This article was written in collaboration with the Sydney removalist company Hire A Mover.
I’ve only moved a few times in my life and safe to say it was never an easy task. However, no move was harder than the one I had to do with my newborn and two-year-old in tow. Now that is a challenge that needs some careful planning. As well as the two small children we also had only three days to get the keys, pull up the carpet, sand the floors in the new house and be out of the old one. The already chaotic task was almost impossible. Moving houses with kids is no joke! Here are some mistakes I absolutely made.
- Including kids in the searching process
Finding a new place is stressful enough without including kids in the process. Ever tried to suss out an open house with a two-year old in tow? Stresstown. We once looked at a house with a pool and the real estate agent had propped open the pool gate. Our two-year-old ran out the back door and within 30 seconds was sitting on the pool deck, carefully taking off all his clothes. Maybe if your kids are older then it’s important to involve them in the process but if you can offload a toddler, then do it!
- Not explaining to the kids why you’re moving, and what moving is
It’s not just you who has to say goodbye to this place you’ve grown to love, but the kids do
too. While they might not be old enough to fully comprehend the logistics of moving and the
reasons behind it, it’s good to keep them informed – even if that means answering hundreds
- Taking everything you own to the new house
Use the move as a cleansing experience for you but also an opportunity to teach your kids
about donating to charity. It’s great to involve the kids in the clean out process by making
piles of “keep”, “donate” and “throw”. Clothes are the easiest to do this with, but also books,
toys and knick-knacks. This way there will be less to pack when the time comes!
- Letting the kids help pack
No matter how insistent they are, this is a time you need to stand your ground and DO NOT
LET THEM HELP! You will almost definitely lose something. I found the best process was to
keep a neat list of what goes into each box – the kids can then get involved in the unpacking
process once you know which box is safe for them to unload (like their toys etc.)
- Not hiring professional help
As much as you can plan ahead and ask friends or family to look after the kids on the day of
the move, you’re still going to spend hours lugging boxes from the old house, to the car,
driving to the new house, and then bringing the boxes back inside. My idea of torture. If you can, it is so much easier to hire professional removalists for a few hours who can help with the not so
easy to carry items like furniture and white goods, but also the endless stream of boxes in
much less trips.
- Travelling unprepared
Jumping in the car to leave your old empty house and starting the next chapter at your new
house is exciting – what isn’t exciting is whiny kids with nothing to do, eat or wear. Let’s be
honest, I’d be cranky about those things too. Make sure to pack a week’s worth of
necessities in the car, like you would if you were going on holidays. Include activities or toys
for the kids, snacks and other easy to make food items, as well as clothes and toiletries.
Did you make any of these mistakes while moving houses with kids?