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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Any advice for moving with kiddos?

Well it seems that we’re moving in 3 days. !!! I think I’m kind of paralyzed and can’t seem to do anything other than stare at the To Do list. Seriously. The movers just called and they had a cancellation for this weekend. We were first on the waiting list, and jumped at the chance to move on a weekend instead of the mid-week spot we had. Alrighty then... I’m guessing we’ll be computerless (and toothbrushless and sanityless) throughout the move and until we dig out from under the rubble, so here are a few cute pics that will have to last for a little while:

Had to laugh when we tried to move the playhouse and realized the roof wouldn’t fit in my dad’s car trailer. Oops. His friend came driving up in a glass truck and said “Shoot, I’ve got some rope, let’s just strap it to the outside.” And it worked. These guys are mavericks, I tell you:IMG_3552LR

We moved the backyard stuff early so we could get it all out of our garage and have someplace for the girls to play (everything has been packed up since we had to stage the house and they’ve been going a little stir crazy). Anyhow, the backyard, playhouse, and pink car have been getting a workout with all the neighbors and school friends coming by to check out the new digs and lend a helping hand:DSC_9526LRDSC_9436LR  DSC_9456LR DSC_9466LRs IMG_3562LR

Yeah, this kid-friendly backyard alone means it’s going to be a great place to live. And the inside will be great too -- in about a month, after the construction, electrical work, and painting are done and we actually get to move our furniture into the right bedrooms. In the meantime, we’ll be sleeping in the bonus room. It’s going to be chaos for at least a month. (Breathing, breathing, breathing...)

Enough rambling and stressing about things that are out of our control. The real point of this post is that TubaDad and I have moved lots of times, but never with kiddos. Does anyone have any good tips or advice to help things go smoothly during the move? The advice we got in comments to pack up all of the kids’ toys except for a few favorite items was invaluable while our house was staged!

Yikes! See you on the other side!


  1. We only had one child the last time we moved, but my parents were invaluable. They were able to take her elsewhere and keep her entertained and out from underfoot while everything was being moved into the house. Pack things you will need immediately in a separate box/suitcase and take that yourself so you can find it. Things like bed linens, clothes for the next couple of days, toilet paper, toiletries, a few towels, etc.

  2. I definitely agree with everything that the previous poster suggested. Also, I let my daughter fill her small suitcase with any items that she couldn't live without. She surprised me with some of the things that she picked. I explained that the only things she would definitely be able to have for a few days would be whatever she chose to put in there. I packed some clothes for her separately in my suitcase, so she could just fill hers with favorite things. This seemed to give her a great deal of comfort during those crazy few days where it feels like you can't find anything. Good luck!

  3. Anonymous10/20/2010

    Set up the beds first thing! My daughters were 1 and 4 when we moved and as the furniture was getting moved my mom and I got the bedding on the beds for the kids. and at the time I didn't realize how valuable it would be but she set up our bed too. It was a long day of moving and we were so relieved to have all of the beds ready to go that night.

  4. do you drink? because i'm thinking a NICE glass of wine at the end of each day might be the best advice! good luck you guys.

  5. Anonymous10/20/2010

    Ahhh! Good luck! Seriously, that awesome back yard and the fun all the kiddos are having will totally make everything worth it in the end.

    Amy Y.

  6. AmyinTexas10/20/2010

    1) OMG, what a gorgeous backyard with a gorgeous view!

    2) I have no advice for how to move with kids b/c our house is *still* on the market!!

    3) Take that back, I did move with little kids several years ago. As the first poster commented, my parents arrived before the moving truck to whisk the kids away for the weekend to allow me to deal with movers and boxes and to start unpacking at new house before the kids descended upon it. That was invaluable help on the big day.

  7. Do you mean on moving day or the transition?

    When we moved we only had Lily. A friend took her for the day. She was a week shy of 3. As with Ro and Ree she was very familiar with the new house as we had remodeled before we moved in so she spent a lot of time there.

    Let them say good bye to the old house, room by room and their garden too. Even the garage and the front door. Let them pack things they "need" immediately in there suitcases so they have something special to them when they get there.

