Look at any list of stressful life events and house move will be nestled right up there among divorce and death, and that is without even factoring in toddlers. That cranks it up to a whole new level of stress. We’re talking stress-o-meter level of eleven.
Unfortunately, that isn’t the end of the bad news either because, moving house used to be that thing we did once, maybe twice, in our lives. Not anymore. With it harder than ever to get on the ladder, moving house is becoming way more frequent and that means, well, you know what that means.
So to help you out with all future moves you have to endure with your little ones, we have compiled a list of super useful advice to turn that stress-o-meter back down to a two or a three. That’s like when a fly buzzes around your kitchen, which is manageable.
- Only hire local moving services that will pack your possessions as well as move them. Yes, it is going to cost you a little bit more but you can’t put a price on how much stress this is going to take out of the equation. There will be no trying to dismantle sofas as your toddler insists on bouncing on them or anything like that.
- Talk to your toddler about the move and make it interesting for them. You can even go one step further by reading them a story about what it is like to move from an apartment to a house, like Shirley Hughes’ Moving Molly. Anything to get them excited will reduce the stress you feel.
- The first room you should focus on when you arrive at your new place is theirs. Forget everything else and just make their room as magical and beautiful and as much like their old room as possible. It could even be worth packing the things from their room into your car so you aren’t waiting at the other end.
- You cannot go wrong with a moving day present. This is going to be a big deal to them, and a little disconcerting and a massive overhaul, and your stress won’t be helping. So to reduce everyone’s anxiousness, wrap a little something and leave it in their new room for them to discover.
- Make it as fun as possible from the start to the finish. This will help you forget about the stresses and help you see the fun side too. It could be that you make up a packing away song. Let them pack a box. Have a mission to make this a fresh green clean start. Be silly and dance around as you go. Spend your first night in the new place camping out in the living room and have a massive game of hide and seek the next morning. The more fun you have the less stressful the move (and life) will be.
- Make sure you have thought about food and snacks and drinks. No one is happy when they are hungry and no one is smiling when they are thirsty, especially not children. So make sure you don’t pack all of your food and drink, and make sure you have thought about the car journey, and make sure you have their favourite dinner and dessert on hand for your first night. Full tummies mean happy toddlers, which mean stress-free parents.