Take a deep breath! If you are moving and have children, I completely understand the stress you may be feeling. My family just moved from Cuyahoga Falls, OH to Youngstown, OH on March 1st, 2014, without movers and without childcare! How did we do it?? There were a few things that fell in our favor with this move.
Keeping Organized During a Move
First and foremost, we were able to get the keys to our new home a week before our actual move. My husband worked in the same town that we moved to, so for the week before our move my husband would take any boxes that I had packed the day before to the house after work. This was a huge help on the day we actually moved because we didn’t have a bunch of boxes to load onto the truck! How did I stay organized when I packed our boxes? Here are my top 10 tips for an organized and hopefully stress free move!
- Pack one room at a time, leaving only the things you will need for the period of time before you move. This means, if you are packing bedrooms, take everything off of your walls, and pack your clothes and shoes except what you will need. Take this opportunity to go through your things and donate, or throw away things you haven’t used in at least 6 months. There is no reason to pack things that you are never going to use and will just waste your time and energy packing!
- When packing boxes, label on the sides of the box what room it will be unpacked in, as well as if it has fragile items, and a basic list of what was packed inside the box. Labeling the boxes on the side will make it easy to see when your boxes are stacked on top of each other!
- Use garbage bags to pack all hanging clothes. Instead of taking clothes off of hangers and packing them in boxes, leave your clothes in your closet and put a garbage bag over the hangers and over the clothes and tie at the bottom. This is a huge time save for packing and for unpacking!!
- Buy Ziploc bags if you do not already have some!! These are life savers for toiletries and for all of the nails and screws you will pull out of your walls when you move. If you have hardware that you used to hang a large picture or mirror, put it into a Ziploc bag and label it so that you know exactly what it is for. This is also helpful for all of your cords for your electronics.
- Pack as much of your kitchen up as necessary! This means plates, bowls, cups and silverware included. It is worth the money to buy plasticware and paper plates, cups and bowls to use before the move. Use kitchen towels, socks, t-shirts, anything soft really to pack your kitchen instead of using a bunch of newspaper that is only going to be thrown away after unpacking. Good for the environment and it use a ton of trash bags!
- Pack as much as you can into containers you already use day to day. Our children had a 3 drawer plastic dresser in their playroom to put loose toys into, instead of taking all of those small random things and packing them in a separate box, we put as much as we could into the dresser and taped it closed. When we unpacked all we had to do was remove the tape and it was done!!
- Clean as you go! If you are in a rental property, leaving the property as clean as when you moved in is key to get your security deposit back! This can be frustrating and take a lot of time that you may feel you don’t have. Do not completely stress yourself out over this. Write a list of things that need done and separate everything out over the last few weeks before you move. If you do this, then on the day of your move after the furniture is out of the house and each room is completely empty, you can vacuum and wipe down everything quickly without having any of the bigger jobs of cleaning appliances or your bathroom.
- Include your kids! Moving can be just as stressful on kids as it can be on us adults. If you can visit your new home with your children before you move, do it! Talk with them about where they would like pictures hung in their room and what would make them feel the most at home. Try to explore the town you are moving to and ask them how they feel about the move. My oldest daughter, Grace, was unsure of the move at first and as time went on she became excited as we talked about the new places we would get to visit and explore. Our younger daughter, Claire, was excited and once moved in became anxious because we weren’t at our old house. Each child is different and making the time to be accommodating to each child is important during the weeks leading up to a move and the weeks following. They are both very happy in their new home!!
- Make sure to pack 1 box for your children and for yourselves that are full of things you will want immediately. For children this means, toys, books, stuffed animals, and blankets that make them feel at home and are comforting to them. For us parents, this may mean essentials for your everyday life.
- When unpacking, unpack each room as a whole. We chose to make our daughter’s room a priority so that they would be comfortably sleeping in their own beds on the first night. Then we unpacked our kitchen essentials, after those two things, everything else could wait until the next day.
Take Time to Rest
Moving can be exhausting!! Take the time to rest and spend some time with your family. Play a game with your kids, read them a book, watch a movie together, go out to dinner. This doesn’t have to be so stressful and it can be fun. You will make it!
If you have family and friends that are willing to help watch your children, that is great, don’t feel bad by taking advantage of people offering help! I had a great neighbor that had my girls come to her house to play with her kids for a few last play dates with friends. This was great, it gave me time to give my undivided attention to packing and also gave me a moment to sit and relax. We are excited to see what the Youngstown area has to offer, and to any of you that live in the area, I’d love to make some new friends!!
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