maintain a schedule for your child.
  • Surround your child with their favourite things before, during, and after the move.
  • Pack your child’s things last and unpack them first.
  • Create a safe space in your new home and put away anything that can be dangerous.
  • Remember that moving can be tough and everyone deals with it differently, but it also can be a rewarding experience.

Moving can bring a family closer and it will show you how your toddler deals with stress. Your child will learn that no matter what changes around them you are still a constant in their life. By being patient and really paying attention to your child’s needs you can set them up for success in your new home and in their future.

Before the weather grows colder, it’s important to prepare for the winter months to prevent costly damage.

Below are the fall preventative home maintenance steps that every homeowner should follow.

Gutters and Downspouts

  • Clean gutters and downspouts frequently throughout fall to prevent build up of leaves and other debris. Neglected gutters can lead to wood rot problems and pest infestations, not to mention ruined gutters.
  • Be sure water is not coming down behind gutters and that all support brackets are securely in place.
  • Ensure that water drains properly and doesn’t pool. Pooling can cause damage to foundations, driveways, and walkways.

Windows and Doors

  • Change summer screens to cool weather storm windows and doors.
  • Inspect and repair any loose or damaged window or door frames.
  • Install weather stripping or caulking around windows and doors to prevent drafts and to lower heating bills.

Heating Systems

  • Replace the filter in your furnace.
  • Consider having a heating professional check your heating system to ensure optimal performance and discover minor problems before they turn into costly major repairs.
  • Clean your ducts to better your heating system’s efficiency as well as to reduce household dust and to provide relief to those with respiratory problems.

Plumbing

  • To prevent pipes freezing and bursting, ensure that the pipes are well insulated.
  • Know how to locate and turn off the water shut-off valve in case pipes do freeze.

Chimney and Fireplace

  • Call a professional in to inspect and clean your chimney. Fireplaces that are regularly used during the season should have an annual cleaning to prevent dangerous chimney fires.
  • Test your fireplace flue for a tight seal when closed.

Attic ventilation

  • Be sure attic insulation doesn’t cover vents in the eaves to prevent winter ice dams on the roof.
  • Be sure ridge vents and vents at eaves are free of plants and debris.
  • Check bird and rodent screens for attic vents to prevent any unwanted guests.

Landscape and Yard work

  • Although grass appears to stop growing in the fall, the roots are growing deeper to prepare for winter. Now is the best time to fertilize and reseed your lawn.
  • Prune your trees and shrubs after the leaves turn to encourage healthy growth.
  • Trim any tree limbs that are dangerously close to power lines or the roof of your house. Heavy snow and ice can cause damage in the winter.

Great neighborhoods and Good schools

As families gear up to send the kids back to school, they’re busier than ever.
Maybe you have relocated to the Shuswap over the summer, in which case WELCOME! Or maybe your family is growing, and you are looking into moving to find the right home, in the right location, near the right school.

A new house can mean more space, great neighborhoods, and good schools.

Follow these tips to find your dream home near the right school:

  1. Know your family’s needs. Is your family growing? Is square footage the most important factor, or a large backyard? Make a list of exactly what you need in your family’s new home.
  2. Review school information
  3. Look for parks and play areas
  4. Make a list of questions for your Realtor. Be prepared with the questions that will help you make the best investment. Ask about things that matter specifically to you and your family but also what matters for the home’s future value.

Our School District
North Okanagan-Shuswap School District No. 83 is an area of 8,500 square kilometers located around the Shuswap Lake and North Okanagan. The school district encompasses the distinct communities of Malakwa, Sicamous, Grindrod, Enderby, Ashton Creek, Kingfisher, Armstrong, Spallumcheen, Falkland, Ranchero/Deep Creek, Silver Creek, Salmon Arm, Tappen, Sorrento, Celista, and Seymour Arm. The school district includes four First Nations bands. Comprehensive local education agreements and strong ties have been developed with the bands, which have resulted in both academic and cultural benefits. Because of the vast area the district has 16 community elementary schools, three middle schools and four secondary schools, and an educational outreach program.

The District Education Support Centre (DESC) is located at 341 Shuswap St. SW in Salmon Arm. The office number is (250) 832-2157.

