Surviving the Big Move!

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Mommy blogger, writer and behavioral specialist, Tina Pratt, survived a big move with her family and is here to share her trials and tribulations, plus helpful tips on how to lessen the bumps in your next big move!

There really isn’t an ideal time to move and moving can be stressful on everyone, including the tiniest humans! Recently, my family boxed up our lives and moved for the fourth time. It was an unexpected move – we actually “stumbled” upon a home 15 minutes from our house that we fell in love with. The big kicker? I work in education. We moved at the end of August. The worst time to move when you work in education is the start of the school year. It was tiring. It was stressful. I am still exhausted, but we did it!  

We tried to minimize the impact of our move on our kids and dog as much as possible. Here are my families tips and tricks for surviving the BIG move and living out of boxes:

  • Label EVERYTHING! – We bought “garage sale” stickers and assigned each room a color. Everything boxed in that room got that color sticker. My kids got to pick their colors first.
  • KeepBoxes Organized – Once things are boxed, place the most important boxes in a central location. I knew we would need alarm clocks, kids bedding and sensory items as soon as we moved in.
  • Get the Kids Involved – Let them help pack up their rooms. This can help them feel like they have some control over the move.
  • Get Creative with Meals – We wanted to move as little food as possible, so we looked in our pantry to see what fun concoctions we could make. The kids enjoyed getting creative and coming up with meal plans.
  • Schedule a playdate … or two – When moving day came, we had a few moms “save the day” and had our kids over their home when the movers came. They got to have fun with their friends while my husband and I could focus on moving.
  • Ask for help -. There is no way our move would have been so smooth without the help of my in-laws. They helped box things up, move things to our new house, AND unpack boxes while my husband and I worked.
  • Have the Kids Help Out – Once moved in, have your kids help you move the labeled boxes to the designated rooms, given there is no glass in the boxes. We labeled our boxes with glass in addition to what room it went to.
  • Take Breaks – Give your kids a break from unpacking and let them meet and play with the neighbor kids.
  • Provide Opportunities – Let  your kids to take ownership of their new spaces. Let them pick out a few new things for their rooms. My son picked out a new nightstand and shower curtain and my daughter picked out a new bedspread and plant. They also enjoyed “mapping out” where their furniture would go.
  • Schedule a week of take-out – Don’t stress about making meals the first week. Order to-go and delivery. My kids thought it was awesome to eat on paper plates on the porch while we waited for our kitchen table to arrive.
  • Reuse Boxes – Don’t stick all of your boxes at the road to recycle. Save some for your kids to decorate and build with.

Finally, when you are all moved in and know where most things are, schedule a fun neighborhood get together to meet your new neighbors. We had an ice cream social! We bought ice cream, bowls and spoons and invited our neighbors to bring toppings. The kids had a lot of fun and we enjoyed meeting some of our new neighbors. Also, keep reminding yourself, “It will all get done!”

Tina Pratt is the mom of two littles. She is a former PreK- 5 special education teacher that now works as a behavior coach. She enjoys being a tourist in her own town and finding ways to embed lessons into everyday fun!

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