Moving is stressful. It’s stressful to pack up your entire life. It’s stressful even with help. You know what it is when you have children? A war zone. Survival of the fittest. A reason for re-evaluating whether you actually need the space you have been desperately pining for. A reason for seriously and literally engaging in minimalist design. Hello, Simple Form; I’m looking at you.
Let’s paint a picture of this scenario, shall we?
We have a condo. It’s not small, but we don’t have a basement or a yard, and we could use a dog to eat all the food that makes it way to the floor after every meal. It’s just not fair to ask baby D to be responsible for all that wasted food. We need a third bedroom, and a space for an office for me.
We are taking the plunge. We’re moving. We’re packing. I mean, I, I am packing. And purging, and launching stuff off the 28th floor.
It’s not really that hard to explain what it’s like to pack up your kids’ belongings:
Take all their stuff.
Put it in the middle of the room. Any room.
Find someone who can sell you explosives (I’m sure fireworks could do). Buy them. *obviously, this is rhetorical
Eviscerate the shit out of this pile.
Now use bubble wrap to protect each of those little tiny pieces and place gently and purposefully in boxes labeled ‘fragile’ and ‘this side up’.
All clear now?
However hard you may think it is to move with a wee little one, think again. Because if you think it may be easier to move when they’re older, you are in for a rude awakening. Here’s what I’ve discovered:
Babies have big things. Cribs. Playpens. Swing things that never work and they’ve never used. High chairs. That ugly singing moving toy your parents thought was cute. Big things. Big ugly things. Big things that need one thing – shrink wrap. They don’t need boxes, and there aren’t a million pieces that will make you secretly – publicly, whatever – hate every friend who thought “Hey, Lego! Lego is a great gift idea!” It’s stressful, but manageable. Trust me – this is not what to fear.
Here is what you need to fear – a condensed list:
- Shopkins – ironic since A doesn’t eat anything, or like to clean anything, but she needs the itty-bitty toys that replicate these ideas.
- Glitter, crafts, pipe cleaners, glue – I hate all of you (and yet secretly want to belong in your world).
- Clothes, accessories, and clips for an American Girl. Again, this thing has how many shoes? Oh, now she’s a scientist with a teeny tiny microscope – Awesome!
- Teeny weeny puzzle pieces.
- Lego – all Lego.
- Hair clips, elastics, hair bands, more clips, uglier clips she wanted from the dollar store, even uglier headbands she bought while out with grandma. These things.
- More glitter.
- Board game pieces you meticulously and carefully put back in the box after every use, but are seemingly everywhere now.
Also, lest we forget:
- Toddlers – they run everywhere, into everything, and are an inch or so from a trip to the emerg, especially when your place is full of boxes.
- 6 year olds who have no sense of order and in trying to help say ,“let’s pack all my clothes first” and then proceed to rip everything out of the closet and add them to that big pile of yours in the living room.
- Husbands – obviously.
Not to fret though, my recent experience has taught me a few things to help ease you along if you are in this predicament in the near or distant future:
- Trap your kids in one of your moving boxes – especially the little walkers. You can contain them for an extended period of time while you are busy packing. Besides, they never like the toys you buy, only ever the boxes, here is where you need to embrace that.
- While in the box, give them the stickers and glitter and things they normally throw everywhere. It is now contained IN THE box – Success!
- Cut some holes in the side of the box. They like this for no real logical reason, besides “holes!”
*Please remember, keep the lid to the box open, and if you are like me, give that little reminder to the older sibling as well. I learned this the hard way.
- Buy boxes that have hangers in them. Life saver. Truly.
- Throw stuff out. De-clutter. Don’t second guess it. Chuck it. Trust me.
- If you think you’ve thrown enough out, throw out more.
- Ask for help to throw shit out.
- Drink wine while doing all of the above. I recommend Barolo. Always. (I decided to go on a detox during this move – this, I do not recommend)
There you have it. Simple tricks and tips to keep you sane and your babes occupied.
And remember, if all else fails, ask your friends, your siblings, your parents to occupy the clan for the night (or the weekend), put on some loud music, and tackle that move right. I recommend Notorious BIG’s Ready to Die, because you will be. Do this, and you’ll be unpacking in your new place and cursing about all the stuff you should have thrown out in no time!