You may have noticed I was a little behind on comment replies this last week. It’s because we just moved into a brand spankin’ new house! Yeah. It rocks. Huge upgrade. We’re in love.
But really, moving with a toddler was a challenge and since I just had a recent experience with it, I thought I might have something to bring to the table for other parents who fear the whole idea of it.
It’s not as scary as it seems. I promise.
Especially if you follow these tips:
Pack WAY Ahead of Time
We were supposed to move on Friday, but our closing date was bumped up. Because we weren’t prepared by packing ahead of time, it was a mad rush to pack it all in one day. We wanted out of our rental as soon as possible.
Seriously, pack ahead of time. Do a little bit each day for like the whole month before you move. It will make it feel a lot less terrifying, especially with little ones running around “helping”. We started with things we didn’t use, like decorations, memorabilia, and camping stuff.
Get Rid of Stuff As You Pack
Notice a doll your child hasn’t played with in a year? A shirt you wore before your pregnancy but wouldn’t dare put on again? The single sock you know will never find a mate? Toss it in the Goodwill pile. The more clutter and unused items you get rid of, the less you’ll have to deal with moving into your new house. No need to unpack unneeded things. I learned this the hard way with previous moves.
Pack Child Entertainment Last
On moving day, you will want to entertain your child. We left the television up and didn’t put it in the uHaul until right before we were about to go to the new house. It was a life saver. We also left out a few pens and some paper for when Mickey Mouse got boring. Moving takes a long, long time. Your child will want things to do. Leave those things out until the very last possible moment.
You might be too busy to think about eating, but your toddler isn’t. Along with entertainment, leave out snacks for them to munch on throughout the day. Bananas, oranges, crackers. Those sorts of things. Chocolate is a big hit, too. It’s a good idea to get a good stash of easy to eat foods ready for the move. Dried fruits, health bars, and other things of that sort will save your life.
Also, leave out an extra set of clothing. Your child will likely spill something on herself if you don’t. Children sense things like that.
Take Breaks – Often
Moving can be stressful for the little one. All of the things she knows and loves are being boxed up and put into a truck. It’s traumatic, really. Take time to pay attention to her. Color with her a little. Have a little conversation about where things might go in the new house. Go for a quick walk. Snuggle. Let her know you care about her feelings and well being.
Have a Place For Nap Time
The important thing to remember is that your child still needs a basic functioning schedule. An overtired, unnapped child isn’t going to help your move. Make sure there’s a comfy place for him to lay down. Don’t forget the stuffed animal he can’t sleep without!
Ask For Help
If you have someone willing to help, take every ounce of what time they’re willing to give you. The more people you have helping, the faster it will go. Plus, it’s nice for your child to have someone other than you to talk to and play with during it all.
If you don’t have help, it’s not the end of the world. You will survive. I promise!
Make it FUN
Seriously. Make it fun. Let them help. Give them a special box to put things into. Let them help bring small boxes or other items to the truck. Give them crayons to decorate the boxes with. Anything, really. Kids LOVE to help and it’s a lot of fun for them. If they’re having fun, it will be more pleasant for them.
Unpack the Kiddo’s Stuff First
The quicker she has her room set up with all of her belongings, the faster she will feel more comfortable with it all. It will give her a place to be entertained with her toys and other things. And GASP– she may even fall asleep. If you’re lucky, of course.
Exploring the new area can help your child become antiquated with things. Jump out of the truck and set to deciding on where things will go together. Find new hiding spots. Let him see the local part. Have a family date at a nearby diner. It’s important to remember that if you have a good attitude and it’s likely he will too!