Some families, for one reason or another, move around often. Packing becomes second nature to them. I am confident that if you ask one of those families for advice, they will have a detailed plan on the easiest way to do it. I am not the mom in one of those families. My daughters have all been raised in the same home until about three weeks ago. The only form of packing I knew how to do was for vacation. I was the one who needed moving tips more than anyone.
For the detailed packing lists, you’ll want to check out Pinterest. You can find supply lists, moving tips, labeling tricks and more. For the rest of you, though, I am just a mom. I didn’t hire movers. I didn’t have help. It was just our little family of five getting every possession we own ready to move to a new house. We weren’t moving very far but it wasn’t as simple as moving down the street or anything. I’m a stay-at-home mom with three young kids and it was summer break. Here are my practical (as in not OCD, because that unfortunately doesn’t fly well with kids) moving tips while they are still fresh on my mind:
- Pack around the kids first. Pack YOUR stuff instead of their stuff. Pack up closets, the basement, seasonal clothes, the kitchen, the bathroom, whatever you can think of that won’t impact your kids’ day-to-day lives.
- Pack their toys while they are sleeping. If you are packing things right in front of them, they will notice and immediately want to play with the items even if they haven’t seen them for months. Pack a box each night
to slowly tackle their toys and, chances are, they won’t notice.
- Get stern. Near the end of our packing days as our closing date quickly approached, my kids weren’t even playing with the toys still left out for them. All they wanted to do was use packed boxes as their own personal jungle gym, so I had to get a little mean. Our new rule became: You play with a box, I pack a toy. It only took about 10 toys for them to get the hint. And hey, that was 10 less toys I had to pack at the last minute.
- Get older kids involved. Keeping your kids comfortable during a move is a bit tricky. In some cases, all they’ve ever known is their room looking this way. Help them transition by asking them to pick five things
from off their wall or shelves or from their toy box or closet to pack each night. As it gets closer, increase the number and be supportive. This way if that giraffe picture is the thing that really makes them feel like they are at home (even if you’ve never known this fact before) they can make the decision to keep it hanging until the last of their things get packed.
- Label boxes in the order that they need to be unpacked. You can do this with a physical number system, letters or even just marking boxes with an X that contain things you won’t need right away. Just make sure you have a system that you understand. I’d love to say that here I am after being in our new house for several weeks, totally unpacked, but that’s just not true. I am giving myself as long to unpack as it took me to pack up. I do still have kids to take care of all day, you know? But the first night we were here, I knew which boxes had our toys, which ones had our kitchen gear, which one had our soaps and which one had our towels.
Moving is no easy task for anyone involved. Whether you are buying a totally new property or transferring a property, remember to be patient with your kids. Have open conversations about how they feel. Think about the range of emotions you are going through and assume they are experiencing at least double. Find ways to get them excited about their new home and always remember that a house is just a house; the family inside is what matters and makes the home.
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Tags: Heather C.