Relocating Across the Country with Kids

Posted on Aug 6 2015 - 1:12pm by Aubrey

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It’s been a little more than a month since I last posted on the blog…and for good reason, well, I have a good excuse anyway…we moved across the country! Moving is stressful and tedious and well, annoying…and doing it with kids pretty much amplifies the challenges. In my case, we went from Virginia to California and for the most part I did all the prep, packing and “coordinating.” And then since we’ve made it to our destination, it’s another process to settle in.

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At any rate, I’ve come up with a few tips that I found helpful and certainly made the difference when trying to “do it all,” surrounded (in my case), by a pair of overly energetic toddlers.

Start Early – I can’t stress this enough >> DON’T PROCRASTINATE!!! If you have a set date (or even if you don’t), think about what you want to take with you and what you may be trying to sell. Begin the process of cleaning out closets, drawers and stuff and then start putting the items you want to keep but don’t need on hand, away. I had a few months jump start and that took me right to the finish line.

Collect Boxes – There are plenty of places you can get packing boxes for free. Keep an eye out for people giving away boxes or recycling them, etc… *Diaper and wipe boxes are pretty sturdy and perfect for repurposing.* When you have the boxes, you will start using the boxes, it helps with the process. Do the same with packing materials like bubble wrap and other box fillers you may need for fragile items. And, don’t forget to label them and be kinda specific, because while you may think you can remember what you put in each one, it all becomes a blur when the actual move happens!

Towels and Blankets – When you are cleaning out, hang onto towels and blankets that you’re thinking of discarding, they work great for box fillers and padding. I’ve also used towels and wash clothes to help wrap up glass and breakable items. As for the towels and blankets you want to keep, they work just as well and can serve the same purpose, you don’t need to give them their own box.

Break up the Day – I was rolling solo for a big chunk of the moving prep, since Daddy was already working on the left coast. So, I would take the kids to play early, feed them lunch and then if it went to plan, put them down for a nap. That gave me a couple solid hours to pack in silence! In the evenings, I would also try to knock out a box or two and let them help. Kids love boxes and tape…and they can be helpful, you just have to keep an eye on them.

SELL, SELL, SELL – It’s tough for me to part with my stuff, but knowing we were going clear across America, I knew it was imperative that I lightened the load. I sold every piece of furniture as well as other household goods, clothing items and even toys! I did post on craigslist and I even made use of online virtual sales that were localized on Facebook. For everything else, we donated.

Think Ahead – Other than the obvious planning for the literal move, you should also think ahead to where you are moving and research neighborhoods, activities, schools, daycare, etc… This will help you and the kids be a little more at ease about the new surroundings and what to expect. I had signed mine up for soccer classes that began the week we moved, so right away they could assimilate and make new friends.

Relax – As I said up top, moving is a stressful thing, but if you mentally prepare and take steps to ease the act, it won’t be so overwhelming. Don’t get too caught up attempting to live up to supermom status, and neglect to take time to relax or pat yourself on the back. Ask for help, look forward to changes and know that in the end, it will all eventually get done.

Have you moved, 5 minutes, 5 hours or maybe even 5 thousand miles away with kids?!?! I’ve love to hear what tips you could add and/or how you made it happen!