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No one likes the moving experience, especially when you have little ones at home! But with a little planning your experience packing and UNPACKING can go a little more smoothly. From thinking ahead about the items you need to pack to how you pack and label the boxes to some reminders on what to do before you move, here are my tips and tricks for packing with kids. Some are general moving tips that don’t relate to kids so those moving without kids can also relate to this!
We were lucky that we were able to close on our new house and have 15 days before we had to move out of our old house. They are also only about 8 minutes apart from each other so we were able to come and go A LOT over those 2 weeks. We hired movers for the big move the last day to get all our furniture out but most of all our personal belongings were moved over earlier by ourselves.
- Book movers early. Some sources I read said 6 weeks out. I was able to book ours 3 weeks out without a problem.
- Think about makeshift solutions for the new home. We have a built in office in our current house and therefore don’t have a desk to move our paperwork to in the new place. I got these baker’s boxes with removable lids that will not only be used for transport but will most likely be our office solution for a little while!
- Develop a system on how you label your boxes. For us, we put the room they went in on the left side circled. Then the middle would be a short list of some highlights of items in there. If there was anything important like HEAVY, FRAGILE, LIQUID, then we wrote that on the right and circled it. And make sure you put together an OPEN FIRST box!
- Use your own plush items as packing materials. There were no boxes labeled “blankets” in our moving van! We used them instead of bubble wrap for some larger items. Kitchen towels wrapped up my pyrex and our beer cozies help insulate our drinking glasses.
- Back up your photos before moving. This is not the first time I’ve talked about backing up your photos and it will certainly not be the last! Before you move all your electronics and computer equipment run a backup on everything onto an external hard drive just in case something happens and you can’t get it back up and running again!
- Use Ziploc freezer bags. Freezer bags, which are a little thicker and longer than sandwich bags also have an area to write on them with a Sharpie. We used them to hold all the little pieces and hardware when taking something apart and we were able to easily label them for later.
- Find childcare for the kids on the big moving day. What a tip for a post about moving with tips, huh? My girls are in daycare together on Tuesdays/Thursdays so it was convenient for us to move on a Tuesday knowing we wouldn’t have to keep an eye on them for everything coming in and out. They were, however, with us for all those other days those first two weeks when we were moving things in and out of the house!
- Wear sneakers. Even if it’s summer and you’re tempted to wear your normal flip flop footwear, wear sneakers! We booked movers for our mid August move for all the furniture but had to move our own items that we stored at my father-in-law’s for staging. While I normally wear sandals all summer, sneakers were a great choice for stable grip going up and down the stairs and moving truck ramp.
- Hydrate. It’s very easy to forget to stop and take a sip of water so make sure you bring plenty or stock your new fridge with some to share with anyone who’s helping you move!
FIRST DAYS AFTER THE MOVE:
- Let the kids help where they can. Getting the kids involved in the packing process, unpacking and house setup made them feel like they were helping. They would do things like handing me newspaper as I wrapped glasses, carrying light weight items into the house, pulling weeds in our new flower bed (not really a moving task but it got them outside for a bit) and putting pantry items away. We also let each of them help roll paint onto their walls!
- Set up the kids rooms first. While the kids rooms are far from complete, I wanted their space to feel familiar and cozy starting from their first night.
- Include the kids in your announcements. Like most kids, the girls were excited about all the cardboard boxes we started hoarding around the house prior to the move. They happily hopped in one to snap this shot for our announcement we sent out to family and friends. Tip: postcard stamps are cheaper than envelop stamps and I’m sure you want to save all the cents you can with this big life change! My oldest helped me add the stamps to the postcards right before it was time to mail.
- Set up an address change. This can actually be done online ahead of moving with the postal service. We ended up getting a few confirmation packets at the old house address and new house address all of which included lots of coupons, including to Lowes!
Read all the topics and tips in my moving 101 series here!