Packing up for a move is difficult in and of itself. But when you add small children to the mix, this step can become ten times harder than it already is. There are tons of things to pack, and you still have to take care of your child’s needs. How do you manage it all without losing your sanity?
For parents that are going to have to manage child care and packing up the house, here are some essential tips to make this step a little easier before the moving service company comes:
Whether you have children in the house or not, one of the best ways to make moving easier is to start packing early. Start at least six weeks in advance or earlier if you have a lot of stuff to pack. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’ll be able to pack in a jiffy. Sometimes, we don’t realize just how much stuff we have until it’s time to pack them all in boxes. And with a child under eight around, packing is going to be a longer process.
Keep Dangerous Materials Out of Reach
Box cutters, duct tape, stacks of boxes, fragile items can potentially injure your child if you leave them unattended. That said, always be mindful of the stuff you leave around while packing. If you have to take a break, make sure that the dangerous stuff is out of your child’s reach.
Look into Child Care Services
Sometimes, you won’t be able to pack with your child around, especially if you’re packing items that need your utmost attention. To ensure that your child is safe and their needs are met, ask a family member or friend to take care of them while you’re busy packing. If this is not an option, hire a babysitter or take your child to a daycare.
Orient Your Child
If your child is old enough to understand, tell them what to do and not to do while you’re packing your house for the move. Ask them to stay away from the area you’re packing until you’re done. If they can, instruct them to organize their stuff into boxes so you’ll have an easier time packing them up when you get to their belongings. Aside from making the packing process easier, having your little one do their own packing can give them something to do and promote positive feelings about the move.
Save The Essentials for Last
Pack your child’s essentials last, including their toiletries, frequently worn clothes, favorite toys, books, and anything else that they might need in the weeks before the move. The last thing you want is to have to open packed boxes when your child looks for a toy or their favorite overalls.
Pack During the Night
For parents with young kids, the best time to pack is after your child has gone to bed. In this way, you won’t have to worry about making lunch or keeping them entertained while you’re busy packing. Moreover, packing while the kids are asleep makes the process less stressful since there aren’t any little ones asking a million questions or trying to take stuff out of boxes.
Another great thing about packing after the kids’ bedtime is that you can toss toys, books, clothes, and other stuff that they no longer use. If they haven’t used it in months or years, they probably won’t remember it. Thus, you can safely reduce the items that you need to pack without worrying about your child rounding the corner and finding you about to toss their old doll.
Set Up Baby Gates
Toddlers are very curious creatures, and if they want to check something out, they will find a way to do it. If you are packing in one room and can’t afford to have them hanging around, set up a baby gate in the entryway to bar access. It’s easy to get distracted when you’re busy packing, and this strategy can help avoid any untoward accidents while you have your back turned.
This may seem like a weird tip, but trust us, it’s going to save you a lot of time and energy. Prepare the family’s meals in advance so that you can spend more time packing instead of cooking. Moreover, this ensures that your kids have something to eat even while you’re busy loading up boxes.
Packing with small children in the house doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Use these tips to make packing, and moving easier for the entire family.