Catherine Cloutier | L’Emmèredeuse
I’m sharing my moving tips because we know that moving is never easy, but when you have kids, it can become a real ordeal, and official moving season is nearly upon us. We’re a family that does things our own way, so we moved in April.
With two kids, I can say it was no easy task. I thought I might share some small tips to make your move a success.
Before the move
It’s only a move. You’ll get there. Everyone will survive. Ask for help and take things one at a time. Think of why you’re moving and the good things your new home will offer you.
Focus on the positive.
Give yourself time to settle in and don’t pressure yourself too much. The boxes will get unpacked when they’re unpacked, that’s all there is to it.
2. Reassure the kids
If moving is stressful for you—packing everything up, leaving nothing behind, getting used to a new neighbourhood—imagine what it’s like for the little ones! They’re feeling the same stress as the grown-ups, and have fears they may not be able to put into words.
It’s important to get them involved in the process, to take them to visit their new home, to pick out their bedroom, decide how to decorate it, etc. (This is also how I came to paint my son’s room forest green!)
It’s critical to present the move to them as a positive event and to answer all their questions (even if they ask the same one 15 times a day).
3. Pack the boxes
We tend to use this step to sort things, throw them out, or give them away. But when it’s your children’s stuff, you have to resist the temptation to do everything without them to save time. It’s first and foremost a matter of respect, but it will also help to decrease their anxiety considerably.
I asked my older son to draw on the boxes what he wanted inside them, telling him that it would be a big help to me. It became his move too; it was a family job.
I also want to give props to the pro tip that Carolane Stratis gave me: Use sheets of paper towel to pack dishes. This gets the dishes to the new house in clean condition (as opposed to if they’d been packed in newspaper).
When you unpack the boxes, you can put all the paper towels in a bag and reuse them, just like that!
During the move
4. Moving day
I was really not sure if I would keep the kids with me so they could see that all of our things, big and small, would be coming with us, or if I would have someone else watch them. My biggest worry was knowing that they would clearly run around everywhere and end up in the wrong place at the wrong time. So I decided to split the difference.
They were there at the very start; they saw the moving truck come and the first boxes get shipped. Then, they left with grandma and came back at the end of the day.
Another pro tip: Order your pizza in advance. Ask them to deliver at your preferred time. That way, you won’t have to worry about forgetting to feed your little helpers.
After the move
5. Putting things away
Start by unpacking the boxes in the kids’ rooms. They need to feel safe in their little cocoon, and it will help calm their anxiety to sleep in a tidy room. It’s comforting and reassuring to them to see that all of their treasures followed them to the new home.
This will get you through the first few post-move nights.
I hope my tips will be of service and I wish you all an amazing move and a new home full of joy!