    Just be you, basically you are the most awesome Mama around so they will be fine.

    For you, lots of imitrex, chocolate and wine!

  8. As you are packing up the boxes, write in detail on the box what is inside. We have moved alot and usually the company moves us which includes packing. The reason packers move so fast is they throw everything into boxes and label it "kitchen"/"masterbath"/etc. This last move I packed about 1/3 of the boxes myself and labeled things in detail and it was the easiest unpack ever.
    Also did what Andrea recommended at that was really helpful to my daughter.
    Good Luck!

  9. Send the girls to Wela and Bobbob for a week. Seriously, twin families must all think alike. After our girls came home we moved a few doors down too for the space (to run around like maniacs), playroom (to corral the toys) and view (for meditation and calming thoughts -HAH!).

  10. Anonymous10/20/2010

    I just moved cross country (to San Diego!). We're kidless, but I do have a few suggestions for you.

    Number One would be to have the girls be elsewhere on the day(s) the movers will be there. Things will be chaotic.

    The other thing that comes to mind aside from getting the beds set up right away is more a general moving suggestion: Keep out a batch of cleaning supplies (to clean the old place as you go and the new as you arrive) and basic tools (to take apart and put together things). Oh, and keeping a boxcutter handy too.


  11. Anonymous10/20/2010

    Oh no, no blog from you for a while. How about an i-phone entry to keep us all sane while you move :).

  12. Anonymous10/20/2010

    Let them each choose a few items to move by car - ahead of the movers.

    Place playhouse stuff near the playhouse, and let the girls move the stuff in and organize it as you are doing the same thing in the big house.

    Leave the girls with someone for the actual big moving day.

    Go to the old house, when empty, and say goodbye with a small ceremony, expressing special memories, thanks to the house, hopes/wishes that it will be a place of joy and peace for the new family it will have. (Chocolate will help.)

  13. I'm thinking this just might be a great time for a sleep over with Wela and BobBob? Cannot wait to see the new house!

  14. I've kept more than one friend's child during moving day. Time to call your girlfriends! And the closest wine store.

    We'll be waiting to hear all the exciting news! Best of luck. It's just "stuff"...I'm sure by the holidays the new house will feel like home.

  15. Anonymous10/20/2010

    Sorry no tips but OMG that place looks fabulous and the race track??? Awesome!!!

  16. Anonymous10/20/2010

    We have moved a couple of times with a kid (not two though!) and some things we did... (this is assuming Wela and BobBob are helping with the move so they cant keep the kids) let them do flips and whatever else they want once the rooms are empty! they are NOT going to hurt anything! There is nothing there! maybe get a couple of new toys that they have never played with before, if they like puzzles then get them some of those and they can sprawl out in empty rooms to do this! With our last move our little girl was 4 and we kept a tv/dvd player out of the move (it was a small one) and bought some new movies that she had been wanting to see... It takes one electrical outlet and can be set on the floor, she had a blanket and a pillow in an empty room with her tv! I knew when she was watching I had a good solid hour before her mind started to wander! Also, like everyone else let them say goodbye to the old house. This is something we didnt do and she asked for about 6 months when we were going back to HER house with the stairs! I also agree with setting up beds first thing!

  17. We just moved about five months ago with our 3.5 year old. Taking photos of the old house and making a slide show was really good because the first few weeks she REALLY missed her old house, we heard a lot of "I want to go home now, OK, lets go see our REAL house again" etc. It made me cry a lot in private but now, we are totally settled in and she adores living here!!! We do visit our old neighborhood a few times a month and I think that helps a lot, also the very first thing we did-before anything else-was too set up her bedroom, toys unpacked, curtains hung, bed, clothes, same music, same books...everything was set up. It was so soothing to go play in her room while the rest of the house was in total chaos, I think it helped us all actually.
    Your yard looks sooooo lovely!! Can't wait too see all the photos once your set up.


