I love how things sneak up on you….like moving house! We are just a week out and I’m getting my butt into gear and doing what I do best………..work at the last minute. We had a few little dramas yesterday like the removalist having us moving to the wrong place and on the wrong day. Thankfully we are all good now and I’m hoping that’s the worst of the things that could go wrong.
So let’s talk moving with kids………..this is our 5th house and we’ve done a few moves. Not as many as you defence families have probably done and growing up in the navy means that we moved every 2 to 3 years so my mum was certainly the queen of moving house compared to me. But I’ve put down some top tips and things I’ve learnt over the years that have made things run smoothly
1. leave out some suitcases for toys, clothes and things you’ll need before you’re settled
2. take a laptop and dvds with you to keep the kids entertained when all the furniture is gone and you’re cleaning or waiting to be settled and have the tv set up at your new home. This is a lifesaver when it’s getting late in the afternoon and no one is happy….parents included. Everyone is tired and cranky and watching their favourite dvd (albeit on a smaller screen) with some pillows is great entertainment
3. leave out some plastic plates, cutlery and drink bottles. You need to eat and drink. We love to have rice crackers, le snaks, bananas, yoghurt and some jelly snakes (treat food!) for the day of the move to keep everyone happy and lunch might be a pie or some sushi from the shops but at least we have snacks covered.
4. give the kids a box each to help pack their room. We have the packers doing most of our packing but the kids love to get involved and have packed up their knick knacks and bits and bobs and enjoyed it. Keep it simple and they’ll have fun.
5. be prepared for the barbie shoes, bobby pins, lego, tissues, socks and odd shoes behind beds and at the back of wardrobes. Wow when we left out last house I couldn’t believe the number of these items down the side of the kids beds! Maybe it was because we were moving house with 4 kids but I had to run around with a bag and pick it all up
6. Get a cleaner or friend in to help with the clean. I used to have a great lady lily who would come in with her team and clean my house in half a day and that was all they did. Exit cleans. I can’t find her anymore as she left the agency so for the last 2 houses I have helped my cleaner. We start early and in opposite parts of the house and get the house clean on the last day. It leaves one of you to mind the kids – but also gives the kids some water and a chux and let them do some dusting and help you too. They’ll last about 5 minutes but it’s fun. But if you can get a cleaner in it really lightens the load. I always seem to be pregnant when we move so having someone else do the oven is a great help too. Leave out all of your cleaning products, 50 million garbage bags ( you can never have too many garbage bags when moving) and a broom and vac and you’ll be done in no time.
7. Camp out at the new house.………this is something that we just love to do. We’re doing this time too, no hotels just airbeds, pillows and doonas at each house. I’ve got a jug and toaster set aside so breakfast is covered, dinner is usually takeaway but the kids think it is the best fun. It means you are there bright and early for the removalists and the kids have figured out the best bedrooms and explored the house. It is also a great way to save money too and especially for large families.
8. Get some help in with the kids if you need it.…..if your neighbour or friend offers to take the kids for a few hours say yes. I’m so bad at saying no but say yes and you’ll knock over a few jobs faster if you have the house to yourself for a few hours.
9. Do all of the disconnection/reconnection/change of address stuff at least 2 weeks before you move. This has really lightened my load knowing that the paperwork side of things is done and let’s hope it runs smoothly. I always seem to have problems with the internet.
10. Say goodbye to your neighbours! Always make time to say goodbye to your neighbours and leave them your new address in case any mail /deliveries or the new owners need to forward something to you. I’m going to miss our neighbours so much when we move as they have just been so lovely and friendly to us but I know we’ll have them out to our new house which will be great.
11. Do your pantry and fridge ahead of time and not at the last minute! There is nothing worse than arriving at your new house and the bins are full of food and stuff from the previous owners. It really pays to do your fridge, freezer and things that will cause rubbish just before your last garbage collection. If you have lots of rubbish that isn’t food then take it with you to the tip or to your next house if you can. I can proudly say that I’ve done the pantry and this weekend is freeze and fridge before rubbish on Sunday.
12. Take photos! It’s great to look back on especially when the kids are older as you are making memories moving into your new home.
13. Leave a box or two open on the last day because we always seem to find things at the back of cupboards, in the laundry, in the garage that need to be packed so having a spare box or two that last minute things can be chucked into is great and means you aren’t lugging bits and pieces in your own car to the new house.
And that’s it from me………..love to hear your top tips for moving with kids and what has worked with you