Moving is stressful enough without being a single parent. You’re tasked with single-handedly planning an entire logistics operation with your kids in tow, and that is quite a feat! Here are ten tips for making it through your move with your sanity, children, and house intact.
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Tip #1: Plan Ahead
Don’t underestimate the power of a little foresight when it comes to moving. It might be easier said than done, but get organized. Make a list of everything you need to do, and check things off as you go. Seeing your progress will give you the momentum you need.
Tip #2: Fill the Kids In
If changing homes is a big deal for adults, it’s more so for kids. Yet we often overlook how children feel when it comes to major changes. Talk to them ahead of time about your plans, and listen to their thoughts and feelings about it. If they are helping on that day, let them know that you’ll be counting on them and their teamwork skills to make the move a success. They’ll feel good about having responsibilities and it will alleviate any anxiety they may have.
Tip #3: Pack In Advance
This is a moving tip that everyone can use, but it’s especially important for single mothers. You might be tempted to wait until the day of the move to do most of your packing, but starting up to a week in advance will shorten your moving day to-do list dramatically. When it comes to moving, there’s always more to do than what you originally anticipate.
Tip #4: Clear the Basics Early
There are few things more annoying than trying to get your utilities connected while answering innocent questions about why the new house is so dark. Get things like connecting your utilities and updating your address with the post office out of the way early. Check out this handy moving checklist from Real Simple for help.
Tip #5: Don’t be afraid to ask for a little help!
Single moms are used to playing superwoman to their kids, but you don’t have to do it all alone on moving day. Give yourself permission to call for backup to help with the kids, whether that means asking a friend or relative to supervise them during the move, or leaving the young ones with a babysitter for the day.
Tip #6: Lighten Your Load
When was the last time you wore that leopard print coat, or those boots with the glittery stars? If you have items in your closet that you haven’t worn or used in over a year, don’t be afraid to part ways with them. And why stop at your closet? While packing you’ll no doubt come across plenty of items that could go to the local thrift shop or to charity. Just think of how much someone else will enjoy those glittery boots, and how much less you’ll have to pack and move.
Tip #7: Hire Experienced Movers
You’ll need someone to help you with the heavier items like the fridge and furniture, but hiring inexperienced people off of the street isn’t the best option; you could be putting yourself and your belongings at risk by going that route. Instead, go online and check out this website for United Van Lines or search through a website like Angie’s List or Consumer Affairs to find some reputable movers.
Tip #8: Learn To Delegate
This comes back to the point of not having to always be superwoman. Delegate responsibilities to everyone involved in the move, including older kids and anyone who’s helping you. After all, a strong leader is one who knows when to let others do the work while they give the orders!
Tip #9: Get Time On Your Side
Make a schedule ahead of time of what you’ll need to do and when. If you have the kids with you on moving day, be realistic about what you can accomplish in between snack breaks and breaking up sibling rivalries. This will also be useful if you have people helping you who can’t stay with you the whole day; you’ll know how best to put them to work when they do show up.
Tip #10: Unpack ASAP
After the flurry of moving activity, it might be tempting to rest for a few days. However, it’s better to unpack as soon as you can, since brown boxes and vases wrapped in newspaper tend to become invisible the longer you ignore them! It’ll also be good for the kids to get settled in and into a routine as soon as possible.
Overall, the more you prepare, the smoother your move will be. And when it comes to moving, smooth sailing is more than any single mom could hope for.