Moving can be very stressful and exhausting, especially with families with young children. This article discusses ways to lessen the stress of moving and to improve your overall experience.
Moving isn't easy, and moving with small children can be a never ending battle. Packing is hard enough for adults, but the disruption for kids can be very challenging. Do your best to keep them looking forward and being excited about their new space. Use pictures of your new home and images of your new city to increase your child's excitement about the process.
Zone Your House
As you get closer to the moving date, take the time to zone your house. You will always need access to a kitchen, but can you switch to paper plates and pack up most of your dishes early to reduce your labor as you get closer to the moving date? Seasonal clothing and holiday decorations can also be secured, taped up and stacked for easy loading. Set up a wall in the master bedroom where you can stack boxes. Don't put this wall of boxes in a space where small children can get to it. You don't want your efforts undone by a little person unpacking what you've already put up, and the risk of tipping is always a risk. As you pack. label each box on two perpendicular sides so you can easily see what's in there.
Invest in Uniformly Sized Boxes
Free boxes are likely to be structurally stressed; they've already been used and may not be sturdy enough for stacking. If you can possibly afford it, use a moving app that allows you to order more boxes as you need them. Avoid buying very large boxes if you're going to be loading the truck on your own; the bigger the box, the more you have to lift. Take care to mark each box twice. If you're moving into a house with multiple bedrooms, assign numbers to each box or invest in some colored dots that you can tape on the box beside the label. When you get to your new house, assign a color to each room so the movers know where to put the boxes.
Hire Quality Professionals
Work with movers who know what they're doing. If possible, try to find a company that's known for moving fine art and/or pianos. Anyone who can safely move a piano has the lift power, the hauling power and the care to move your family treasures and electronics. Find a realtor who's either a parent or very knowledgeable of your new city so you are sure you're close to the best schools. The simplest things, such as making sure the window treatments in your new home have safe cords, will be easier with professional connections who are keeping an eye out for you and your family.
Use Your Luggage
Make sure that every person who's moving has their own suitcase or bag. Inside this bag, pack
- sheets for their bed
- their pillow
- a towel
- clean clothes for a few days
This luggage style packing means that everyone can have a bath, clean pajamas, clean sheets, and their own pillow when you get to your new home. If your kids need car toys, pack these in a tote bag and stow them in the footwell of the family vehicle you'll be moving in. For those packing and moving with very small children, plan to pack the nursery last and unpack it first. Finally, do not plan to move children in a moving truck; while these vehicles will have a seat belt, they may not be safe for a child seat.
For families that travel with a lot of electronics, put all the chargers in one computer bag and bungee this bag to one of the suitcases in use by an adult so everything can get charged up when you arrive at your new home. Make sure that the electronics that your children need to travel are well charged on moving day and that everyone has a carrying bag or a quality case for their tablet, toy or tool.
Moving during a pandemic is stressful enough without having to panic about whether your movers know what they're doing. Build a relationship with skilled, professional movers that will treat your belongings with respect and care. Buy good quality boxes and color code or label everything before you tape it up. Use your luggage to make the first night in your new home easier.