Moving House with Toddlers

Moving house? Thinking about moving house (and then thinking better of it?!) Have to Move House and the idea is filling you with dread? We’ve had two move, one local and one to a whole new area in the last year with toddler in tow so have certainly had lots of practice in this arena.

Firstly, full disclosure, I HATE moving. Don’t get me wrong I love decorating and the chance to spend hours pouring through house magazine and calling it ‘research’. But the actual process so sorting out all your stuff, getting that somehow into boxes (more on that later…), changing your address everywhere and having all your worldly possession in a truck somewhere in the motorway – not fun. At all.

Unfortunately it sometimes had to be done. As I mentioned we had two moves in the last year, both of which were a relatively quick turn around from finding out we had to move to being on our way. So here’s are my survival tips for taking on (and surviving!) a move with little people!

Planning

Mum’s best friend right?! But when it came to organising two big moves having a big Master list of what we had to do before the big day really helped. It also helped to impress upon my husband just how much their was to do making him 1. more understanding of how crazy I was being 2. encouraging him to get on with it.

Decluttering

This one can drive you a bit mad because frankly it never ends but if you can tackle a room a week before your move and get rid of things that you don’t need anymore then it makes a huge difference when you are unpacking at the other end.  If you can do this with kids stuff, so much the better. I managed to convince my toddler to relinquish some of his baby toys to our local baby and toddler group – big win.

Like the rest of the world I got really into Marie Kondo via her Netflix show before our move so spent the last few weeks before we moved surrounded by books and declaring whether or not they sparked joy. What really does spark joy now though is only having what I actually want and need in my new house.

Packing

If any of you have managed to pack with small kids around, please enlighten us all as to how you did it! Every time I put something into a box my toddler either immediately removed it or got very distressed that his things were going away. One thing I quickly realised was that he didn’t fully understand that all his things would be in the new house. He thought new house = new things. We took some time to explain that and it reminded me that what seems obvious to us may be completely new to a little kid.

In the end we enlisted a packing service. Best money I ever spent.

Visit the New Place

One of the best things I think we did in both of our moves was to take our son into the new house both times and let him run around. Firstly, he loved it – what is it with kids and empty rooms?! – so it gave him good feeling about the new place and Secondly it allowed it all to feel more familiar and so less daunting on the move day when the house was full of piles of boxes.

Get them Out of the Way

The first time we moved we stayed overnight in our old house after the packers had done their magic, sleeping amongst the boxes. The second time I decided to go away for two days with our toddler which worked out a lot better. It was a bit of a mini holiday for us and meant that we weren’t chasing him around worrying about boxes falling on him. It also meant that he didn’t have the distress of seeing all his stuff out of his old room which seemed to work much better for him.

Read Books

When is anything not made better with kids by reading books about it? We got out toddler the Usbourne Moving House book  this really seemed to help him get his head around what was going to happen. The Topsy and Tim episodes about moving House also spring to mind as good things to watch together.

Buy Them Something

Again, when does this not work?! But for us having an exciting item, this time it was a to lawnmower for the garden, that he knew he was going to get in the new house made the transition more exciting and less daunting.

Get their Room Done First

I know you’d do this, doting parents that you are but I think this was the one thing that made a major different in our moves going well. Both times we brought the little on back just before bedtime to give the other parent time to unpack their room and set out all their toys. It then became home from home for him from the off.

So there we have it. A few recent hints and tips from our moves. I’d love to hear any tips from those with older kids or if any of these have worked for you. As ever, kids are all so different and how one reacts can be quite opposite to another but hopefully some of these tips will help ease the transition if you have a move coming up. Good Luck!!

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