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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Tips for moving with families - a writer's take on a move in Louisville, KY

 photo moving_zps3306a150.jpgMoving from one place to another is a nerve wracking experience for anyone. Add a family with small children, and you are close to insane. That is the mindset that my husband and I shared as we did the unthinkable. We moved…with CHILDREN! This article is just an attempt at sharing our experiences. What worked, what didn’t, and what NOT to do.

Once our house sold and the packing began in earnest, I learned a lot. Quickly. Our boys were 4 years old and 20 months old at the time of the move. The general rule of thumb is that moving requires a series of steps. 1) Sort your stuff 2) Get rid of what you can and 3) Pack the rest. I sorted during naptime. (Or quiet time in the case of my “too old for a nap” son). I sold some things to consignment stores, but as our time table got shorter, I just donated it all. If you have an inkling that you are moving, start that sorting process early. It really does make packing easier- and let’s face it- if you don’t need it, don’t take it with you.

After most things were sorted, I then began to pack those things we didn’t use often. Our house was still in its “near normal” state. I was talking about the move with the boys, and we would drive by the house where we were headed and talk it up. “Look at the Yard!” “You’re going to be able to finally put up your big boy bed” things like that helped the boys’ morale. I really waited to touch most of the things in the boys’ room. I knew that the anxiety of moving to a new place would be starting soon, and I wanted to pave the way as much as possible.

When we did pack, my husband and I made sure to keep out the things that would help keep a sense of normal to our days. We kept out their favorite outfits (enough for a week--- so we didn’t have to go on a mission at the new place too). We also kept out the most played with toys. Special toys that each kid picked out as their top 3.

Maybe the most important thing that we did as we prepared for the move, had NOTHING to do with the house. We knew that mommy and daddy were going to be busy, and irritable a lot more than normal. The week before the packing started in earnest, we planned a special family trip to help the kids feel special, and not overlooked. While moving to a new home is special, we wanted the kids to know that they were more important than the new place. Once we moved, we spent the first night in a hotel. Our things were at the new house, but we let our oldest pick a hotel to crash in, and that way they could swim, relax, and make it a special moment in a new way. In fact, he still points out the hotel we stayed in each time we drive by!

A few other things that I need to mention. We packed ourselves, but we hired help to do the actual move. Seriously. Do that. We used the U-Haul website to rent our truck, and hire a crew to load our boxes at the old home, and unload at the new. We had the same crew at both sites, and they did a great job. As we closed up the old place, each kid walked with me and said goodbye to each room. (“Goodbye Kitchen.”) Once in the new house, we set up a safe room (lovingly referred to as “the pink room”) for the kids to consider their home base. I had a new (really small) toy for each kid to play with, and then some activities and crafts. Movies, puzzles, stickers, all depending on the kid. That way, we could have people in and out quickly, and we knew the kids were safe and happy. The only thing that was somewhat of a bummer was that we had also scheduled most deliveries of appliances, and installation people the same day as the move. DON’T do that.

Now, I know that I am not an expert at moving. I am not an expert mom. All I do know is that looking back over the experience I am amazed at the fact we are here! Happily! So, I hope that these tips, suggestions, and the sharing of our experience will save you trouble and any difficulty if you find yourself moving…WITH KIDS! Good luck! 

By guest contributor: Jackie

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