We recently pulled off a double move with the kids and over all I would say it was extremely successful. Now when I say pulled off, I say it very lightly, we survived and thats about it. There were no major meltdowns or toddler revolts during either move. Over all both kids seemed to adapt to our rental and most certainly our new house really well. While they are still a bit young to understand distances (we only moved an hour at most) and have yet to develop any strong roots I definitely think a few things contributed to us having such a successful move.
Here are my 5 Tips to a Successful Move with Kids
Snacks! Snacks are a life saver at all points in the moving world. From when you are out and about looking at places, to when you are packing and cleaning to when you are unpacking and organizing, always have snacks on hand. Not just have snacks on hand but have snacks that are readably accessible and the kids can grab themselves. Things like granola bars, puree packs, crackers, yogurt tubes are all great things to have handy.
When all else fails pull out the back up plan, Netflix. It might sound terrible but I don’t know how I would have packed up the house if it wasn’t for Netflix. As Evan was busy working, I did 90% of the packing and I don’t know about you but by the time the evening rolls around I am TIRED. So this really only left me the daytime to pack and well the only way to keep the monkeys at bay while I tried to pack was to distract them. And what better way than to put on some of their favourites like the Beat Bugs and Paw Patrol? I was able to pack up my entire kitchen in one afternoon thanks to Netflix.
Carefully select a group of their toys for them to have pre and post move. These are going to be the last things you pack and one of the first things you unpack. You will want to have a variety of things to keep them busy, but not to much. Since our time in-between homes was 6 weeks, I had to keep out enough stuff to keep them entertained for this time. I kept out a handful of our favourite books, our Color Wonder colouring, Hazels barbie dolls, the kitchen and its accessories and Everett’s Little People Barn. I waited until they were asleep the night before we moved before I packed them up and after the beds were set up these were the next things I unpacked. When they arrived at both houses they were equally excited to see their toys out and waiting for them.
Routine, routine, routine! I think this one is absolutely key. No matter where you are, keep them on the same routine. Eat at the same time. Go to bed at the same time. Bath at the same time. Do everything as you would normally. Kids are creatures of habit and the more things are familiar to them the more comfortable they are.
Speaking of familiar, make it feel like home. Even in our rental where we only had minimal furniture, the first thing I did was make it feel like home. Even before the kids showed up (my parents had them) the entire main floor was set up. The kitchen was unpacked, their toys were out, beds were made, clothes were hanging. It was like we hadn’t skipped a beat. They were able to go into their rooms and grab their favourite stuffed animal or shirt, just as if they were at home. It was home. It might seem like a lot of work but I think because we busted our butts when it came to unpacking and setting up it’s really helped all of us adjust to our new digs (including the rental).
Have you moved with kids? Do you have any suggestions that you would add to this? What worked for you?