Being a single dad is challenging enough, but add a move on top of everything else that you have to do — like driving your kids to soccer practice, helping them with homework, and looking after their care and well-being in general — and you might be headed straight for a king-sized meltdown. Don’t worry, it is possible to manage your commitment to your kids, and a big move, at the same time. There are a few strategies to consider when preparing for your big move that will make your life easier, and keep your kids happy, too.
Don’t do it alone
Hiring professional movers is a no-brainer. But before everything is packed and ready to go, one of the number one moving tips to get the job done is enlisting the help of friends and family. Once everything is organized and ready to go into boxes (more on that below), organize a packing party and invite friends and family to join in with wrapping items and boxing them up. Make it a pizza party with a play area for the kids to stay entertained while you and the other adults get to work.
Declutter and get the kids involved
Before you have that packing party, you need to get serious about decluttering. Limited time, especially with kids, might equal a disaster zone, with mail and papers on counters, dirty dishes in the sink, and take out containers filling up your trash cans. But getting organized will make the task of packing more of a strategic project that needs to get done, and less of a mountain that seems impossible to climb. Start with one room at a time, sorting items into keep, donate, and toss piles. You can get the kids involved by assigning them to sort their stuff. Tell them that donated toys or clothing can be given to friends, and you can even sweeten the deal by offering a reward for every item that they part with.
The last situation you want to be in once you move is to find out that your child’s favorite toy is packed away somewhere, or worse the blanket that they sleep with every night has gone missing. Now that’s a moving disaster. If you don’t take away any other moving tips and tricks, for parents, remember this: Aside from packing all of your belongings into clearly labeled boxes, set aside a small suitcase or bag for everyone in your family — as if you were packing for a mini vacation. You’ll thank yourself for your pre-planning wisdom during those first days when you are living among new house chaos. In this bag, will be everyone’s essentials, like a toothbrush, medication, clothing for a few days, and comfort items, like a blanket, or stuffed animal. This will also help ease your child’s anxiety about living in a new environment.
Moving is a big project and having limited time and resources can make it challenging, but with a little pre-planning and some help from your friends, you’ll be settled into your new home with your kids before you know it.