Moving is the hardest thing – especially with young children. I just moved, and it has reminded me just how awful and difficult it is. Not just on the things you know are going to be tough – like the physical toll on you, and the logistics of things like mail and utilities, or having to weed through all the junk that you really should just donate or throw away. Moving distress runs much deeper than that. My children’s lives felt upside down, my 2-year-old is having potty accidents, and when my 4-year-old wakes up in the middle of the night, she can’t quite get to our bed among all of the boxes to come be comforted. I am prone to bursts of crying over my baby’s old room, and regrets over not having measured their heights on the wall somewhere for the last 4 years so I can take a picture and remember how little they were when we lived in this house.
One of the most traumatic events occurred when our movers accidentally packed my baby’s one-and-only-must-have-teddy-bear when I ran out to do a quick errand. And then, they packed a pile of things that we had planned to put in a dumpster. Now the things we DON’T want are at the new house, and the teddy bear we desperately need couldn’t be found anywhere.
So here is some advice that I can offer to possibly make this transition a little easier:
-If you are using Realtor, ask them if they have a check list of to do’s to help guide you through the process such as change of address and utility shut off/transfers.
-Hang up a chalk board or memo pad where you can capture notes or write lists of things you need as you think of them.
-If a neighbor asks if there is anything that they can do, ask them to bring dinner for your children one night. In the midst of packing, the last thing you want to worry about is food.
-Try to wait as long as possible before you pack up the items that affect the children the most. Kitchens are a good place to start. You can begin to use disposable plates and silverware, but packing all of the toys, DVD’s or a child’s room too early can cause major distress.
-Put aside all important personal items such as teddy bears and blankets in a box labeled “Do Not Move” so that the movers don’t pack it in the truck. Trust me, I know.
-Consider getting your children involved by giving them a little box and an area to pack. Make it a game so that they can have some fun.
-Also consider giving them a special moving toy to make them feel special in all of the chaos, something to get them excited about the new home is a good idea. Depending on your children’s ages, there may be strong attachment to your current home and they will need something to look forward to.
Good luck to all of the families who are moving this Spring. Do you have any moving tips to share?