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6 Simple Moving Tips for Families

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Hey, all! My family and I are in the throes of a big move (the only we've ever undertaken with kids and cats in tow) and, boy, do I give credit to all you military families and otherwise multiple-move families out there. My husband and I have said in a sing-song, we're going crazy time, "this stinks!!!" (but in less G-rated terms) several times over the last weekend.

I thought it'd be helpful to share some of the tips we've heard and some that we've stumbled over ourselves for anyone who may be dealing with a similar blessing (because, for all the annoyances of a move, it's usually due to a happy circumstance...at least, it is for us). There are even a couple of Thirsties product shout-outs that made our packing all the easier. - Ask for help. Friends, family, co-workers - whomever you have to bug, don't be shy to ask for moving help. It's kind of like wedding invitations; assume that 5-10% won't be available (sometimes more). We were lucky because we had a bunch available for our first load (yeah...we have too much stuff) and a second group who were able to come in to relieve the tired first round of guys (and remember that women are just as able-bodied to help move, too). Oh, and that doesn't count those extra family and friends who've helped paint, fix, pack/unpack, organize. Every bit of time given takes so much off your shoulders, seriously. - Make it easier on the kids. For some children, it's tough to see all their belongings packed away and to realize they'll end up at the new house. Plus, leaving an old house can bring up terrible sadness (heck, it did for my husband and I). So, try to be gentle and understanding when your child shows an issue with the transition (sometimes with tears, sometimes with acting out). Have them help pack a box or two of their own and help label it (younger kids can put some stickers on the box that they can look for at the new house), put aside a few of their beloved toys to have at the ready to provide some consistency and comfort, and spend time amidst the chaos to play or spend time with them. And for their sake and yours, on moving day, have a trusted relative or friend watch them at a neutral locale. My mother in law provided normalcy because they're used to being with her and have their own beds/toys/rooms to nap and play in. It was perfect; they missed all the chaos. - Use whatchya got. Packing is a weird beast. Anything that makes things a little more contained helps. So, I actually used a couple of my favorite Thirsties products to help get my act together. (And I need all the help I can get, ha!) First, for all those little things - baby socks, little girl hair accessories, ahem MY hair accessories, etc - I used some of my clean Thirsties wet bags. It actually made me smile to unpack them because, well, I love my prints, but also because they were some of the few items I could actually easily put my hands on. Win! Secondly, my diaper pal liner was PERFECT for packing those things you don't want to get dirty if they, say, fall on the way to the truck. I fit in a ton of our blankets in mine, but you could use it for towels, pillows...even the dirty laundry (no judging here!). - Make room for comfort. Yes, it's important to get the priorities out of the way (for us that involved refrigerated food and getting the kids' beds set up), but with all the stress and overwhelm of seeing EVERYTHING YOU OWN packed up and dumped in another location, be kind to yourself. This meant, for us, getting our cable set up and listening to Christmas music while painting/prepping and now as we unpack. It could also mean setting up a reading book with your favorite armchair or setting up your office. Ours will also entail watching one of our favorite old movies and eating homemade popcorn...even if we're still surrounded by boxes. - Remember most things can be changed. Ugh. Decision making isn't my favorite thing ever in the first place, but when I've got 10 guys asking where to put things or figuring out paint colors or where to put everything in your kitchen, it's easy to get paralyzed. But it shouldn't be. I finally realized every time I had a question tossed in my direction that I needed to ask myself whether it was permanent or not. Even beyond that would be, "is it something that one person can change on their own?" While we had the "muscle" available, certain larger things were placed where we wanted them, but everything else could be adjusted. Whew. What a relief. - Find the humor. As crazy as things get (and sometimes helpful personalities clash in how they'd do something), humor happens. Revel in it. Isn't that a motto for parenthood, too? We'd love to hear your own favorite moving tips, big or small, too!

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