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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Moving with little ones

In my first ten years of marriage, my family moved nine times.  These moves were due to my husband's job as a computer consultant and required moving from one end of the country to the other and places in between.  I learned a few things about moving with children!  :)

When you learn that you and your family are going to be moving, you usually have some time to prepare. However much time you have, don't delay!  You're going to need all the time you have!

First, start the process of paring down your belongings.  This includes furniture, clothes, books, toys, hobby supplies, everything!  Remember that everything you keep, you have to pack and move.  Ask yourself, "Do I really want to move that?"  "Can I replace it in our new area?"  Be ruthless!

While you're at it, start decluttering and organizing the possessions you WANT to keep.  Make sure everything you choose to keep has a home. 

If at all possible, buy a large supply of standard sized moving boxes, packing tape and Sharpie pens.  Boxes can be bought inexpensively at Home Depot and Lowes.  They are worth the cost and when you are through with them, you can knock them flat and store them or sell them on Craig's List to someone else who is moving. 

Tackle a few boxes at a time...starting with things that you or your family won't be using in the near future.  Label well on the top and at least one side of each box.  Color code according to room, using a different colored Sharpie or buying a pack of multi-colored duct tape.  A strip of bright pink tape across the top of a box leaves no confusion where that box is supposed to go.

Also when packing, don't fill large boxes with heavy items...unless you want your husband to get a hernia!  The smaller boxes are made for books and things like your cast iron pots and pans  :)  Save the large boxes for bulky, light things.

Designate a place in the house where packed boxes will be stacked.  As soon as a box is packed, take it to the designated place.  That keeps the rest of the house relatively normal.  :)

Try to do most your packing after the kids go to sleep at night, or during naptime or while they are at school.  The less you disrupt their normal routine, the less stressed they will be.  And because they are less stressed, you will be less stressed.

Obviously, pack the kid's belongings last and make sure they are the first things unloaded at your new house.

This is not the time to take on other projects or to work on fixing your child's new obnoxious habit.  That can wait.  Focus on the moving project.  Tell friends and other people "no" when they ask you to do something.  Don't make unnecessary appointments.

During the actual move, enlist the help of friends and/or family to watch your kids at their house.  It's chaotic enough without having kids underfoot.  Safer too!  If that isn't possible, set them up with movies, games, non-messy snacks and anything else that will entertain them...preferably in a part of the house that is relatively out of the way.  But, don't forget to keep a close eye on them!

Moving is definitely stressful but it's also pretty exciting to move to a new house and new community.  You'll all have an opportunity to make new friends, explore your new area and set up a nice, clean, new (to you) house.  Try to keep a good attitude and things will go much better for everyone!  Repeat the phrase, "This is only temporary, this is only temporary..."  as often as you need to remain sane.  :)


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