Moving with a Baby
Moving with a newborn was difficult, sure. It was three or four months before all the boxes were unpacked. And, to be fair, it wasn’t really “all the boxes” unpacked. We knew we’d be moving again in a year, so we left a good portion of the home library in boxes, a long with things we knew we could live without for the year. Now that we are preparing for our next move, I can see how much more difficult it is going to be with a one year old!
I’ll keep you all up to date with how our moving goes (including passing on our best tricks and moving hacks). But for now, I’m going to share with you how we are preparing to move this time around!
Knowing that we have a year-old baby entirely changes our approach to moving. Little Fox’s favourite activity is taking things out of boxes and bins, so you can imagine the help she is!
Actually, our whole approach to baby proofing has also been focused around the move-to-be. The living room and dining room are the only rooms Little Fox has crawling access too, with a “sometimes” wander in our bedroom. The bathroom toilet lid is baby proofed, but not the rest of the room, nor the kitchen, nor the office. We have been restricting her access for two reasons. We won’t be around long enough to make installing latches/moving items worthwhile. And those are our packing/working spaces.
In baby proofing our living/dining rooms, our breakable items simply got packed first. I’d like to display some of our wedding vases, but it can wait till we have a new home space. As Little Fox has extended her interest in other should haves, we have removed these items, as much as possible. Our motto for baby proofing is mainly “Lead her not into temptation.”
This method of baby proofing has given us a head start on packing for moving.
The mobility of a year old presents a packing challenge. I already mentioned that Little Fox likes to take things OUT of boxes. But that isn’t the only problem. Stacks of heavy boxes are dangerous, especially since she would love to tip them over. On moving day she’ll want to be crawling in and around these boxes, and out the propped open door. Because of these dangers, we have a couple plans we are looking at for moving day.
One: Call in the Baba brigade. If her Baba is available, she can look after our little one while boxes are getting transported. This may be especially useful for the period of setting up baby gates at the new place after boxes are unloaded in different rooms. If we can use Baba time to baby proof at least a small space in the new place, that’ll go a long way. Or at least until the essentials are unpacked.
Two: Leave Mama and Baby out of it! My husband can do the loading and unloading while I take Little Fox off on adventures. Preferably something active and tiring. A trip to a play place and some socializing will wear the baby out. Then we get picked up and come to the new home in time for a long nap (while I unpack essentials and my husband keeps going). By the time Little Fox wakes up I’ll have baby proofed an area, and we can go for a walk in the neighbourhood if my husband needs more time to load/unload.
Three: Get a baby sitter. We probably won’t go with this option, as Little Fox has only ever been with me, her Dad, or her Baba. This isn’t an occasion for adding more stress and new experiences for her. But, if you need to, getting a friend or a baby sitter to watch the little one may be necessary.
The best preparation for moving with young children is definitely starting early. Working down to minimalist living. Do we really need all our plates and cups? In the last two months before the move we probably won’t be having company over. And even then, we can always use some of the paper plates we have been saving for the week of the move. Extra dishes, decorations, and equipment can all head into boxes early. The less you have to do later on, the better.
Besides dishes and some of our decorations, I’m also working on packing up the home office area early. We mostly use the space for printing and our books and office supplies. The books are some of the first things I am packing, along with our cards, cardstock, and envelopes. Our gift bags and wrap are already in a bin with a lid, so it is ready to go. (Having the birthday/anniversary cards and getting the gifts for the next two months done early also helps).
Once the home office is all packed up, we can use the desk space there for packing and organizing items from our other rooms. This is going to make the rest of the packing journey clearer.
It can be really hard to pack things away early. I always feel like I still might need something I’ve put in a box. What I do to help with this feeling is remind myself that I can just label this box. Then I’m organized, and if necessary, I can find what I need and take it out to use.
Keeping it Simple
In order to keep your sanity while moving with a small child the best advice I can give you is simplify your life. I recently sorted Little Fox’s board books into four piles. Three are in baskets that I can rotate in and out, and the forth pile is on her shelf. Simplifying the number of books and toys she has access to at a time makes my day easier. It is less cleanup for me throughout the day, and it allows me to conserve my energy for packing.
Also, purging is a fantastic way to simplify moving. Instead of packing all our belongings, I am taking the time to go through and decide what we use, and what can be donated or thrown out. So far, I have purged so far are clothes, papers/university notebooks, kitchen items, DVDs, and toys.
It feels great to know that when we move, we are only bringing the stuff we need, use, or love. My organizing and purging journey started when I heard about Cas at http://clutterbug.me/. (Through Jennifer Fultwiler interviewing Cas on her radio show).
There are some tips and moving hacks I used last time we moved that I am definitely doing again. As we continue in this packing and moving journey I will share the best of these with you. But for now, let me know if you have any tips for moving, or about moving with children! Share in the comments, or head to the About Me page and send me an email!