Ask for Help
Don’t be afraid to ask for help or let others help you if they offer. While sometimes you may want to do it all, there is no shame in letting friends or family come play with the kids so you can get a lot of packing and organizing accomplished.
Give Your Kids a Task
Let your kids have a box and encourage them to fill it up with their toys or books. While you may have to repack it later, the kids will enjoy being part of the process and feel a sense of control and ownership in the process of moving that is upending their lives.
Prepare (Early) for Moving Day
If you’re moving thousands of miles away, make sure you know the laws about transporting firearms across state lines. Find out if there are any tolls you may have to pay so you have the appropriate change on hand, and make sure you have an emergency bag with the essential toiletries and a change of clothes in case your belongings take longer than you expected to be delivered.
It’s always important to communicate, and the process of moving is no exception. Make piles to donate and some to pack for the move, all clearly labeled on the front end so you or a family member doesn’t unintentionally purge meaningful items. You don’t want your keepsakes to end up at your local secondhand store listed for $2.
Make the Most of the Time While Your Kids are Asleep
If you attempt to pare down your kids’ toys while they are awake, you know what will happen: they’ll get them all back out and start playing with them. Avoid these scenarios and sort through the endless baby dolls and race cars when they are asleep. One you have a pile to donate or sell, remove it from the kid’s view – if they find their toys in a donation box, they will react poorly.
Don’t Underestimate the Energy it Takes to Move
Moving can be a total emotional upheaval. Yes, you’ll get used to your new home and a different grocery store, but moving is the third most stressful thing you can go through, following death and divorce, for a reason. Moving presents you with an array of emotions, from the anticipation of the new house and meeting the neighbors to the stress of the to-do list that never ends. Take a walk or talk to friends so you can release some stress that comes with moving. Prioritize self-care to keep yourself healthy so you can be there to support your kids, too.
Relocating brings a lot of joy and a chance to organize your life, but you’ll also face some stress and worry throughout the process. Though they don’t mean to, your kids can make preparing for the move a little more complicated. With the right approach to moving, from letting your children help pack boxes to relieving your own stress, you can both empower and reassure your children and streamline the process of getting from here to there.
Cirdan Imbler writes for Puget Sound Moving, a moving company based in Kent and Seattle, Wash., that provides local and long distance moves with an attention to detail and problem solving.
It’s tricky to move without stress when you have little ones at home. It seems that your attention is always divided – making moving seem like an overwhelming task on top of child rearing.
Tap these six tips to help overcome the obstacles that come along with moving when you have children – and maintain your sanity in the process.