  18. Anonymous10/20/2010

    we moved when my daughters were 4, 6 and 8. our first priority was their rooms, no matter how difficult that was getting them settled was worth it in the long run. getting them a space of their own let me keep my sanity! have the girls pack a bag like you're going on vacation - enough to last a few days when things are more settled.

  19. Newbie to this blog here :) My parents moved my sister and I around a lot when we were young.

    The things that worked best was having a book-box of toys - art supplies, Barbies and dolls - and our bikes set up in the backyard, along with a snack box each. It kept us out of the way without getting bored.

    A lot of the other things have been said, but one thing that makes everything go smoother is having the beds set up and made as soon as the movers leave, and to make sure the boxes in the girls' rooms are piled to the ceiling; the shadows they made combined with how little my sister was always made her terrified of sleeping in her new room until they were moved around - we used to arrange them in two rows and put a sheet over them to make a cubby house until we got around to unpacking them; made it kind of fun :)

    Good luck with your move - I've done it enough times to know that at the end of it you'll need a king-size box of chocolate and a few glasses of wine ;)

  20. Ha. Well the last time I moved with kids was to the other side of the world with 55lb. of suitcases per person and 36 hours of 'flying time'. This after packing the rest of our stuff into Oma's attic and spending a month living from a suitcase at Grandma's house.
    Based on that episode I'd highly recommend NOT accidentally forgetting your PJ's and your daughter's most favoritest bear in the whole world at said Grandma's house.
    Otherwise, I believe you make a mean mojito. Go with your strengths.

  21. I'll definitely be interested in reading how it goes. We will be moving in about 6 months when our new house is done being built and we can use all the help we can get.

  22. Anonymous10/21/2010

    As a mother of twins, I definitely recommend sending then with Wela for a few days. They get underfoot, you will be stressed enough as it is. When we moved, I actually painted the kids rooms & got their beds up before I did our own. My son hates change & I wanted him to feel stable & at home right away.

  23. I am the mom of four young boys (6,4, and 2 year old twins)and have learned some "moving lessons" the hard way. So glad to share my limited wisdom with you...and desperately wish someone would have told me! {grin}
    I would recommend taking the girls to the "new" house when the actual move begins. Our boys became overwhelmed when strangers began to remove our things from their home - so, I suggest taking your girls to your "new" home. It's much more fun to be on the receiving end of things in this situation. Be sure to locate the toys you packed away for staging first...they'll seem new and exciting. Our boys LOVED playing in their "new" room with their "old" toys...kept the little cuties busy for at least an hour. Best of luck in your move and best wishes for your new home!

  24. No advice but wishing you lots of luck with the move.

  25. I would say, pack them in a big box with lots of bubble wrap, a couple juice boxes, and some good ventilation holes. Then just cross your fingers and wait to meet them at the new place. :-)

  26. why are ya'll movin?

  27. Good luck with the move! I'll be following you closely, since we move in two weeks! I've moved tons of times too, but like you guys, never with kids.

    Our girls are staying with their godparents on moving weekend, so we can do what we need to do and not worry about them underfoot. We should have things in pretty decent shape by the time they come home.

    Can't wait to see the pics of the new house. The back yard is FAB!!


  28. Anonymous10/22/2010

    I've moved a lot as a mama of 4 so here are my top suggestions:

    Empty out one bathroom and put what you don't want moved/packed into it. (change of clothing, snacks, favorite stuffed animal, blankie, and a few small "keep children occupied" toys or crayons/paper. Close door and place "DO NOT MOVE" sign on door.

    Load boxes with bedding last so you can put them right onto the beds and be ready for sleep at the end of move day.

    Label each room with the name of room (ex. LR, DR, MBR, BDR 1) using paper on the doorjam to each room or on the entrance area to each room. Ask movers to label boxes with those desginations. Take labels to new house and place on the new rooms. This cuts down on "where is the MBR, Ma'mm" questions a lot and leaves you more free to deal with other issues.

    Relax...it'll be over in a day! :)


  29. That shoe closet is genious...especially if you have a 2 storey house and its on one. No more trudging upstairs to put shoes away. No more shoes procreating on the bottom 2 or 3 steps. I think I'd store my everyday ones on the top shelves.