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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