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My Five Survival Tips for Moving with Kids

Moving. The word alone conjures up terrifying images of endless boxes, ridiculously late nights, and way too much takeout. But once you add kids to the mix, it’s that much harder! We just finished moving from one city to another, downsizing by a third while we were at it. Moving will never be fun, but I’ve collected some tips and resources that will help save some of your sanity. Hopefully.


Most important: Purge BEFORE you move.

This might sound obvious, but my husband was convinced it would be easier to pack everything up and purge as we unpacked. No way! Especially if you’re hiring someone to pack or move your belongings, do you really want to pay to move extra junk? Don’t even introduce that clutter into your new home. Start as far in advance as possible and purge whatever it is you don’t need. Pay close attention to the toys! My favorite de-cluttering resource for moms is Allie Casazza’s website and her podcast, The Purpose Show

Keep it positive for the kids!

My kids are little and have not yet started school. But no matter what age your kiddos are, remember to include them! Talk up the new house (or city/state, depending on how far you’re headed) and involve them in selecting new items or packing for the move. Reading books on moving helped my toddler better understand what was happening. My favorites include The Berenstain Bears’ Moving DayHenry & Mudge & Annie’s Good Move, and Alexander, Who’s Not (Do You Hear Me? I Mean It!) Going to MoveWhatever your circumstances happen to be, try to spin them in a positive way to keep your kids excited for the move. 

Pack a Basics Bag

Before you move, remember to pack a bag for each member of your family with basics that will last at least a week. Plenty of clothes, toiletries, disposable diapers, favorite blankets and stuffed animals, snacks … you get the idea. Even if everything else is lost in that massive pile of boxes, you’ll have the necessities available to get through the first few days without losing your mind. This also helps your children by providing some familiar items in the midst of all the change. Familiarity and consistency make all the difference.

Ask For & Accept Help (Just Do It!)

This was the hardest advice for me to follow. It’s always been hard for me to ask for help, but when you’re facing something as life-changing as moving, you’ve got to let go of your fear or reservations and ask for assistance. I promise, your friends are more than happy to help, but they won’t know you need it unless you ask! Reaching out to a few of my best friends made all the difference in our move. Whether they help you pack, or just watch your kids for a few hours, their help is invaluable. The same goes for professional help: packers, movers, cleaners … If you’re able to swing it financially, they can make your life so much easier. 

Set Up the Kids’ Rooms First

Once you’ve made the move and are facing the daunting task of unpacking, attempt to set up your kids’ rooms before anything else. We set up the basics before we even finished moving all the boxes in. Having their bed (with familiar linens) and their own toys in a quiet room will help them find calm in an otherwise chaotic and unfamiliar new place. By giving them their own space and sticking as closely to their normal routine as possible, I promise things will go a bit more smoothly. 

Good luck, friends! Try to remember: home is not a place. It’s the people you love.

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