How many times have you moved? Since my hubs and I were married in 2000, we moved over ten times. Back and forth to Arizona plus several moves around the Bay Area. All without kids. We are in the middle of relocating to a new state. By the time this blog post is published, we will be on the last leg of our move to Arizona. It’s been a long road.
We agonized over this move. Should we? Shouldn’t we? Will the kids be OK? Will it set them back going to a new school? The list of questions went on and on. Taking the plunge to relocate is a commitment. It will kick-start a massive coordination effort in order to get you there. Add a six and three year old into the mix and massive turns into mammoth.
We started packing in mid-May with the plan to move around the end of June. Relocating is tough. It’s really tough, rough and a pain, especially with kids. We had a goal in mind though and that kept us moving forward. The tips below came to me as soon as first moving box was taped.
1) Plan the relocation, don’t let it plan you
Nail down the date of the move and then calendar everything. I used my trusty Google Calendar from the drop off of the moving unit to the last farewell lunch.
My husband and I had several discussions to lay out various scenarios and price out all of the options for the move. We didn’t have a company relocation package so every dime was accounted for with our relocation. Planning the logistics thoughtfully will help you every step of the way.
Here’s a few checklist resources that may help you plan:
Moving Checklist from Real Simple
Martha Stewart: Moving Timeline & Checklist
Martha Stewart: How To Pack Household Goods Checklist
Martha Stewart: 6 Questions to Ask a Moving Company
Martha Stewart: Tips for Moving Your Pets
2) Share the news on your own terms
Not everyone will be thrilled about your move. It changes relationships. Don’t spill the news to family and friends unless you are ready to field the fifty questions that will inevitably come. You never know what someone will say and their opinions may be negative about your decision. You shouldn’t let that weigh down your excitement.
3) Make it a new adventure for the kids
Pump up the fun because it’s an adventure for everyone. Granted this depends on the age of your children. A three and six year old are easily excitable. Showing them pics and videos of schools, local activities and new things to do made it much easier for them.
4) Connect with others in the area before you get there
Social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Facebook groups, Twitter and blogs give you many avenues to start making connections before you move. I met mom bloggers in the area and attended a Mom’s Night Out event when I got there. It was very cool to meet fellow bloggers in person.
5) Get help!
Even if it’s for one day, line up help that will actually help. Chasing a 3 year old around while trying to pack up added so much stress to our move. If I could turn back time, I would enlist a babysitter for a day or two.
6) Kids need something to do. Get them working, too.
Put together a box and have them work on loading it up with clothes or toys. Explain to them that they will see the toys once you all arrive at your new digs.
On the flip side of this tip, donate the toys you don’t want to lug in the move while the kids are not home. It may be the oldest toy in the box, but once you put it in the donation pile, you may have a battle on your hands.
7) Remember your stress reducers
Whatever you do to reduce stress, keep it up during the packing and moving phase. I stuck with my morning routine and even squeezed in a few runs before the final move day.
I also purchased and read to the kids The Berenstain Bears’ Moving Day and it was the perfect book to explain a family move.
Last but not least, be sure to include a first day and night box with your essentials. You never know how long it will take to dig out of the boxes once you arrive.
Any moving tips you’d like to share?