Not sure which school your child will attend? Contact the Operations department, 250 832-9415. You can also use this number for information regarding bus routes.

In addition to the Public-School District, there is of course the option of Private schools as well. In Salmon Arm we have, Kings Christian School- http://www.kingschristianschool.com/

Thinking about college? Salmon Arm also boosts an Okanagan College Campus, inhttp://www.okanagan.bc.ca/Programs/Areas_of_Study/International_Education/Location/Salmon_Arm_Campus.html

According to Realtor.com, 60% of buyers say schools affect their decision. I hope you find this information as a helpful guide in finding the right home, in the right location, near the right school.

If the summer heat is turning your house into an oven and causing the air conditioning bill to go through the roof, here are a few quick and affordable tips to help you keep cool and save energy.

Close Blinds and Curtains

  • Inexpensive mini blinds or curtains can work wonders for reducing the sunlight and heat streaming in through your windows! At my house, installing inexpensive blinds on the south-facing windows completely changed the temperature in that part of the house.
  • Make sure blinds or curtains are white on the side facing the outside. Solar sun screens and window film are other options that can greatly reduce the heat coming through windows.

Install Cool Lighting

  • Incandescent light bulbs can significantly heat up a room. Replace standard bulbs with high-efficiency, low-heat CFL (compact fluorescent lights) or LED (light emitting diodes) bulbs, and turn off lights when not needed.

Cook Wisely

  • Eat cold meals, cook outside on the grill, or use the microwave for cooking when possible to minimize heat indoors.
  • When you do cook indoors:
    • Cover pots to minimize indoor humidity.
    • Use range hood or microwave vent fan to vent hot air outside.
    • Turn oven off a few minutes before food is cooked to reduce oven heat.
    • Check the oven by turning on the light and looking through the glass, rather than opening the oven door.

Repair Windows and Doors

  • Windows and doors are a major source of heat gain in the house, so keep windows closed and locked and doors tightly closed to prevent cool air from escaping. Older single pane windows and doors without proper weather stripping are the worst culprits.
  • If you can’t replace your windows and doors with more energy efficient models, repair any gaps in or replace weather stripping around and under windows and doors. Also, don’t open windows at night unless the temperature drops to the mid-20s C or lower.

Use Fans for Cooling

  • A ceiling fan or portable fan uses much less energy than an air conditioner, but they’re only effective when you’re in the room to feel the cooling, so turn them off when you leave.
  • Run ceiling fans in a counterclockwise direction (when looking up) when you’re in the room to help keep you cool through evaporation. This will allow you to set the thermostat on your air conditioner higher and save energy.

Clean Air Conditioner Filters

  • While your AC system is cranking away, the filter is getting more use than usual. By changing the AC air filter regularly during the highest use months allows air to flow easily through your HVAC system, making it run more efficiently and saving energy.

Put Off Chores

  • You heard me! Don’t run the dishwasher, clothes washer/dryer, or other appliances during the heat of the day, since these machines generate heat and humidity that will be hard to overcome. Put these chores off until evening when possible.
  • When cleaning clothes:
    • Wash clothes in cold water.
    • Run the washer or dryer only if you have a full load.
    • Choose the shortest wash cycle that gets the job done.
    • Clean dryer vent pipe and lint screen regularly to lower drying time.
    • Dry clothes outside on a clothesline when possible.

Use Less Hot Water

  • Turn your hot water heater down to a lower temperature setting so it will run less and produce less heat.
  • Hot showers create a lot of excess heat and humidity in the house, so:
  • Take shorter showers to reduce humidity and heat.
  • Take cool – rather than hot – showers.
  • Run the bathroom exhaust fan when showering or bathing, and keep it running for 20 minutes afterward, to remove excess heat and humidity.

Plan Ahead

  • Long term strategies to keep your house cooler include:
    • Plant shade trees on the south and west sides of the house.
    • Install insulated glass windows with low-E coating or storm windows.
    • Add awnings over sunny windows.
    • Install additional attic insulation
    • Replace existing roof with cool shingles or light-colored roofing

These are only a few of the many strategies for keeping your house cool in the summer. Put some of these home improvements to your to-do list for relief in years to come.

