It’s Parents’ Week at the918! Join us every morning for a helpful article for parents. From moving and serving to parenting, this week is for you.
by Kyle Westfall
- Dont. Seriously. Just don’t.
- Plan ahead as much as you can. With moving in general, the earlier you start, the better off you’ll be. With children this becomes even more applicable. Decide which toys will be a necessity during the move, and then start packing away the ones that aren’t on the list. If your relocation adventure puts you in a temporary living situation, determine how you will store your belongings. Are you using a POD? Are you getting a storage unit? Do your in-laws have a barn out in the country somewhere?
- Make the kids help. If your kids are old enough to actually be useful, have them assist in packing things up. This will serve as a good time to discuss the transition, and your children will take more ownership in deciding what toys and books they want to continue using during the move. If they’re not old enough to pick something up and put it in a box, then just move on with your life and be happy that you don’t have to deal with this. Trust me.
- Don’t let the kids help. Nap time. Bed time. Lunch time. These are all glorious minutes or even hours during which you can pack without the constant, “Why are you putting that in the box?” or “I wanted to play with that!” Children are much less likely to notice something missing if they don’t see it go away. If there are two adults in the house, tag-team it. One can watch the kids for a few minutes while the other disappears into a closet to pack, like Bruce Wayne into his Batcave.
- Start out and move in. If you are packing a whole single family house, start with the shed or garage. These items are usually difficult to pack, so starting with them will make the rest of process seem easier. Next, move to the closets/Batcaves. You rarely use all that stuff behind closed doors anyway. You might as well be rarely using it in a box. Lastly you can pack up the actual rooms. By this time you’ll probably be closer and closer to your actual moving date…and flying into a panic to make sure it all gets done. I may be speaking from experience.
- Plan ahead. Yes. It’s a repeat. For emphasis. Like these incomplete sentences. Planning is even more important if you are moving into a temporary home or storage space. If you are renting a POD or a storage unit, measure your furniture and map it out. Draw every appliance, every box and bin, and piece of furniture to scale and make sure it will fit. You’ll save yourself a headache. Bonus: On moving day you can use the map to make sure every helper, large and small, knows what to grab and when.
- Keep a sense of humor. Moving isn’t designed to be fun. Come on, you’re packing up your entire life and relocating it. That’s a big deal. But don’t forget to make jokes, laugh, let the kids play in the boxes, and build forts or castles. If you keep it lighthearted and fun, chances are, the kids will transition easier and the whole process will be a lot smoother.
Have you moved with children? What worked for you to make the transition easier? Tell us about it in the comments.
Kyle Westfall is not a moving expert. He’s just a little bit crazy and has moved twice in three years with children, the most recent being with 2 and 4 year old boys and a pregnant wife.