Moving With Children: 4 Tips To Help You Keep Your Sanity

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I am pleased to have a guest blogger this month!  Sam Radbil with ABODO gives us all some great insights and tips into moving with children.  Be sure and take note of these four great tips and please don’t miss Sam’s great bio information at the end!  So, without further ado, please take it away Sam…

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Moving With Children

Moving is hard enough when you’re young and unattached. All those boxes! All those bulky pieces of furniture to maneuver through doors! All those hard-to-drive trucks!  When you have kids, though, the difficulty level ratchets up exponentially. It’s not just because you have more things to carry — it’s because one (or more) of those things might be a screaming child, his patience running out.

So how do you make a move without pulling ALL of your hair out?

Babysitters for the Day Of… and Maybe Before, Too

This one’s a no-brainer. To work most efficiently and quickly, you need to be focused on the move. That’s hard to do when your little helper takes all his clothes back out of the box and throws them on the floor, or gets into the toilet paper rolls you’ve stacked up in the bathroom. And trying to load a U-Haul with little ones running around? Forget about it. Hire a babysitter for the day, and consider doing so often in the weeks before your move.

Still, Involve Your Child in the Packing

Moving can be confusing or even traumatic for a kid. Think about it: All they’ve ever known is the apartment or house you’re leaving. Involving your child in the moving process will go a long way to helping her understand what’s happening with her home. So in the days before the move, let her help you pack her belongings. It will give an easy framework to discuss the impending shakeup in your living situation, while also accomplishing something concrete.

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Don’t Pack All the Toys…

…or the clothes. There is nothing worse than a child who is inconsolable without his favorite stuffed animal, which happens to be packed at the bottom of a box, which is somewhere in a moving truck. You know your child. Identify which toys are favored and keep them at the ready. Your little one will probably be just as stressed out by the move as you are. Luckily, he can be appeased by a simple bit of felt with attached eyes and ears.

Similarly, you might feel pressure to get all the clothes packed away. Toddler clothes are small, right? Why not fit them into as few boxes as possible? Resist this urge. Instead, pack a suitcase with frequently worn items (and frequently read books) for moving day and the days after. It might take a little while to unpack, after all.

So, something to consider as you are packing, you may need to pack slightly differently than you have in the past when you are moving with children.

Last to Leave, the First to Arrive

As anyone who has ever watched a child hold a detailed conversation with an inanimate object (a toaster, say) knows, children respond very strongly to space. That’s why it’s important to let your kid see the home you’re leaving when everything has been cleared out, and the home you’ll be moving into before everything’s put into place. Show her the room she used to sleep in, after her things are gone, and explain to her that she gets a new room, in a different place. Let her say goodbye to her old spaces, and then let her work with you to move into the new ones. There are limits, of course — you should probably leave the furniture-lifting to the adults. But by orienting your child to spaces old and new, you’ll be allowing her to say goodbye… and also hello.

Moving with children is never easy, but all of these tips can help you keep your sanity in an otherwise stressful situation.

About Sam Radbil and ABODO

Sam Radbil is a contributing member of the marketing and communications team at ABODO, an online apartment marketplace. ABODO Austin apartments was founded in 2013 in Madison, Wisconsin. And in just three years, the company has grown to more than 30 employees, raised over $8M in outside funding and helps more than half a million renters find a new home each month.