This post brought to you by CORT. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Today’s Frugal Mom™.
Moving can be a stressful time for any family. As a military family, we have literally moved all over the world. Over the past thirteen years we’ve had to plan more moves than I care to think about. As a matter of fact, we are in the midst of planning yet another move (our eleventh move in thirteen years, to be exact) at the end of the summer. Although I love exploring new places, I have to admit that moving was a little rough on us in the beginning when all the children were small.
As a result of all the moving over the years, I’ve come up with some helpful tips for moving with kids. I hope that these tips will give hope to the mom who is moving and wants it to go as smoothly as possible. It can be done!
Helpful Tips for Moving with Kids
Make age-appropriate moving kits for each child.
Because moving is a tedious process, we had to come up with a way to occupy our children to make things smooth for everyone. During one of our moves, my husband and I came up with “moving kits” that we make for each child in anticipation of the move ahead.
What are moving kits? These are basically just kits that contain fun activities for each child. Most of the time we include their favorite books, Legos, drawing pads, crayons, small handheld devices, travel-size games, etc. We grab a plastic container from our stockpile (yes, we have lots from all the moves) and fill it up with things that are of interest to each child. We also use these for long road trips. Here is an example of one we did recently.
Plan ahead for easy meals and snacks.
Planning ahead with meal time is a must when moving with children. We always have a stockpile of fruit and other grab-and-go foods during our moves. We also have a stockpile of water so no one goes thirsty. About a week before our move, we cook some meals and freeze them in anticipation of the night(s) we will be without our things. These meals also come in handy as the military packers and movers are working to get our home ready for shipment. We typically plan to budget a certain amount of money for take-out/delivery food in addition to our freezer meals in case things do not go as planned – because they never do. As long as you have a plan in place for mealtime, you are already winning half of the battle. Let’s be real – children who have full bellies are much more fun to be around than those who do not.
Task them out so they feel like they are a part of the process.
I’ve found that by including our children with age-appropriate tasks, it helps ease some of the anxiety that moving to a new place can bring. It also gives them a small idea of the hard work that goes into the move, which can lead to better behavior when they are tempted to become impatient (not always, though…hehe). And let’s be honest, it makes them feel good to be included; it also increases their self-confidence within the family unit and in their own abilities.
Our own children have downright surprised us, as well as themselves, with the awesome ways they’ve been able to help the family during our moves. The look on their faces when they do things they didn’t know they could is absolutely priceless!
Always plan for the unexpected.
I know this sounds cliche, but it’s true. Nothing ever goes as planned before, during, or after a move. From delayed flights to deleted orders, we’ve had everything that can go wrong – go wrong during our moves. Plan for flexibility and extra patience so that when things come up, you don’t fall apart. For instance, on our move back to the United States from Germany, we had to wait nearly eight additional weeks for our household items to arrive. And with three children, eating, sitting, and sleeping on the floor is not fun. But we weren’t going to buy new furniture, that’s for sure.
It wasn’t until recently that we learned about CORT Furniture Rental. What a brilliant concept for military families! When you are in transition like we are, having the convenience and flexibility to rent furniture definitely makes life much easier – especially life with children. I wish we would have known about this fantastic service when coming home from Europe. Now that we know, we plan to use their service to rent furniture. We will also be looking into their event rental service as well!
If I’ve learned anything while moving with children, it is that you have to plan ahead and be flexible. The process of moving doesn’t have to be a bad one; it can actually be quite fun if you are ready. As I begin to prepare for our eleventh move, I am going to be reading and re-reading my own words so I can be sure to take my own advice!