Whether it’s a move across the country or across town… moving with kids is not easy especially when you have little ones! In the last 6 years, we’ve moved from Chicago to Raleigh to Tampa; back to Chicago and finally back to Tampa! (The reasons why are a story for another day…) The amount of stuff we own has increased with our growing family and makes each move a little bit harder. Those extra set hands aren’t necessarily helping either, in fact, they tend to get in the way.
Through all of the moves, I’ve learned a few tips that have helped make it easier. Nothing can fully prepare you for the changes you’re about to embark on, but some insight from an experienced mover might make a few things go smoother than planned.
Tips for making your move easier with kids
Purge before you pack. Seriously, you don’t need to bring everything to your new destination. It may not fit in the space you are moving to or you’ll be in a new climate and just won’t have a need for it anymore. (Snowblower in Tampa? I don’t think so.) Sell or donate as much as possible before you pack. Make it fun for the kids. I offer them an incentive to keep the profits (well, some of… shhhh don’t tell them!) from any toys they sell.
CONFIRM, CONFIRM, CONFIRM. It never fails that no matter how far in advance you book, you should always be sure to confirm with your moving company the day before. One time we almost didn’t have transportation for our vehicle and on our most recent move, our movers literally cancelled the day of. Now that one was sort of unavoidable; but still.
BUDGET your move. Figure out what is a deal breaker for you. If you’d rather put money into your new home to fix up a few things, then getting a pod and moving yourselves might be a better option. If you’re heading into a move-in ready home or rental, perhaps you can splurge on movers. (The ones that do the packing are the best!) Don’t forget to budget boxes (or search online for garage sale sites where someone may be looking to get rid of them), packing paper, tape, wardrobe boxes, TV/mirror boxes… and all of this doesn’t include a rental truck, hotel if your move requires an overnight stay, meals on the road… it all adds up. Be sure to negotiate with moving companies as you’re calling around for quotes. As my husband likes to remind me, everything is negotiable.
Get a sitter for the kids. Whether its grandma that comes to keep the kids entertained or a new neighbor that watches them for a few hours, having the kids out of the house will be a big help when it comes to moving into your new place! Especially the ones 5 and under that just like to get into stuff and not listen. You’ll get a lot more accomplished if you can knock it out without any timeouts, juice breaks or putting on another Mickey Mouse Clubhouse show!
Once you’ve moved, the fun (or dread) begins… unpacking everything and finding a new spot for your treasured possessions. At this point, you might want to take a pause and pop open a bottle of wine to celebrate the fact that you just moved all of your stuff (with kids) because it’s exhausting!
I’d love to hear your tips for moving with kids. Drop them in the comments below!