Moving house with kids can turn even the calmest person in to one great big ball of stress. How on earth will I get 10 years worth of stuff in to boxes? Will the kids be OK? Will the cat run away? Where has the packing tape gone? Why are we doing this?!
OK, take a deep breath. Lucky for you, The brilliant and helpful Mum’s Grapevine community has come up with 17 top moving tips to ease the transition.
Read them all …
1. Set a 4 week packing schedule and do a little bit each day.
2. Search Gumtree for second hand boxes (which can be half the price of new ones).
3. Get in contact with your local newspaper and ask if they sell the end-of-paper rolls. This is paper they can’t use – great for packing crockery and won’t transfer ink on to items like newspaper does.
4. Use your towels and linens as padding inside your boxes instead of bubble wrap. Kids’ soft toys are also good to fill spaces at the tops of boxes.
5. Label every box (the sides as well – NOT just on top). Once you stack boxes you may not be able to see the tops!
6. As well as numbering or labelling, you could try colour-coding the box labels based on room, to make it quicker for the removalists.
7. Use the Moving Van app on your iPhone or iPad to keep track of box contents. Download it on iTunes here.
8. Look for empty space: fill your freezer with Tupperware, put pillows inside your drier or wash machine.
9. When packing china plates, pack a paper plate between each plate to avoid breakages.
10. Talk with and involve your children as much as you can – moving can be scary and stressful for them. Let them help by packing boxes with soft toys and encourage them to decorate the boxes. Read books such as “Moving Molly” by Shirley Hughes.
11. Pack a couple of boxes full of ‘essentials’ and have them handy for when you first get to the house. Put in toilet paper, a couple of cups, plates, cutlery, tea, coffee, tooth brushes, etc … Everything you need to survive for a day or two.
12. Set up and make the beds in the new house first, so that when you’re exhausted and want to sleep you don’t have to hunt for the pillows and sheets!
13. If you have access to your new house before you leave your old one, try a DIY move for the small stuff. Pack items in to laundry baskets, drive to new house, unpack, drive back and repeat! This approach involves little wrapping or packing and means you don’t have to live with boxes at the other end (but only works if your new home is close by).
14. Take your clothes on hangers and hang them straight in to the wardrobes.
15. Brush up on your Tetris! Utilize as much space as you can when backing boxes and trucks. Less trips = less petrol = less money!
16. If you have young children, ask someone to babysit the children (elsewhere!) on moving day so you can focus and get tasks done quicker.
17. And finally … if it’s all too much, outsource it! Many readers extolled the benefits of paying a moving company to pack, move and unpack for you, saying it was worth to save on stress.
Thanks to the fantastic Mum’s Grapevine Facebook community for their great tips and sage advice.