Summertime is moving season. Kids are getting out of school, vacation time is available, and life seems to slow down for a lot of people. But, if you really think about it, it seems crazy. Hey, it’s the hottest three months of the year, so let’s go ahead and sweat through three outfits each day packing, cleaning and schlepping boxes.
Last month, my husband and I moved our three kids (and the endless supply of crap we own) into a new house. While I am so grateful that we were able to buy a house, moving was probably my least favorite thing to do this year. Trying to pack up a house, while maintaining normal life for a 5, 3 & 1 year old, was a challenge to say the least.
Based on our experience, here are four suggestions I have for making the process just a little easier. No need to make the same mistakes I made!
Plan, plan, plan!
As soon as you know you are moving, sit down and create a schedule for yourself. Maybe you have movers, or maybe you are the movers. Either way, having a plan in place will help to avoid some of the chaos and frustration that can come with packing up a house. Also, start early. We all have random kitchen appliances or scarves that we haven’t used in years, but we just cannot get rid of. Anything that you aren’t using on a daily basis, pack. I packed my first box the day our offer was accepted. Don’t get me wrong, I was still shoving things into boxes as the movers were taking out the furniture, but it was far less than if I had waited to begin.
Get the kids involved.
Give your kids a box and ask them to pack something. Now, if you’re like me, this is a terrifying suggestion. I like to pack as much into a box as possible; spare no space! It’s like playing Tetris each time. However, maybe it’s not the end of the world to end up with an extra box or two, if the kids are helping and staying out of our hair for a little bit. When the boxes were brought up to their new playroom, my boys were so excited to open the ones that they packed.
Make it fun.
I realize that when you are moving, boxes are like gold. It feels like you are always scrounging to find just a few more. When my neighbor moved, I looked outside and saw an elaborate masterpiece of boxes in her front yard. She let her kids have a few boxes, and they went to town while she packed up the house. Genius! As we prepared to move, I saved boxes that I knew wouldn’t help much (Amazon boxes, diaper boxes, etc) so that the kids would have something to play with. You know what…it worked! They spent hours creating their robots and loved every minute of it. Once we got moved in, I saved a handful of boxes and let them create a fort. Yes, I had to sit down and cut the boxes and help them tape everything together, but then they played unassisted for an hour, giving me time to unpack a few more boxes.
Accept help, and ask for it if no one offers.
If someone has offered to watch your kids, help you pack or bring you a meal, say yes. There is no shame in getting help when you need it. I cannot stand asking for help. One thing I realized was the no matter what I was doing for the move, it would take five times longer when I brought the kids along. Sometimes, that was ok, but often, it made things way more stressful. A few times, I asked for help, and I am so glad I did.
If you are moving with kids, I will think happy thoughts for you. If you live in Vegas, I’ll help you pack or at least bring you a bottle of wine or margaritas to make packing a little easier. Just remember it’s ok to drink your margarita in whatever is available…including the kids’ cups.
It may be tough, but you’ll make it through!