Last year my husband and I bought land to build a new house. It’s taken us a year, but we have finally broken ground! Because we hope to get the house closed in by winter, we plan to move into a 31-foot camper trailer while we build. Moving is no joke, especially moving with young kids.
We may be are insane for doing this but so excited for this next phase of our lives. The 31’ camper has a nice slide-out and is technically wider than our current house (hey one-foot difference counts right?) so I’m hoping that it won’t be too cramped with two kids.
This camper was made with my toddler in mind! It has a bunk bed just like her cousins and a play area underneath with a dry erase board just like the one at home. Talking to her big cousin about the bunk bed made her excited to live there temporarily while the house is built.
Besides, I plan to be spending a lot of time outside with them this summer getting to know our new neighborhood and surrounding area. There will be plenty of new playgrounds, parks, rivers, and a new library to discover.
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We’ve seen a lot of progress this week. Our current house was listed, the footers were poured, and Mom is planning a day away (first time without kids in over two years!).
We’re hoping to get this house under contract soon, so we don’t prolong this moving process any more than we have too. Our toddler is getting anxious to get out to the trailer and mom is quite frankly getting tired of all the driving back and forth.
Things can be kind of chaotic and crazy when moving, but here are my 3 big tips so far for moving with young kids. At least, these are the rules that I’m trying to stick to myself!
In the words of our toddler…
We are on an adventure!
1) Pack slowly and early
In a way, I’m so thankful that our house building project got postponed another year until after our second baby was born because it helped me prepare for the move long before it came.
Last time we moved, it was a mad rush at the end and we were literally moving stuff out of the garage as the next renters were moving in.
That method of packing may work for some, but it definitely doesn’t work for me. Especially with two young kids!
This past year, I began slowly preparing my toddler for the adjustment to a new house. I think that having the extra time before beginning to build helped her learn about the process and talk about what all would be involved. It also helped me prepare myself and gradually eliminate clutter, get rid of unnecessary items, and pack long-term items for storage. This kind of packing is more my style— stress-free!
Packing early also gave us time to get the storage unit and organize our things in there. I’ve been taking a load of boxes every time I go out to our new trailer and that has helped make our old house feel more open for showings.
I considered just selling everything and starting completely over, but I thought that having some of the same furniture when we move into our new house might help the kids feel more at home. Kids are resilient. But, I want to make this as easy for them as possible.
While I’ve been downsizing some, I’ve been able to sell some things on Facebook marketplace. I even made enough money to pay for my special mom trip away from the kids. Maybe that will make the mom guilt not so bad… maybe.
2) Prepare your kids for the move
The minute we bought the land, I started talking with my toddler about the changes that were coming. I see no point in hiding things from my kids.
In fact, talking about things has helped my kids understand and cope with what’s happening in their lives.
Because they are so young, I bought the Berenstain Bears Moving Day book to read to them. At first, my daughter did not like the idea of moving. She didn’t want me to read the book. But, I left it in her room to see what would happen.
She started looking at the pictures and slowly became more interested in it. Then, she asked me to read it. Suddenly, she loved the idea of moving. She started talking about the new house and what things would be different and the same (thanks to Daniel Tiger’s Family Trip).
“What colors do you want your room in the new house to be?” I asked her.
“White and purple!”
We began to visualize her new space and paint it out on paper.
Now, she begs us to go out to the trailer. Sometimes she throws a tantrum when it’s time to leave. She is loving watching the construction on our new land too. This week will be especially exciting with the concrete truck coming.
Related: 5 Things to do With Your Kids
3) Take breaks
Throughout this entire process, I’m having to remind myself to
While I am taking things slowly and got a jump-start moving, it was still really stressful getting our house ready to be listed. We had a lot of cleaning and work to do in order to finish the addition that we added last year (the reason we had to wait a year before building our new house).
Once our house was listed last week, I decided to take a break from packing and spend some time with my kids. It’s the start of summer here so we’ve been going to ponds, splash parks, and having a wonderful time!
Moving can wait, our kids are only young once.
No matter how much work you have to get done, you will never regret stopping to spend time with your kids.
Even if you’re down to the crunch and hustling to the finish line, pause to give your toddler a moving box to color. Or, invite your toddler to pack her favorite stuffies and books in a special treasure box. Those types of things have also helped my toddler adjust to the change. She laughed so hard when her stuffies “jumped” into the moving box because they were so excited to move into the trailer.
4) (Bonus Tip)
Ask for help!
Moving is hard enough without kids. Throw a toddler into the mix who wants constant attention and a screaming baby and you have a recipe for a stressful mess.
I am so thankful that we have so many friends who have offered to help. One day, a friend brought her kids over and they entertained my kids while we packed. Other times, I was able to drop my toddler off with friends while the baby slept so that I could get some cleaning done.
We all need community.
We all know we are superheroes as moms. But, it’s perfectly okay to admit that we can’t do everything all at once.
I mean, I know that we’re amazing multi-taskers, but no one should have to handle that much stress in life, especially alone.
If you’re in the midst of moving with young kids and you’re feeling all alone, please reach out. If you don’t feel like you have anyone, find a kind stranger at the grocery store. A neighbor. Adopt a kind, lonely grandma who would love to dote on your kids while you pack.
You are never alone.
And remember, you are an amazing mom and you’ve got this!
Have you ever moved with young kids? What are your tips and tricks to make it easier?