Moving house soon? Grab those boxes from Bunnings, stock up on the oven cleaner and prepare to hear, “Mum, are we done yet?” 8 billion times.
Welcome to Mum’s the Word this week, where the name of the game is moving house with kids in tow. And the goal is to make it from one house to the other without losing your mind.
It’s official. I have entered a new dimension of exhaustion, one that I haven’t experienced in several years. No, I didn’t just bring home another baby. I moved house. And it nearly killed me.
No jokes. If you could see what I look like after a week of moving house/vacant cleaning/unpacking, you might assume I’m a zombie straight off The Walking Dead. Only without the fetish for eating people.
In between the scrubbing, the unpacking and the furniture assembling, I’ve had some time to think about what I SHOULD have done. Behold these six things to make your move easier (all of which I chose to ignore).
Don’t be a moving house hero
Turns out, moving house heroes already exist – they are called removalists. And they can do all the heavy lifting for you. I opted to ignore these heroes and do it myself with one ute and two children attached to me. Let’s just say it did not go well.
Unless you actually enjoy cleaning, don’t clean either
If you are pretty bad at cleaning (like I am), then you are also going to be pretty bad at vacant cleaning, which is like normal house cleaning but 17 GAZILLION times harder.
Like house moving heroes, there are special fairies that can come in and make your house sparkle. They are called vacant cleaners.
Of course, because I like to punish myself, I opted against hiring a magical cleaning fairy and did the vacant clean myself. Again, it didn’t go well. And I have developed an irrational fear of bleach.
Take ALL the boxes
“We don’t have much stuff.” Oh, but you do. And you WILL need more boxes than you think. You can return to Bunnings for more boxes five times in one day like I did. Or you can be smart and grab extra boxes the first time around.
Don’t forget you have kids
In between packing, cleaning and assembling furniture, you still have little ones to feed, bathe and entertain without access to the internet or Netflix (thanks a lot, Telstra).
So plan ahead. Have at least three pre-made dinners in the freezer ready to heat up. Pick up some plastic plates and cutlery and make “moving house” bags for the kiddies filled with busy items like colouring books, stickers, play dough, puzzles and other two dollar items you can find at Kmart. Load up the iPad with cool kid apps. We’ve reviewed loads here.
I didn’t do any of these things. But I bet it would have made the whole process easier. Instead, we ate stale bread and the kids played with rubber gloves.
Live out of a suitcase
Pack a suitcase of your clothes, kids’ clothes, toilet paper, special teddies, blankets, night lights – things that you need every day and that you will not be able to find hidden away in boxes.
Again, I chose not to do this. And thus, I’ve been wearing the same shorts for six days and my son has slept with an oven mitt stuffed with paper towel and wrapped in packing tape to replace his bedtime bear that I have yet to find.
I’m winning at parenting this week. Clearly.
Finally, accept the fact that chaos is part of your routine for the next little while
Moving house with kids can take one day (if you do it properly) or several (if, like me, you don’t). But the mess can linger for weeks. I have a hard time accepting chaos and thus I spent many hours this week unpacking boxes when I should have been sleeping.
Avoid the urge to tidy and let your body and mind rest. Put your slippers on (if you can find them), pour a glass of wine, and spend the evening doing a puzzle with the kids. Or making stuffed animals out of oven mitts … that works too.
Good luck to all the parents moving house with kids anytime soon. Yes, it’s exhausting, but hopefully, these tips will keep you from losing your mind (and your ability to parent) throughout the process. Unlike me.
Until next time…
Mum’s the Word with Jenna
Mum-of-two Jenna is unlocking the hilarious, honest and hair-raising truths about life with cheeky cherubs every Friday.
Stay tuned for our Mum’s the Word with Jenna next week where I reveal how I’ve FINALLY figured out how to convince my kids to let me pee in peace.