I guess you could say we were serial movers.
My oldest child is almost 3.5 and has now lived in 4 homes that we’ve owned, plus a crazy 4 month span of living in vacation rentals while we relocated towns. I’ve been a little quiet on here lately, because last month we moved from our home in the suburbs to a house on 5 acres in the middle of a forest! It’s been a crazy couple of months while we settle in, but we are so relieved to say we have finally found our forever home!
Along the long and winding journey to our new home, I’ve picked up some tips and tricks to make moving go as smoothly as possible with our little guys. Now I’m not going to say moving with toddlers is easy, by any means. But there are some things you can do to save your sanity until bedtime arrives.
Here's my 6 tips for moving with toddlers!
Explain it to them. Toddlers are notorious for needing routine and familiarity, and moving to a new home interferes with all of that. As you’re packing up in the weeks leading up to the big move, explain to them what’s happening. Reassure them that all of their things are coming with them on moving day and nothing will be left behind.
Get them excited about their new house, especially their new bedroom. Ask for their input about things like what color to paint the walls or where their bed should go.
Have snacks/meals pre-made and packed in a separate cooler. The night before moving day I prep several PB&J sandwiches, fruit, granola bars, cucumbers, and some veggie chips. On moving day I’ll keep these in a lunchbox cooler with an icepack and keep it with me in the vehicle so it doesn’t get lost in a sea of boxes. You’re going to be super busy and having their food taken care of is one less thing to worry about!
Pack a toddler tote. This is where I put things that can occupy the boys on moving day while the boxes are being unloaded. I keep this in the vehicle with me so it’s ready right when we arrive and I know it won’t get lost. I add things like their favorite stuffed animals, some coloring books and crayons, a new board book, and some toys that you’ve pulled from the closet during packing that they haven’t seen in a while can keep them entertained while you sort out boxes.
Have a pressure-mounted baby gate handy. You might not need it, but it’s so much easier to have one when you do need it! We used ours to keep the kids away from the stairs and the open front door while the boxes are being loaded/unloaded.
Unpack and set up their familiar items before they go to sleep. Try to have anything that they usually have for bedtime ready when it’s time to go to bed. For my boys, that’s their white noise machines, their bedtime stuffed animals, their Paw Patrol pillow cases, and a bedtime story. New places can be unsettling but adding some routine back into it can do wonders to ease any toddler-sized worries they have.