I know I have been a little quiet around here and on social media lately and its because we are moving and have entered into moving mode. This is nothing new to us, just another adventure! This will be our 3rd family move in the last 3 years, so I am really starting to get the hang of it. This time though, I have a toddler walking and talking which makes it a whole new experience.
This is what I do to help everything so smoothly and I hope it'll help you too!
Step 1: Write out what things are being donated, sold or thrown out - and where its going.
I have to admit, my son has a ridiculous amount of toys. A lot of which he has either grown out of or doesn't use at all. To try to minimize the things we move I will be donating and selling a ton of stuff to lighten the load. I mean who needs 4 different sets of dinnerware? And that box of stuffed animals that have been in the closet since we moved here. Yup they're going.
To make this easier on your toddler, do it when they are not around.
Step 2: Figure out what is used on a daily basis, and pack the rest.
Since we had only have a few short weeks to move it is good to identify what we use everyday so everything else can just be packed up quickly. I normally pack up my travel bag with everything I need so that I don't even have to worry about packing up something on accident when we are in the final stages.
Don't feel bad about living out of a suitcase for a few weeks. You can always wash your clothes if needed and it make things so much less stressful because you don't have to worry about packing the wrong things. My little K also has a TON of clothes, which means I need to pick a few outfits, pj's etc to wear while we pack and just pack up the rest.
With your toddler - keep out only a few of his/her favorite toys. (I tried to pack a box of toys while my little guy was home and it just ended with all of the toys back on the floor, so pack up the toys when they're not there or really preoccupied)
Step 3: Color coordinate the boxes for easy access.
This helps moving into the new place much easier. Different Color Duck Tape is the most effective way, so when you move into your new place you just place the colored boxes in the room that is assigned that color.
Also, if you color code them then if you accidentally do pack something up that you need, you can easily find it.
Step 4: Get your toddler involved!
Grab a small box and have them "pack" too, this move my little guy has loved being able to press the tape down on the boxes as we close them up! Getting them included makes them feel excited and accomplished. If that doesn't work, boxes make great tunnels!
Step 5: Eat down your fridge/freezer/pantry.
I hate wasting money on food. By not eating it and allowing it to go bad. So we will be avoiding going to the grocery store for food except for milk which little man goes through quickly, and small things.
I will be having a lot of homemade shakes over the next few weeks to eat down the frozen fruit and massive bag of carrots we have!
Step 6: Create an activity basket.
I grab one of K's toy baskets, about 1ft x 1ft basket, that I place a few of his favorite toys, the portable DVD player, some movies, crayons, coloring books, books, snacks etc. This doubles as the small toys to occupy your little one while your packing his/her toys up, as well as a car travel basket if you moving via car.
Step 7: Mentally prepare yourself for the meltdown that will come.
Moving with a toddler is a stressful thing on them because they don't really understand whats happening. You can prepare them with books and talking about it, but when they see their things being packed up or ask for a specific toy that is already in a box there may be a fit or meltdown, and that is normal. This is a new thing for them, and an adjustment for everyone, so give them some extra love during this transitional phase.
I don't know about you but I think the hardest thing about moving is getting rid of all of my excess stuff. I always think..well maybe at some point I will use this.. but then we never usually do. Oh the joys of moving!
Your Turn: What are your moving tips?