It may be time to rethink your curb appeal …

Whether bright and bold or subtle and subdued, the color of your front door is a statement. And an important one—it’s about more than just curb appeal. After all, it’s the first thing guests see before you even open the door.

Every life decision you make shows the type of person you are, giving away personality traits without you even realizing it. From the way you dress to the way you decorate your home, it all gives glimpses into your wonderful mind – even your front door style and colour can give things away about you.

London estate agent Marsh & Parsons teamed up with international colour consultancy, Pantone, to carry out research on what your choice of front door colour can suggest the type of person you are.

Front door color meanings:

  • Black: Elegant, powerful, and prestigious
  • White: Simple, crisp, and pristine
  • Gray: Timeless and classic
  • Navy: Traditional, family orientated and caring
  • Light Blue: You’re probably a calm and relaxed person
  • Green: Calm, quiet, and soothing
  • Red: Traditional, you love to entertain and be centre of attention
  • Purple: Dramatic
  • Yellow: Warm, welcoming, and optimistic
  • Pink Lavender: Youthful and spirited
  • Natural stain: Rustic and comforting

What Does it All Mean?

If you’re planning to sell your home in the near future, you may want to think about the colour of your front door or the colour in which you plan to paint it. While the colour may or may not dictate whether your home sells, it may attract specific buyers if the colour you choose reflects their own personality.  Just some colour for thought!

Create a Wildfire Action Plan
Your Wildfire Action Plan must be prepared, and familiar to all members of your household well in advance of a wildfire. Use the checklist below to help create your plan. Each family’s plan will be different, depending on a variety of issues, needs, and situations.

Your Wildfire Action Plan Checklist
Create an evacuation plan that includes:
• A designated emergency meeting location outside the fire or hazard area. This is critical to determine who has safely evacuated from the affected area.
• Several different escape routes from your home and community. Practice these often so everyone in your family is familiar in case of emergency.
• Have an evacuation plan for pets and large animals such as horses and other livestock.
• A Family Communication Plan that designates an out-of-area friend or relative as a point of contact to act as a single source of communication among family members in case of separation. (It is easier to call or message one person and let them contact others than to try and call everyone when phone, cell, and internet systems can be overloaded or limited during a disaster.)

Be Prepared:
• Have fire extinguishers on hand and train your family how to use them (check expiration dates regularly).
• Ensure that your family knows where your gas, electric, and water main shut-off controls are located and how to safely shut them down in an emergency.
• Assemble an Emergency Supply Kit for each person
• Maintain a list of emergency contact numbers posted near your phone and in your emergency supply kit.
• Keep an extra Emergency Supply Kit in your car in case you cannot get to your home because of fire or another emergency.
• Have a portable radio or scanner so you can stay updated on the fire.
• Tell your neighbors about Ready, Set, Go! and your Wildfire Action Plan.
that designates an out-of-area friend or relative as a point of contact to act as a single source of communication among family members in case of separation. (It is easier to call or message one person and let them contact others than to try and call everyone when phone, cell, and internet systems can be overloaded or limited during a disaster.)

When you are considering buying a farm, it’s important to be prepared for some of the hidden challenges that will come up. A lot of things will seem self-evident but here are a few things to consider that may not be:

A good Real-Estate agent will save you time and money
Farm properties are a unique category of real estate. There are many complex aspects to purchasing a farm that is not involved in the urban real-estate market. Make sure your agent is knowledgeable in farm and rural issues. Getting a good agent in the mix will save you both time and money when you buy a farm.

Infrastructure on Property
What sorts of buildings and improvements are on the property? How many of them are useful to you in your farm business plan? Is there infrastructure or buildings that can be adapted to your needs if they don’t already match them currently? If the farm comes with equipment or a stockpile of resources like hay or firewood you may be able to use them to increase your returns.

Tax status & zoning
What will your property taxes be? If the land is zoned as farming, you will have to keep it in production in order to keep the lower farm tax rate. If it’s not zoned for farming, you will have to inquire with the local zoning authority about how to get the proper zoning approved.

For more information on starting a farm check out:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/business-market-development/agrifood-business-management/starting-a-new-farm