Moving house is challenging at the best of times, but the job is made much harder when you’ve got small children in tow. Infants, toddlers, and other little ones can easily derail your moving efforts with their demands and tantrums. But, it’s possible to move house with them and your sanity intact.
Ask for Help
Don’t be afraid to ask family members and friends for help, or accept it when it’s offered to you. Your loved ones appreciate that moving is a big job and they’d never want you to feel like you have to do it alone. Some friends might be happy to pack boxes for you, while family members would relish the chance to babysit while you’re packing up your possessions. Just a few hours of assistance can help you work a lot more productively. You’re not a superhero, so don’t try to be. There’s no shame in asking for a helping hand to make the job easier.
Find Something to Occupy Your Kids
Finding something to keep your kids occupied can give you some efficient child-free time for packing. Buy a few new colouring books and pencil sets to entertain them, set them up with a DVD, or even let them play a part in packing. Children as young as 3 or 4 are capable of packing up their stuffed toys and clothes. It’ll give you one less thing to do, and they'll be proud helping out.
Utilise the Time While They’re Sleeping
Moving house and being a parent to small children are two of the most exhausting things you’ll ever do. Combine them and it’s a recipe for fatigue. The moment your children settle in for the night, you probably want to get into your pyjamas as well. However, it’s important to push through the fatigue and use the time your kids are sleeping to get stuff done. Child-free hours are a real luxury. Use them well and you can get a whole lot of culling and packing done. When you’re tempted to have an early night just remember, this will all be over soon.
Lean on Your Partner for Support
You’re sleep deprived and in a time of serious emotional upheaval. Studies show that moving is the third most stressful thing you’ll ever do after experiencing the death of a loved one or a divorce. It’s bound to take its toll, so don’t be afraid to lean on your partner for support. You’re probably going to cry, and probably more than once. Take a little time for a quick cuddle or a chat (over more boxes of course,) and it’ll give you the strength you need to push through.
Talk to Your Kids About the Move
If you think the stress of moving day is only affecting you and your partner, you’re kidding yourself. Toddlers and small children know that change is afoot and it unsettles them. The best way to alleviate their fears is to keep them involved in the process and talk to them about the move.
It’s not uncommon for very young children to worry that they might be left behind. Reassure your little ones that you’re all moving as a family to start a new life together. Keep your tone upbeat and stress the positives of the situation, like rooms all to themselves, a big backyard to play in, and a brand new school with lots of new friends to meet.
If you can, visit your new home with your children a few times so they can get used to it and the neighbourhood. Show them their new rooms and play with them at a local park to help them feel more comfortable with the next chapter.
And don’t make the mistake of downplaying the sadness that can also come with moving. Children tend to be very attached to their homes, and they’re bound to miss theirs. Take photographs of your old house and suburb so that they can always remember their favourite parts. If your children are at school, encourage them to trade addresses with their friends so they can become pen pals.
Consider Spreading the Move Out
Everyone’s familiar with the concept of moving day, but why not moving days? There’s no rule that says you have to move an entire house in one day. In fact, doing so with small children may be completely impractical. See if you can arrange to have the keys of your new place a few days before you hand over the keys to your old place. That way you can move just a few rooms at a time, rather than all at once. It may cost a bit more, but it will be much less stressful on you and your children.
Hire Professional Movers
Trying to pack boxes and unload trucks with small children can be almost impossible. They always seem to wait to demand drinks and snacks at the worst possible moment, and they have a nasty habit of getting underfoot. So why not take away the hassle and hire professional movers instead? An experienced company like Chess Moving will do as much or as little of the job as you like. We can provide a full packing or unpacking service, or simply assist you moving boxes on the day so that someone’s doing the heavy lifting while you’re changing nappies.
Moving house with small children is no small task, but these tips can make the job a little easier.