Let’s be honest. Kids are hard. They are loving and imaginative, but they tend to make messes and need their mom’s attention at every waking hour.
How on Earth do we get anything done? If you’re like me and often enter ‘survival’ mode, which is, do the bare minimum to keep everyone alive, fed, warm, bathed, and for the most part happy, then thinking about moving homes is definitely out of the question. Or is it?
What if I told you that I bought, sold, and renovated a home with a six-week-old and lived to tell the tale? What if I told you that if given the chance, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat? Why? Because home is so important to my family and me. It’s where we’re at our best, our worst, and everything in between. Living somewhere that brings us joy is at the top of our priority list even if it means sacrificing our sacred free time in order to pack and move.
Three days after given the clear for ‘light and moderate’ exercise by my OB after my c-section, I was off hauling boxes and packing up my son’s first nursery. I won’t sugarcoat it and tell you it wasn’t stressful; however, I will say the tips below truly made the process go much smoother than any of us expected:
Make a timeline and stick to it. Pack when the kids are asleep!
Looking at an entire house of belongings that needs packing is daunting and overwhelming. Instead of looking at the bigger picture, make a to-do list by day. Set a goal for each day that you want to accomplish. Maybe it’s ‘pack the entire guest bedroom’ or ‘pack up every closet.’ Slowly but surely, each day will come and go, and you’ll go to bed feeling accomplished and *hopefully* less stressed. Also, unless you want each box to be packed and unpacked 40 times, try and do most of your packing when your kids are asleep. They can be great helpers but aren’t known to be the best organizers.
You’re not above paper plates.
Prepare for the mess. The process of moving isn’t a ‘tidy’ one. Expect more take-out meals than normal, eating on paper plates, and boxes surrounding you. Give yourself grace for a few weeks during the chaos and try to embrace it. Your kids will find the McDonald’s Happy Meals a fun treat, and you at least won’t have to worry about cooking dinner.
PURGE (no, not the movie!).
Don’t waste your time packing all of those hotel sample size shampoo and conditioners that have been sitting in your linen closet untouched for five years. Throw them away! Involve the kids by having them donate clothes that don’t fit or toys they no longer play with. When you’re finally settled, you will feel lighter having less junk. Have a garage sale, post items on Facebook Marketplace, or hold an estate sale (no, those aren’t just for old people!).
Clear storage containers are your best friend!
Get a few of these from a local hardware store and fill them with the essentials you need for when you’re in your new place. Buy one for each family member (including yourselves) and also one for bathroom goods, kitchen goods, and cleaning products. For the kitchen, pack some bibs, sippy cups, dish soap, paper plates, napkins, etc. For your kids, a few books and their favorite toys. When it’s time to move to your new home, make sure these containers get packed last, so they are the first off the moving truck.
Pack with your new home in mind.
It’s easy to pack in a way that makes sense to how your current home is laid out, but if you know where you’re moving, keep your new home’s layout in mind. For example, if things you are currently storing in your garage are now going to be stored in a basement, then write ‘basement’ on the box. If your extra linens are in a guest room closet, but your new home has a linen closet, make sure to label your box as ‘linen closet’ instead of ‘guest room.’ This will make things a lot easier when you are unpacking and will save you hundreds of flights of stairs. I promise!
Hopefully with the tips above, the moving process will go much smoother for you and your family.