8 Sanity Saving(ish) Tips for Moving with Kids

If there is one thing in this world I feel like I can competently give advice about, it's moving. I've lived in Los Angeles my entire adult life (coming up on 18 years this summer) and in those 18 years have moved 11 times. 4 of those 11 times I had kid(s) with me and 2 of the last 4 moves, I had FOUR kids with me, along with a husband who is AMAZING at helping in certain areas (Hal does all the grocery shopping in our house, for example) but NOT SO GREAT at moving.

ED: Hal didn't pack A SINGLE BOX. He also didn't unpack a SINGLE BOX. Literally. Not one. Not even half of one box.

Anyway, I just want to make it crystal clear that in one weekend, I unpacked 140 boxes all on my own and put everything away while also wrangling kids, which is PRETTTTTTTY damn superheroic if I do say so myself and yes, I am saying so myself. I AM SAYING SO MYSELF.

Of course, it has taken me years of trial and error to nail down the formula for moving (somewhat) seamlessly from one house to another and while I don't think I will ever master the EMOTIONAL ability to PACK and GO (I spent the two weeks leading up to our move sobbing uncontrollably which is probably what caused my "stress stye" which I had for two weeks as I was packing up the house, so FYI, this shit is HARD AF. Even when it looks, from the outside, to be easy.

That said, I am quite certain I have some unsolicited advice to offer when it comes to moving with children. And some, if not all of it, is worth sharing -- so here goes:

If you want to unpack quickly, you have to commit to spending A LOT OF TIME packing. Perhaps this isn't rocket science, but I'll tell you what, more people have been like, "JUST THROW STUFF IN A BOX AND GO" to me so I'm just going to come right out and disagree wholeheartedly with that statement because, "THAT IS A TERRIBLE IDEA, ACTUALLY!"

Here's the thing: The whole point of packing is to make UNPACKING as seamless as possible. The more junk you bring with you to your next home, the more junk you will have to unpack and sort through. The ONLY silver lining to moving is the inevitable PURGE that you wouldn't otherwise spend the time and energy doing. (I got rid of close to 100 trash bags of unnecessary stuff -- most of which was kids' stuff they no longer needed... cribs/strollers/old toys/clothes... and I wouldn't have been so meticulous about going through everything had we NOT been moving.)
My advice: Commit to packing/sorting ONE ROOM A DAY before you move and go through EVERYTHING... sorting KEEP/TOSS/DONATE in neat little piles. (Give yourself TWO DAYS for the kitchen. The kitchen seems to become a catch-all of strange objects in drawers... it does for me, anyway.)

ED: We used to live on a VERY busy street, so we were able to get rid of  A LOT of our stuff by putting it on our front lawn. (We did this with furniture, old kids' stuff, etc.) We also were able to give lots of stuff away to friends and friends of friends who needed stuff so HOORAY for that. 


Every time we move I make THE SAME MISTAKE of ASKING my kids if the ENORMOUS box of build-your-own-laser-labratory-set is something they would like to bring them to the new house. And EVERY TIME they decide that the GIANT build-your-own-laser-labratory-set is ACTUALLY THE ONLY THING THEY CARE ABOUT IN THE ENTIRE WORLD even though they have, in five years, never touched the thing.

In short, almost EVERY SINGLE thing I put in the "donate" pile ended up back in my kids' bedrooms. Even the clothes they had LONG outgrown, so do yourself a favor and do the sorting when kids are either sleeping, at school, at friends' houses, all of the above...

You can read the rest of my post, here, on Mom.me. Godspeed, parents on the move! Godspeed.