Moving with Kids
I have been lucky and unlucky enough to move quite a bit in my adult life so far. Which is a great opportunity to meet new people, experience a different lifestyle and grow in your career and work life. It also involves packing up your whole life in boxes, a tedious task to say the least made especially difficult when this task involves small children. I have moved interstate and back as well as locally all by ourselves.
So what have I learnt in all this moving experience and what are my best tips?
1. Start packing early!
It is going to take longer, you are going to pack things twice and you are going to have to unpack at least a few boxes the kids have “helped” with. So start early, prioritise what you do need and what you don’t need in the weeks leading up to a move. Start with the tops of yoru cupboards, most of the stuff in them is not for everyday use anyway. They are the things you use every now and then and make sure you don’t need them. Extra linen and towels also are a great thing to pack at the start, just make sure to keep a spare set of sheets for each childs bed and 2/3 extra towels. When packing anything fabric keep in mind my next tip.
2. Sheets, towels, tea towels and blankets make great packing buffer.
For anyone who has moved knows, you can go through bundles and bundles of wrapping paper. So when it comes to packing keep in mind to use what you have around the house, often times towels are thicker and make a better protection than wrapping paper anyway. It means less expense for you and you will also fill less boxes (not by much but if moving with a company each box has a cost, so further saving and if moving yourself, less moving… YAY Bonus!) How can you do this if your packing early? I hear you saying. When packing early there are lots of things that can go away and need protection, decorations, photo frames, wall hangings, the just in case or rarely used kitchen items (ie. The ice cream maker in my house). When you consider how much in your house isn’t being “used” you will be amazed.
3. Involve your kids.
Kids LOVE being helpful,they love being involved and if they get praise for being a big helper they are more likely to continue to help and help in future. If you have small kids like me, their help is not exactly “helpful” but teaching them as best I can as I go will mean that they will be a fantastic help in years to come. So give them a box and let them pick which toys they are going to pack first, which will go last and what they are going to take with them in the car/plane/period in between. They will love the task and you may even be able to get a box or two packed while they are preoccupied.
4. Pack after your kids are in bed.
As I said before, start early to avoid getting frustrated and cranky with the lack of process. Often the only GOOD packing you will get done is after the kids are in bed and not interfering with your “flow”. As any parent knows lots of things happen with kids, toddlers don’t always want to go to bed, kids get sick and are up more often with snuffly noses, they have nightmares, need drinks etc. So you can’t gurantee that you will have every night in the lead up to pack (not to mention this would be extraordinarily boring). So ensure when you start early you are allowing for nights that are a write off, nights off from packing and nights that start off well but don’t continue that way.
5. The two final days will still be hectic even with all the prep in the world.
The last 2 days are always messy as they also involve all of the last minute packing of things you can’t pack prior to this point, towels, chargers, kitchen stuff, cleaning stuff, mattresses, sheets etc. They also involve phone calls to confirm cleaning/phone and internet finalisation/electricity/foxtel/water/real estate etc. And whatever else may be required depending on sale/rental and type of move removalist/self, local/interstate/international. These are a good time to organise family/friends or a babysitter to take the kids to their place or to a park to keep them entertained, happy and burning energy. Keeping them around only means they will get in the way trying help you, they will get bored very quickly and every parent knows a bored child, is a worry. I also don’t like doing a big important clean up like a move clean with kids around. It means more work, more frustration and lowered patience (as your often tired and well and truly over it by this stage). I have done these last days with 3 children and would definitely fork out the money to pay someone to watch and keep them happy and energetic during this time than them being bored and cranked at by me for next time. Perhaps when they are a little older it will be a different story?
I hope you have enjoyed my tips for moving with kids, these are only my top tips for moving, I have plenty of others. If you want more info or want to chat about moving with your own little ones and how to make it a fun, learning experience feel free to contact me on the contact page.
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