Typical Justine… I have a ton of things to do before our move and here I am writing a blog post. I swear, if there was a career in Professional Procrastination, I would be making SO MUCH MONEY.
Anyway, I figured I would share some helpful tips when moving with kids. This will be our fourth move in six years. We’ve lived in both houses and apartments (all found on the internet, btw... not actually seen in person before moving in). When we move, we do both a full service move and a partial DITY (Do It Yourself). This means that a moving service comes, packs, and takes the big stuff and we fill up the cars with as much (or as little) as we want and bring that over ourselves.
Be mindful when grocery shopping. If you’re anticipating a move, don’t buy a ton of things that will sit in the fridge or pantry and then end up getting thrown away. Meal plan as much as possible using the stuff you already have in your house, specifically the fridge. Moving companies will usually move the stuff in your pantry and in your spice cabinet.
They won’t move liquids (oil, cleaning supplies, soap, etc.) or anything in your fridge. If you’re not mindful when you shop, you might have to get SUPER creative with meals (for lunch today, we had black beans, cheese, and Fritos LOL).
Pack at least 10 days of clothes. If this is a military move or a civilian move, you’ll be lucky if your stuff leaves your house and “meets” you at your new house within a few days. Normally, there are other shipments and other drop offs that moving companies have to do along the way, so anticipate at least two weeks before getting your stuff. That being said, pack at least 10 days worth of clothes so you have plenty of options and left over clothes if you need to wash a few.
Pack a “Go Bag”. Okay, bags. You’ll need a few “go bags”. A Go Bag is normally a term used if you’re in labor or in the event of an emergency. Basically, it’s a bag of essentials that will be traveling with YOU instead of the moving company. Each family has their own preference, but here is what’s in our bags:
Important Documents (birth certificates, passports, marriage certificates, SSNs, etc)
Clothes and Toiletries
Kids Toys and Books
Oil Diffuser and Air Freshener (I think a home feels like a home when it smells like “you”)
Salt, Pepper, and Garlic Powder
Cleaning Supplies (same – they won’t move liquids and chemicals either… also, you don’t know how clean your new place will be)
Involve the Kids. I know each kid is different and responds to circumstances differently, but try and involve your kids as much as possible. It’s easy to just drop the kids off at daycare or with a friend while you pack or while the movers come, but think about the shell-shock when they come home to an empty house and their stuff all gone. Explain to the kids that you’re moving, talk to them about the process, and talk about their new home. If you’re kids are chill, and don’t mind moving or people coming and packing up their stuff, then cool... I’m jealous, lets switch kids! If not, have your kids help out:
Have them help you pack their toys.
Set aside “super special toys” that they’ll have to play with for the next few weeks.
Pick out and pack clothes together.
On moving day, have them take crayons and color on boxes.
On moving day, have paper and let them draw pictures to decorate their new place with.
Color Code. Get colored Duct Tape and label things/boxes. In the past, we’ve color coded according to rooms. This time we’re color coding according to location. Our stuff will be split between a storage unit and an apartment.
Green/Not Marked – Going to DC
Red – Donate or Throw Away
Pink – Storage Unit
Purple – Pro Gear/Army Stuff
On those boxes, write a rough bulleted list of what’s inside. It’ll jog your memory a little better than “Kid Room 1”.
Whether you’re moving in 5 days or in 5 years, I hope the tips help you! If you have any great moving day life hacks, let me know in the comments below!