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MAIN Arrow to Moving Moving

Moving with Kids 101
Tips and advice on packing, organizing, and staying sane ....


kids helping their parents move boxesOne of the most stressful times in life is relocating.

Being a single parent only intensifies the stress. Starting over means leaving behind what is familiar. It might seem like there will never be a time when things will go back to normal.

There are so many variables to work through, especially when moving with kids or small children in tow. But with a plan in hand, help from friends, and some 'been there' tips and advice, you can pull off a move with minimal headaches:

Research your new neighborhood

It's important to find out as much as you can about the new digs, area schools and the neighborhood in general. Your kids are going to count on you to know where everything is. Keep them in mind when doing your research.

Find the places that they will be able to plug into and network with other children that share their interests. This might seem tedious, but the benefit is that you get to guide your children to new friends and to places you know will be safe.

Collect boxes

Put the word out that you need moving BOXES. Storage companies sell boxes, but only go there as a last resort. Besides, why pay for something that you can get from somewhere else for free?

Instead, call neighborhood stores and find out their schedule for truck delivery days when boxes are plentiful. If you call ahead, most stores will put them on the side for you to pick up later. Don't forget to collect some smaller boxes for packing up stray books, dvds, computer games, or the junk draw collection.

Start early

Moving day can seem far away but, like the objects in the side view mirror, it is closer than it appears. Getting a head start on packing will help ease the stress of having too much to do in too little time.

Closets are a good place to start. Usually the closets are already stuffed with things in boxes. This is the time to go through them so you don't move things you don't necessarily need or want. Box up extra clothes, toys, photos, games, dishes, or soaps and detergents, with the exception of a bare minimum that can be packed later.

Decide what to move

Meanwhile, you may find that each packed job leads to even more unpacked "stuff" lying around. Use this opportunity to start fresh and don't bring anything unnecessary into your new environment. This is also a valuable lesson for the kids. A good rule of thumb? If you haven't used it or worn it in 6 months, toss it or donate it.

Some things have sentimental value and should be kept. However, remember that the memory is not in the object but in your heart. If you can't attach a memory to an item, then let it go. Let someone else make new memories with what you don't keep. Like they say, "Someone's trash is someone else's treasure."

Keep kids busy

A simple moving job helps get kids
involved, and keeps them busy...

Kids will be kids.

So, while you are busy packing up and sorting through belongings that seem to multiply by the minute, what are the kids doing? They are probably feeling pretty lost, or bored because there is nothing to play with and they don't know where anything is. Everything that is their world is being put into either boxes or trash bags!

Giving children responsibility for some part of the moving job will help them feel a little more centered and not so topsy-turvy. Older kids can handle bigger jobs, like packing and labeling boxes, while little hands are great for holding the box flaps down while you tape them closed. Getting the kids involved and packing together gives all of you a chance to reminisce about what you are leaving, and to share dreams of where you are going.

To hire or not to hire a moving company

If you want to find out who your friends are, ask them to help you move into your new place!
Throw a pizza party, or provide them with fast food and drinks on moving day to help sweeten the deal.

If you have a lot of heavy furniture or boxes to move, or are moving into an apartment with a lot of stairs, hiring a moving company is worth the expense.

If the move is long distance, then by all means hire a moving company. Call ahead and get price quotes before deciding which one is right for you. You'll may find some companies charging outrageous fees for the simplest services, while others give you much fairer price quotes. Some may even offer to come and pack for you! Again, planning ahead not only minimizes moving stress, but pays off big where it counts the most - your budget.

Change is good

Why do people advise that change is good? How can you hold close to what is by definition not staying still? Stepping into the unknown may be a bit scary, but remember that this is a chance at a new life for you and your family. Uprooting them may take a big of adjustment, but once everyone is happily settled into their new home it will be easier to see things in a more positive light.

About the author : Katrina Cramer-Diaz is a mother of four with a background in education and child development.

also see -> Moving & Relocating - Finding Help Online

3 Important Moving Insurance Tips | Tips on Moving with Pets

More about moving with kids around the Web:

Moving Tips : Moving with Kids

How to Make Moving Easier for Teens

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