Moving is a hassle but once you have arrived at your new home and the removalists have left you have to unpack. For a family with smaller children this can be a difficult time, but there are ways to make it easier. It is often mum who bears the brunt of it, if she is home caring for the kids while dad goes to work. But there are some things you can do to smooth out the process for your children and hence, for yourself.
1.Unpack the kids’ stuff first
Most parents want to get the kitchen stuff unpacked first so that cooking a meal is quick and easy, but focussing on the needs of the children will settle them down and help the work to flow without the interruptions of littlies wanting reassurance.
When you unpack their stuff first, they will feel like they belong and will often settle down to play with the toys that they were afraid would not arrive at all. Settling them into their rooms will prevent any squabbling about who is sleeping where or sharing storage space.
2.Make it easy on yourself
Leaving the mess is not what you want to do, but taking them for a walk around the neighbourhood to find the parks, library, cinema, school or local fast food outlet will help them become familiar with the new district and to feel more at home. And to make it easy on yourself, buy the evening meal as you come home. They are sure to be happy about that and settle in more quickly – and you won’t have to cook or wash up after it.
Another way to make things easy is to not worry about unpacking items you don’t use such as wall pictures, vases, books and out of season clothing. These can all be left packed until the children are playing happily outside or have gone to pre-school or school. Simply unpack the essentials that you need for day-to-day living until you have recovered from the move and are not so tired.
3.Farm the kids out
If the children are old enough to stay overnight with grandparents or friends, consider leaving them there while you move. This may not be possible, but it can provide you with a window of opportunity to get everything unpacked and into place without interruption. It is amazing what you can do when you don’t have to stop to tend the children.
Buy a new DVD and have it ready for them to watch as soon as you get the electronics set up. This will keep them busy for an hour or two while you get on with unpacking and doing all the many jobs that moving into a new home entail.