Moving house is one of the most stressful days, but seems extra strenuous when you have a baby or small children. You can be excited, overwhelmed, stressed or anxious. In fact, you can really be all of them! (And that’s not even counting how the kids feel!)
Dreams of an ensuite all of your own or that extra room ‘just for the toys’ can be dwarfed by what a monumental task moving can actually be. Well, there’s some good news and some bad news. Firstly, if you’re reading this it’s probably too late to back out – you’re committed to moving. But the good news is you will survive and it will be worth it!
Make the whole moving house with children process less of an ordeal with an 0rganised, well-planned approach! We have some top tips on moving house with kids to help you take the pain out of the process and get you in your new home, unscathed and still smiling… well, almost.
Talk About the Move with the kids – all the time!
Definitely do not surprise the kids with a new home. This is the worse way to handle moving house with children! Little children and toddlers need to be introduced into the idea over time and framed in a positive way they can understand. Talk about how wonderful the new home will be, the benefits of the new home (their ‘bigger bedroom’ or ‘new swimming pool’) and how exciting it will be when the big truck comes. If the children are expecting to move and understand what is going on they will be far more relaxed on the day.
Hire people to help
If you can afford it, get a company to come and help you move. Some will even help you pack up before you go. It will save you so much energy and might stop you from locking yourself in the bathroom rocking and crying. You may also save money in the long run with less damages to furniture, broken glass and even your relationship. Don’t believe your husband when he says, “I can do just as good a job as professional movers.” He can’t. This is money well spent.
Check the house before you arrive with the truck
I can’t believe how many things can go wrong when you are coming into a new place. When we started bringing our stuff into the new house, it was SO DIRTY that I complained to the real estate agent. There were bulbs missing and the ceiling fan didn’t work. There were heaps of little things that just made moving in a bit disappointing because you want your new place to be perfect. This reminds me that you should make sure your home insurance is going to cover your new place when you move in so you don’t have to fork out for repairs that you weren’t expecting.
Moving house with children? Good planning makes for good moving!
Write yourself a list (I know, I sound like my own dad who had a list for a list) but honestly, it works. Be organised with good communication and a streamlined plan. Think of the order you will want to do things in. For example you’ll want the kids beds set up first. And you’ll definitely want milk for a cup of tea mid-move.
If you know where large pieces of furniture are going that can make the move even easier with far less double handling. Measure what you have and measure the new home. If you have a plan of how the home will be set up the movers can place large objects into position which is a great help in making the move quicker and less painful.
Try and arrange childcare for the day
If you have a support network now is the time to use it! Having someone mind your children while you move means you don’t have to worry about where little Mia is the whole time and that she is safe and okay. Moving can be dangerous and does require concentration. It also means doors left open and lots of people coming and going. The same advice goes for pets. If Fido can have a play date too – definitely arrange it.
Expect your little ones to be unsettled when you’re moving house with children
Even if they are super-excited now the wheels might fall off in some way or another. Your child could be ratty at bedtime. Scared of their new room. Missing their old neighbours. Whatever little challenges arrive try to be patient and understanding. Undoubtedly with a million boxes to unpack and being tired yourself this child be tricky but taking this time is a good investment in everyone settling in happily and positively!
Boxes Equal Cubby Houses (and other ways to keep the kids busy)
The kids were running around bored out of their brains and who can blame them as we continued unpacking after moving day! But once they discovered they could build castles and cars out of the moving boxes they were entertained for hours! Bliss! Boxes aside, I highly recommend planning ahead to have things to keep your children busy. Set aside tasks ahead of time for them to do when they want to help. Keep a couple of their favorite toys out of the boxes so they have it to comfort them, moving can be just as stressful on the kids as the adults. Moving isn’t just one day, unpacking can take several, so be sure to have ways to keep little people occupied while you get on with the job!
Moving is never likely to be fun, but hopefully your move will be as stress free as possible, and the boxes will be unpacked before you know it! Here’s to your new home and all the new memories you will make together!
by Lakshmi Gupta