The last time we moved my youngest children were just toddlers (and C had not even been born yet). They were so disturbed by the site of our house emptied out, I had to hire someone to clean the house for us after we moved out. It was easy to justify the expense, as I was pregnant then too, and seriously bothered by the smell of cleaning products.
This time around, I was able bodied, and the children were older, so while the Man of the House and crew were driving the moving truck toward our new home, I stayed behind with the younger children for a thorough day of cleaning. Knowing that, while the children probably wouldn't spend their time in the empty house wailing, as they had when they were toddlers, it was still going to be a difficult day for them, I had prepared a little surprise.
First off, I hyped up the day for them ahead of time, promising that we would have a Toy Story marathon, while I cleaned. I loaded the three Toy Story movies onto my laptop, so the children could follow me from room to room, watching them, while I listened along. So, even before we started they were looking forward to a special day with Mom.
Then, I ordered an inexpensive Toy Story play-set off of Amazon, timing it so that it would be delivered on the day we were cleaning.
Without any other toys to be had, the little figures were a big hit. The children used them to act out the movies, and play out stories of their own, until we were ready to head to the hotel for the evening, and then on to our new town the next day.
Before we left the house, I was careful to pocket the Buzz and Woody figurines. The children were naturally concerned when they realized they were missing - and joyously happy when they showed back up in the van the next day...just like in the movie! Imagine that.