Packing with kids

Hi again, I’m back guest blogging for my husband. If you want more tips please see Moving with kids? So here we go… again….

Packing is a mammoth task, and if you’re looking for tips to do it yourself, check out one of Alongshore’s other helpful blog post – Packing tips when moving house. When you have kids here are a few extra.

Start now

Like now, stop reading start packing… ok maybe that’s a bit extreme but think of it this way, how much longer does it take to get out the door since having kids? Now times that by a million and you have packing/moving with kids.

Get help

Hire it, bribe friends, guilt family, whatever you need to do get help. You have more stuff than you think you do and it will take more time than you think it will – whoever you are, I know this, it is true, trust me. I know this from moving 13 times myself, I know this from helping friends move and I know this from the horror stories my husband has every couple of months of people who had no idea how much they had and ½ their stuff wasn’t packed and everything took twice as long than if they’d just understood that in the first place. Hiring help to pack will save you more than trying to move a half packed house.

Use your removalists expertise

Get your removalists to help you prioritise. Often what you and I think is the most valuable thing to do to save time (and therefore money, and your sanity), isn’t. For example taking apart bunk beds will save you more time than having everything else boxed up. Packing everything really well, will save more time than packing ½ your stuff well and getting it down three flights to the garage. Talk to your removalists about what you have and what will be the most valuable, time saving things you can do and then make a plan.

Get the right packing materials

You do not save money by skimping on this, it costs you money, want all the reasons why – read this blog post – otherwise trust me. You can hire boxes (Alongshore does it and so do a lot of other companies), which means if you don’t use them, you don’t pay for them, so over order!! Make sure you have enough and get everything packed up properly. It saves time, it saves money, and it saves your sanity.

Essentials boxes are essential

Get a big box for each room, label it essentials, stick it in the corner of each room before you start packing. This is where those things that you definitely need on your first night/morning in your new home belong. Usually these won’t be packed til last but you’d be surprised how 3 days before you move, you are packing a drawer and you’re tired, and you think, I’ll remember that I put that in this box labelled “Lounge 3, odds and ends”. And you don’t. And now day one in your fabulous new home that you’ve been telling the kids will be great, is a screaming mummy stress ball.

Colour code

Ideally you would label every box but I’ve moved 13 times in 10 years and not once have I managed to actually label properly, I start off well, and then somewhere along the line it gets hard and then I have some nicely labelled boxes of all the stuff I really don’t need (that’s why I packed it first) and all the stuff I need to unpack, like right now, is god knows where.

So I recommend colour coding instead. Get big bold coloured texters or coloured tape and everything that is packed in the kitchen gets one colour and everything that’s packed in each other room gets its own colour and that box at the end that has a bit from everywhere gets 3-4 colours (this is likely the one you want to unpack first).

Get help… yes I already said that

If you’re starting to run out of time, hire some help, a well packed move will save you a lot more money than you spend. For example, professional packers can on average pack a two bedroom house in ½ a day. If everything isn’t packed, on average your removalists will need to do three times the amount of trips back and forth to the truck as loose things are a lot harder to carry than boxes. You do the math! Seriously, I hate math, my husband can probably do the math if you ask him though.

Get rid of stuff at night

Take the stuff you plan to donate, sell or stick in the bin to the car at night so the kids don’t see that one toy they never played with. Because they will decide that now it’s their favourite toy! Cue tears and tantrums.

They are my top tips for packing with kids. If you have any ideas, please share them, us mums need all the help we can get.

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