Ugh, moving is the worst. Even in the best of circumstances moving really is the pits. Add in two kids under 4, and you’ve got a tiring, long, few weeks on your hands.
Even with just a 3 mile move to our new house I learned a ton of valuable lessons I wanted to share with you in case you find it’s time for your family to move. My advice is really meant for kids 6 and under but bits and pieces could work for older kids too.
- If you can make it work, hire a moving company. They were truly worth every single penny. It was one of the best decisions we have made to date.
- It seems obvious, but pack the items you use often last and decorative items and less used items first.
- Do not pack your toddler’s room until the day you move when they can’t see it happening. You can have a box or two in the room that stays open until the day of the move. My son would pick and choose items he put in and took out. This helped him be apart of packing and understanding what exactly happens when you move.
- If you can, show them the house they are moving to ahead of time and where their room is going to be. This helps give an idea of what to look forward to.
- Let them pick out at least one new thing for their room. A new set of curtains, a new night light, new sheets, anything that will get them excited about the idea of being in a new room rather than being scared.
- Set up someone to watch your children the day you move. For safety and productivity reasons they need to be away from both homes. If you are extra lucky you should try and get help for a day or two to pack or unpack. We did this and it was super helpful.
- The week before you get ready to move, count down the days and help them get excited about making the move. This may only work if they are excited in general and not stressing about the move.
- Try and have as many of the safety components installed before the move or as soon as you move in so you don’t have to stress the first few days you are in the house. Check smoke alarms, pool fences, locks, baby proof, etc.
Day of the Move
- Send the kiddos off and let them know when you pick them up they will get to be at their new house.
- Even in the chaos of moving, set up their rooms first. I wanted the transition to be as smooth as possible and, with excitement, ease my 3-and-a-half-year-old’s fears of being in a new and unfamiliar place.
Lessons I Learned the Hard Way
- Try to go grocery shopping and stock up on frozen meals or essentials right before you move. Once we were in our new place and too tired to cook, eating out was our go to, but that got old fast. We need a cooked meal at home and ample toddler snacks readily available.
- I know it seems impossible but set aside time to rest. The week you move is so exhausting. I worked way too much and way too hard and ended up getting super sick because I didn’t properly take care of myself and my needs.
- I really thought I was going to go through items and box them up for donating while I was packing. That ended up being way too much work and really slowed things down. This got way easier while I unpacked because I was far more motivated to unpack boxes and get them out of the way.
With the right planning, help, and attitude you can have a successful and productive move. I hope these tips help others with a future move. I also would love to see comments of additional ideas from readers to help make moving with kids a little less stressful.