Back in the days pre-children, my husband and I used to be able to pack up our entire place in a matter of days, rent a U-Haul, call some friends, order some pizza and call it a day. But moving with an infant and a toddler is a whole. different. ballgame. One that requires loads of advanced preparation and tons of patience.
1) The second you think you might be moving – start packing. Even if you know it won’t be for a few months, trust me, you’ll need all the time you can get. With two little ones in the house, you can’t even start packing until both are asleep in bed (I tried while they were awake, and the toddler just took out everything I packed). And if you have an infant like mine that wasn’t so into sleeping long periods yet, that leaves you with basically NO TIME to pack anything, ever. So the longer head start you have, the better. Think of it as a month-long process.
Start with all the things you never use on a daily basis, like those margarita glasses from your wedding registry, or the fine china you bust out twice a year, and move on from there, saving all the kids’ stuff for last.
2) Hire movers. Gone are the DIY moving days. With an infant and toddler, basically one of you will be out of commission the entire moving day unless you have family nearby. And who knew kids added so much more stuff to your place? This is one expense that was well worth it for us. Some movers will even reassemble all your furniture for you at the new place. Note to self: do that next time.
3) Make lists, lists and more lists. Mommy brain is real, and moving is a huge task. Make lists of the priority of packing, a schedule for moving day and lists of all the things you’ll need to make sure you keep with on moving day so you know where they are when you get to your new place (i.e. baby essentials, loveys, crib sheets, etc.).
4) Labels galore. We ran into an unhappy situation where we were disassembling the crib in a hurry, tossed all the screws into a plastic bag and lost said plastic bag for a few days among all the boxes. That meant the first night in our new place, instead of the smooth transition I had envisioned, where we kept a bedtime routine consistent for the kids, it turned into a major night of winging it, as well as an automatic transition to a big-girl bed for our oldest who had still been in a crib until then and didn’t like sleeping in a bed with us. Luckily, after a few hairy nights, it all worked out, but boy, was I sweating it.
5) Take a deep breath. Yes, you’ll run into unexpected complications and dilemmas, but yes, this too shall pass. And when the endless unpacking is finally over (we are still “unpacking” over a month later), you’ll look back and laugh at how crazy you were to undertake such a huge endeavor.
Any other tips for moving with little ones under foot?