Moving with children

Moving with children

There is moving, and then there is moving with children. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve moved in your life pre-children; it is an entirely different thing to do it with kids underfoot.

If you have young children, preschool age or younger such as toddler or baby, it is a real challenge to get the house all packed up and ready to go, and then unpacked at the other end. And of course you then have to deal with the fallout of moving kids into a new home. Some will adapt super fast and others will need a bit of time to settle into their new surroundings.

Here are a few tips to make the move a bit easier … on all of you!

Get help

First of all, it’s important to admit to yourself that you can’t do it all. Have you ever tried to simply put away folded clothes with babies or toddlers around? It’s near impossible. Now imagine doing that for the entire house! The packing will go so much faster if you have someone looking after the kids and you can just concentrate on the task at hand.

But here’s a tip: hire a nanny or find a babysitter in Sydney to come to your house to mind the kids while you pack. Kids are smart and will pick up on something big happening around the house when your moving boxes arrive. Sending them to daycare or to someone else’s house for the day will only make them feel more uneasy. Kids tend to want to be near their parents when they feel like a big change is happening as they can be worried that perhaps the parents might not be there when they come back. If you have a babysitter come to your house and play with the kids in the backyard while you pack, they will feel more secure that mummy and daddy are not going anywhere without them.

Use naptime wisely

Before you start packing up your house, you first need to do a major cleanout so you aren’t paying to lug boxes of junk from one house to another. But getting rid of clutter is not an easy task with young kids around. It is guaranteed that they will find a renewed enthusiasm for all of the old toys you want to throw out – that’s right, even the things they haven’t played with for years. In fact, ESPECIALLY the things they haven’t played with for years! Little people will pull apart a junk pile faster than you can create it, so the best idea is to do it while they are asleep.

Use bedtime and naptime to go through toy boxes, art drawers and even kitchen drawers and then take all of the items far away from the house, into the outside bins, so you don’t have to deal with a meltdown if they find them in the kitchen bin.

Label, label, label!

You can’t label things too much. Label everything! All boxes should be marked clearly with what room they need to be moved to in the new home. All items that are to be donated need to be labelled. And for all items that are to be thrown away but you don’t have room in the bins just now, label those too. Otherwise you will end up going through the same pile over and over again, or you may even end up throwing good things in the bin or donating them. And once you arrive at your home at the other end, you will thank yourself for the clear labels that you took the time to do when your young child wants a specific teddy or dress, or you need to make dinner with your pots and pans.

Reduce groceries

As moving day gets nearer, buy less and less fresh produce so that you can get through it all before the day. Utilise all of the food that you have in the freezer so you don’t have to take a freezer load of food with you or throw it out, but mix it in with fresh food as well so you don’t get sick of eating only frozen leftovers.

As well as all of the above tips, remember to give yourself and your kids a break. Moving is the third most stressful thing you will do in your lifetime, so don’t ignore the importance of that. Take the time to explain to your children properly what is going to happen. They might be concerned about their toys being put into boxes so you’ll need to explain to them that it is only for a short while and the toys will come back out in the new house.

Although it might be tempting to make the new house sound amazing, make sure you don’t make any promises that you don’t plan to keep. For example, don’t say that at the new house maybe one day you’ll get a pool or a dog, or their room will be filled with new toys unless you actually plan on doing that. If it is within budget it can be a good idea to buy one small new toy to place in their new room to help them settle in.

And don’t forget to take care of yourself. Be prepared that this will be stressful and allow yourself the time to get emotional over the small things if you feel the need.