Friday, April 26, 2013

On the subject of moving with young children

My advice?

Don't.

That's about it.  Just don't do it. 

If you must, here are a few things I have learned. 

Pack the children's room last and unpack it first.  This seems to have made the transition easier for Ladybug.  Once we spent a few days in an empty house and then came to her new room, she accepted it and has not had nearly the fall apart she had the first time we went into the empty new house.

Have a tote of clothes for various weather conditions and always keep it on hand.  The various weather conditions is especially important for a spring move.  Don't pack your raincoat in a box!

A picnic basket of basics like a few bottles and sippy cups, plus disposable plates/utensils/coffee cups is also valuable.  Keep snacks for both the kids and yourself in there as well, and some rawhide or treats for the dogs.

Keep a first aid kit in your car, and ensure you have extra medication for your children, yourself, and your pets.  When everything is out of the house is when your dog is guaranteed to discover the chocolate you have for the drive down.  (Yes, this happened last week.)

For the day of the moving truck, buy a red tote and some "do not cross" tape and use it to isolate items that you will need while in transition.  This will save you trips to Walmart to buy a towel, and also save you grief in your new house when you still haven't found the coffee maker a week after moving!  Think ahead on this; it's easy to forget everyday items that are essential. 

Keep your planner with you.  Strap it to your back if you must.  There is simply too much going on for you to try to remember appointments, things that need to be turned on, things that need to be turned off, people to thank, etc.  Write it down!  This is especially critical if you are in transition for several weeks and have appointments in multiple towns. 

Remember, it doesn't have to be perfect.  It won't be.  It won't go smoothly, so prepare yourself mentally for this.  Give yourself time for breakdowns.  Your children will have them, your pets will have them, you will have them.  Make sure you have tissues available for yourself, pacis for the kids, and paper towels and odor remover for the dogs.  And if it gets really bad, just come up with a silly song, like "I hate moving" to the tune of "Wheels on the Bus."  Or "My back, shoulders, knees, and feet really hurt" to the tune of "Head, and shoulders, knees, & toes."

But, if you can avoid it, just don't move with small children.  It simply isn't fun.  =)

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