Moving with Toddlers
We recently listed and sold our home within 48 hours. That means we have 30 days to sort through 5 years of crap with two sidekicks wanting to help.

Do you know what you accumulate over 5 years? Junk. Oh, and enough toys to fill the entire city of Austin (thank you grandparents). It is ridiculous the amount of “stuff” we have held onto over the years.

So, I went into my oldest daughter’s room today with a plan to make trash and donate piles. She was at school and wouldn’t cry over a stuffed animal that she hasn’t played in three years. I was ready.

Then, I walked in her room and the memories started coming back. It was the room that my husband and I spent hours making “perfect” before bringing her home from the hospital. It was the room where we read books, laughed, and bonded. It eventually became her big girl room when we welcomed her baby sister. I forgot about all of the things I wanted to get rid of and was fighting back the tears. Eventually I pulled it together and finished my original task.

When my oldest got home from school, we sat in that same room and talked about moving and her new room. Her eyes lit up and said, “I want a purple room!” I pretty much promised her the room of her dreams at that point. I’m not sure if that is a mom win or a mom fail, but I’m going with it.

It was in that moment that I realized that it is just a room. The memories aren’t going anywhere. Since then, we continue to have conversations with our girls about moving and even allow them to help. My OCD may twitch when my youngest unpacks the items I just threw into a box, but no one said moving was blissful. Moving can be stressful on everyone, especially the little ones. They don’t comprehend the entire moving concept and it turns their world upside down temporarily. Over the next few days, we established a system that seemed to work for our little family.

Here are my 6 tips for moving with toddlers:

1. Ask for help:

I am the worst about asking for help. I don’t want to inconvenience anyone else. Surely they have better things to do then come over and entertain my kids while I pack. However, family and friends DO want to help. Let a friend or family member take your kids to dinner for a couple of hours so you get that uninterrupted time to be proactive.

2. Color code:

Colored tape is life changing. A friend suggested I purchase different colored tape to organize each room by color. I made a “master key” so everyone knows that blue means living room and so on. This little trick also saves on time.

3. Give your kids a job:

We call our youngest “tornado” for a reason. I needed to keep her far away from the fragile items. So, I gave her a box with some crayons and colored tape. Don’t worry, it was tiny pieces of tape and zero chance of her getting hurt. My oldest got jealous, so I gave her the same items. They both loved “helping” mommy and feeling independent at the same time.

4. Make it an adventure:

For us, we are moving from Austin. We have used this time to be tourists in our own city. We tell our girls when it’s an “adventure” day and they get so excited. This gives us a mental break and allows us to shift our focus on something less stressful. Boxes make awesome tunnels and forts, too!

5. Keep the must haves:

Minimizing has been a blessing in disguise. We are selling and donating a majority of our things and starting fresh at our new home. If you have the option to do this then I highly recommend it.

6. Kids are resilient:

This was a great lesson for me. While my oldest might not fully grasp the meaning of “moving,” it has created great conversations for us. She reminds me daily that she likes our house and doesn’t want to move. Then, the next day she is all giddy about a new purple lamp at Home Goods. I know she will miss her school, friends, and first home. I would be lying if I said that didn’t tug at my heart on a daily basis, however; we will find things that make our girls just as happy in our new city. The boxes can stay packed a bit longer to find our new favorite park and meet new friends.

I know there are hundreds of tips out there, but these have truly helped me on a daily basis. This is our first big move with kids and I am doing my best to make it as seamless as possible.

What tips can you add to the list?


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