Tips on Moving House with Children
Hello! My name is Jess and I’m so happy to be over here contributing to Sarah-Jayne’s blog. I have two children, Cherry (5) and Tiger (3), and just under a month ago we moved house. To say it was stressful would be an understatement!!
I’m generally a pretty relaxed person and chose not to believe anything I heard about moving house being one of the most stressful things you can do but a couple of days before moving the stress hit me like a ton of bricks and I turned into an absolute monster. In fact my fiancé (Mr C) actually told me I would be moving on my own if I didn’t snap out of it, I took it as a joke but I’m not so sure it was 😉
The problem is that I am one of the most unorganised people in the world and moving house takes A LOT of organisation. We are settled in now though and out the other side of what felt like a massive whirlwind of disorder and chaos so I thought I would share a few tips with you on how to make sure things run as smoothly as possible.
Start sorting out your things as early as possible. I absolutely love having clear outs, I’m basically the opposite of a hoarder but we still had so much stuff to get rid of after going up into the loft and pulling everything out of wardrobes. I took a good few car loads to our local charity shop and recycling centre and it meant when it came to packing we didn’t have to worry about taking things we no longer needed.
Decide whether to hire professional movers or not. We hired a big van and did the move ourselves, well with the help of Mr C’s brother, as we thought it would keep costs down but in actual fact it didn’t. There were added costs when hiring the van and although they told us it was the biggest van they had, it wasn’t very big at all so we needed to do two trips. We’ve since found out that for around the same cost you can hire professional movers, albeit budget ones that don’t do your actual packing for you, but it would have made life so much easier.
Collect boxes from supermarkets, or anywhere else you can think of. Moving boxes are really expensive, I found a local storage unit selling them and it cost £30 for not many at all. He actually threw a load in for free but had he not then I would have felt ripped off and it wouldn’t have been nearly enough for us, and we don’t have that much stuff. Ask around too to see if anyone has any. I think the premium moving companies provide them but the budget ones just come and collect everything for you.
Write lists. This one is obvious to a lot of people but as I mentioned above I am really unorganised and not much of a list writer, there really is nothing better than ticking everything off it though.
Do as much as possible beforehand. You can phone your internet and bill companies in advance to tell them you are moving, this means you have your internet sorted to come back on ASAP. An essential when you rely on it for work!
Prepare for the address change nightmare! I knew about the obvious ones like DSLA, tax credits and bill companies but it was only after sorting through my paperwork folders did I realise how many people I needed to tell. The kid’s premium bonds required letters, banks need you to go in and sign something and then there are the phone calls where you will be put on hold for ages.
Be prepared for your children to behave ‘out of sorts’ for a while. For a week after moving things were really hard, mainly due to the kids not being themselves. They were crying and moaning all day, not listening to anything I said and I honestly felt I wanted to cry myself. We had the most awful weekend when Mr C was home and all of us were in the worst mood when it suddenly hit me that not only had they been through a huge change but we hadn’t been giving them any proper attention as we had been so busy with doing jobs. Plus we had been mirroring each other’s bad moods back to one another so after speaking to Mr C we decided to change our approach and forget everything else to give them lots of affection and attention and within an hour things had completely turned around. They returned to normal and our household became harmonious again.
Be patient. For the reason I mentioned above things can’t happen as quickly as you might like, or as they would if you didn’t have children. They are of course the main priority and if things take a little longer to get organised then that is just how it has to be. I think this is one of the hardest things for me, there are so many jobs around the house that I want doing before I can properly relax but I have had to just accept that we will get there eventually.
Let go of healthy eating habits for a little while. We went out for a meal the night before moving, had fish and chips the night we moved in and then spent about a week just eating freezer food as our kitchen was in such a state. I usually eat really healthily but there was no point getting stressed about it as I knew things would get back to normal.
Find your local park and look into groups for the children. We have only moved about an hour from where we were living previously and I am still taking the kids to a lot of the groups they were doing before but I also found one down here so we have now made some friends who live near us. I also took them on a walk to our local park within a few days of moving, I find that taking them out somewhere fun in the morning means I can do things in the house all afternoon without them getting bored.
And finally, relax and take a break! Explore your new area and have fun, we have moved down to the coast so we’ve been having lots of trips to the beach but wherever you are just go out and find new places to enjoy. The jobs around the house won’t be going anywhere!