Moving sucks. A lot. It's the "chaos before the good stuff" as my sweet friend Courtney so eloquently put it :) While I feel like I'm still in the throes of moving a bit, there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel. Dim light, but light :)
Today, Erika and I are sharing a few tips for moving with kids. A lot of mine are applicable to moving without kids as well, but I'm including them because I think they're valuable.
Dave and I have only moved twice while married (I moved several times when I was in elementary school), once across McKinney when Luke was one and then across the street (pretty much) a few weeks ago.
- ONE -
Lower your expectations and then lower them some more... and then maybe even a little bit more than that.
Seriously. I had all these expectations of how moving was going to "go". I was going to pack one room a night and be done in a week and a half. Everything was going to be labeled and organized and my kids were going to be angels and play nicely with books and puzzles while I worked.
In my experience, everything that goes along with moving takes about 4 times as long as you think it will and requires twice as many supplies.
By lowering your expectations, you'll be pleasantly surprised when you complete something ahead of schedule.
- TWO -
Cut everyone some slack. Including yourself.
You might need to order pizza two nights a week or eat off paper plates for a month. In the long run, no one will be any worse off and eventually you'll get to eat on a real plate again.
We set up this paper goods area in our kitchen and it was amazing how nice it was to not have to load/unload the dishwasher and/or wash dishes every day.
- THREE -
As much as you can, leave during showings.
Thankfully, the market here right now is crazy. We put our house on the market on a Friday afternoon and by Sunday it was sold. We did a TON to prepare (decluttering, carpet cleaning, deep cleaning, window washing, etc.) and then we got out. I didn't want to be stressed about the kids making a mess, getting everything perfect for 9 am showings the next morning, cleaning the bathtub, etc., so we stayed at a cottage at the country club and it was glorious. I didn't have to gripe or nag and we had the best time. If you're in a situation similar to ours (multiple showings over the course of a weekend), I would HIGHLY suggest staying somewhere else if you can.
- FOUR -
Pack after the kids go to bed.
Everything is changing while you're moving - so keeping playtime and all of that consistent was key for us. Just because you're moving doesn't mean that they don't want to play with you or understand why you can't spend the same amount of time with them as you did before.
Dave and I would caffeinate, turn on iTunes and pack as long as we could before calling it a night.
It was actually kind of fun, and while we were wiped, it kept things feeling "normal" for our kids.
Embrace the crazy
It's going to be nuts. Embrace it. Picnic on the floor, use packing tape to make paths for Hot Wheels cars and let the kids color on the boxes.
- SIX -
Pack their stuff last and set their rooms up first.
We packed the kids rooms last. That way they had a place to go and play and it gave them a sense of normalcy at the end of the day. When we did pack their rooms, we kept out a few of their favorite games and toys and played just with those the last week or so.
We worked on setting up their rooms ASAP after we moved in to help them feel settled and at home. I also got our family room set up on the first day so that we all had a place to hang out and do our "normal" thing.
- SEVEN -
Talk about it.
My kids like to ask questions... LOTS of questions. Moving was a brand new experience and so they had twice the number of questions they have on a normal basis ;) Mason was super upset because the house we were buying didn't have any toys. We talked about it and got to put his little mind at ease. Luke had tons of logistical questions and he wanted to know EVERYTHING, but then he was good to go.
- EIGHT -
Take the help!
Moving is a ton of work. So if people offer to help, accept.
Watching the kids? Sure!
Helping to pack? Of course!
Bringing you dinner? That would be lovely!
- NINE -
Don't turn into a crazy person.
I kind of lost my mind while we were in the moving process. I was stressed to the max (probably because it was also the last month of school), cried a lot and wasn't very nice. I know that Dave and the kids felt it and I hate that I was like that. If I had to go back and do the whole thing over again (OMG! NO!!!) I would relax, simmer down and take things more in stride. God bless my family. ;)
I hope this helps! And if you're in the moving process, know that at some point it will be over! I promise!!! You'll be settled and comfortable and you'll (almost) forget that you just packed up your entire life and moved it to a new location.
I'd love for this post to be a resource for people moving, so leave your best tip(s) for moving in general and/or moving with kids in the comments below. Thanks friends!