Tips for moving house with kids
Let's face it, moving day can (and probably will) be stressful. Not just on the day, but leading up to it too. There is a certain weight that sits on your shoulders every time you think about that impending date in your calendar.
It's common to never quite feel organised enough, which leaves you with a constant nervous feeling in your stomach.
Moving day can be exciting too though. You are at the start of a new journey, potentially moving to a bigger home or a new area. Try to harness that excitement and turn it into an adventure, especially if you have kids in your family. Even though you might be panicking on the inside, you will reduce the tension overall by talking about it like an adventure.
The other tool you have at your disposal to increase confidence and decrease nerves is to have a strategy. An effective plan will reduce stress.
Use the following tips to help make moving day go smoothly.
1. Pack a 2-night suitcase.
For each member of your family, pack a bag with everything you need to survive 2 nights. Toiletries, clothes, chargers, favourite toys, books. That way you won't be scrambling through boxes on moving day trying to remember where you put their favourite toy or toothbrush. It also reduces the time pressure to unpack everything.
2. Use smaller boxes.
When moving house, we tend to go for the biggest boxes we can find. But you are far better off to utilise many smaller boxes that everyone can carry (think typical banana-box size). Try to use uniform size boxes too as they will be easier to stack on top of each other.
3. Hire someone to help you pack.
Moving day is not the time to save money and do everything yourself. Pay someone to pack the fiddliest part of your home, like the kitchen! Just removing this one big time hurdle can dramatically reduce moving stress.
4. Hire someone to help you clean your old home.
Many homeowners like to clean their new home themselves before they move in. That's understandable. You like to know your family are moving into a clean environment. But do you really want to spend time cleaning your old home too? Probably not. Again, this is not the time to be a money-saving-hero. Hire someone to clean your old home after you have moved out and take one big job off your list.
5. Label, label, label.
There is no such thing as too much labelling. Use a thick felt pen to write on every side of each moving box. Clearly label what's inside with detail. Which room was it from? Is it fragile? Heavy?
6. Make busy-bags.
A busy-bag is an age-appropriate activity bag for kids. Picture a see-through bag with colouring pages, crayons, puzzles, stickers etc. Incredibly useful on plane trips and moving days. Search on Pinterest or Google for examples and ideas.
7. Relax about screen time.
Moving day is not the best occasion to fret about how much time your kid is spending on a tablet. Give yourselves a break for this one day. It's all about survival right now!
8. Pack the kid's things last and unpack them first.
This will help create a sense of normality as quickly as possible.
9. Build furniture in their rooms and have a layout plan.
Many cots and kids beds don't fit through doorways, so make sure you build them in the room each child is going to be sleeping in. Have a plan in place on how you are going to set up each room too. This will make moving-in a lot faster.
Last but not least...
10. Mentally prepare for certain things to be sub-optimal.
It is inevitable that something won't go to plan on moving day. Chances are you will move into your new home and find a dent in the wall you didn't know about, or a stain on the carpet that the previous owners had hidden with a piece of furniture.
Maybe you will find lights that don't work or windows that don't open easily. Some of your furniture might get damaged in the move, something might even get lost and turn up 6 months later where you least expect it.
Hurdles will arise. Don't let them ruin your day. Stay strong and remember the bigger picture. Remember why you are making the move in the first place and try not to sweat the small stuff.
If you feel the stress rising up inside you like a boiling kettle, just keep saying to yourself:
"Tonight I will be in my bed. Tonight I will be in my bed."