Saturday, 5 May 2012
My Top Tips for Moving House With A Toddler
I've written lots before about how difficult I found it to live away from my home town the last year, and as most of you know I've been itching to get back! Well this week finally saw moving day arrive, and despte all the stress of moving house/packing/unpacking etc I am now sitting back in my house, in my hometown and very much in a state of happiness!
We moved down south for my partners job, which offered him a one year contract near Brighton. He couldn't refuse it and I wasn't opposed to a little adventure so he took the job and off we went. No-one could have forseen the problems that occured with his spine and meant we spent much of the time in limbo land, confined to the house and spending more time together than the average pair of breasts-yes, we certainly drove each other to the brink and back! But not one to let it overcome me, we got on with it and had one of those calenders with big black ticks crossing off the days until we could come back in to the open arms of friends and family. Finally here we are!
So in the last three weeks I've seen Baby Daddy admitted to hospital for spinal surgery which went well, although he needed time on intensive care, a gradual decline in his wellbeing resulting in a very scary moment with a crash team and lots of doctors and nurses running around. Luckily he picked up and while he picked up I managed to pack up and clean our entire house and arrange the removal. A week later and here we are-home. It's all worth it, Loreal style!
But I have learnt a few things that I want to share with you all, just for when you move house with a toddler. Because trust me, once again I was caught short, not in the toilet manner, but in the unprepared way! So here are my top tips for moving house when you have a child in tow!
1. Start packing early! I started packing a good few weeks in advance, packing decorations, taking down mirrors and pictures and generally removing items that weren't needed. As lovely as your ornaments are, they are the first things that can be packed and it means there is less that has to be done closer to moving day. I also recommend that you pack half of your kicthen items like glasses, plates, cutlery etc as you won't be throwing dinner parties close to moving and won't need them all!
2. Involve the little ones where possible. When packing softer items, particularly things from their bedrooms then get them in on the act, give them a few bits that they can pack and they will love it. They just want to feel included and if you don't want them whinging and generally distracting you, then this is best for all concerned.
3.Pack their toys almost last! This is dual sided, if you pack the majority of their toys last then you don't have to worry about entertaining them. Although I do recommend packing most books and toys that won't be noticed in absense. The everyday toys though should be left until last as combined with the confusion of watching the house get packed up, noticing a loved toy missing will be distressing for little minds.
4.Stick to the routine you have. Moving house can be one of the most stressful times for a family. It's very important to stick to the routine that your child has as much as possible. The continuation and cohesion will aid the confusion of the unheaval. It's very difficult with nap times etc when beds are disesembled but where possible stick to it and it's important to keep to night time routines etc.
5. When you set up your little one's bedroom in the new house if possible then stick to the same layout of furniture etc. Moving house can be very hard for children and young'uns to understand and it's also scary and un-nerving for them. Having a bedroom that looks as identical as possible will be key in helping thm settle in to their new home.
6. Prepare for unusual behavior. All children react differently to 'stress' and different circumstances but it's a good idea to prepare for night time wakings, early morning risings, changes in temprement etc as such a huge change can have an affect on their behvior in the short term.
7. When you get in to your new house, right from the beginning it's best to let the children have a good look around and this is more important when unpacked and 'finished'. Allowing them to become familiar with the house and the rooms, layout etc will ease the transition from house to house.
8. Make sure that you have counted cupboards etc in the kitchen for safety proofing. This is something that is imperative! My son literally had a field day the first 24 hours removing everything we were putting away in the kitchen. Plan and buy cupboard locks for the kicthen cupboards and drawers, get door stops, and door protectors (stop them slaming shut on little fingers), get toilet locks if accessable and remember plug socket covers and corner buffers. All of these are easy to get hold of and quite cheap too, but very important for a safe home! Stair gates are imperative too, usually a good idea to have them put in the moving van last so they can be first out!
9. I recommend trying to arrange your television is one of the first things out of the moving lorry/van as if you set this up, put Mickey Mouse on etc then at least you known distraction is easy for the kids when you are in the throws of stress!
10. No matter what your views on dietary requirements is, make it a little easier on yourself and make moving day a good day for take-away or mcdonalds dinner! Having to cook on moving day is near impossible so if you plan that day as being Happy Meal day, the kids will love it even more and it's one less thing for you to worry about!
So they may seem like no brainers but you would be suprised how many things slip your mind in the midst of setting up your new home! If you are planning on moving house then I recommend making a note of these pointers! For now though I'm off to enjoy a large vino and breathe a sigh of relief that for us, it's all over. I will not be moving again for a good while!
Love Chloe xx