3 Most Common Mistakes: Moving with Kids
Ease the transition by avoiding these pitfalls.
by Babble Editors
September 11, 2009
What are the three most common mistakes parents make when preparing for a move?
Expert: Jon Katz from Flat Rate Movers
1. Keeping kids on the sidelines.
“As stressful as moving is for you, it can be even more so for your kids, especially younger kids. It can feel really overwhelming. Discuss with your kids why you’re moving, and then get them involved as much as you can in the actual moving process. Give them some small jobs. Have them pack a box or two of their games and toys. Let them help you label boxes, color-code them with stickers, or take the photos to tape to the outside! It can also be nice to do something special to honor their memories of their home. Take pictures of the old house; plant something there, anything that makes them feel special.”
2. Giving in to clutter.
“Another mistake that I see often is that people don’t take the time to get organized before they start packing. They just start putting things in boxes without really thinking about the larger plan of the move. Before you pack anything, you should go through your house and clear out the things you no longer use. Decide which things you want to donate and which things are going to the trash pile. Doing this before your move instead of after can save you a considerable amount of money.
Speaking of packing, pack yourself an “essentials box” and (if you’re using movers) mark it very clearly “Do NOT touch.” Put in your extra IDs, medications, favorite books or toys for your kids, and anything else you want to have with you. Let your kids choose one or two important possessions to put in so that they know their favorite things will still be with them. Make sure that this box travels with you. You don’t want your essentials to be accidentally lost.”
3. Trusting a ballpark estimate.
“It can be very hard to set an accurate moving budget. Unless you are going with a flat rate company, all kinds of little surprise charges can sneak up on you. It’s important to do your research first. Be willing to increase your budget a bit in order to get a quality company. We have heard nightmare stories about people who thought that they were getting a good deal and then ended up stranded on moving day when the company didn’t show. So, really check out any company that you’re considering using. Once you’ve found a company that you like, ask if they will come to your house to give you an estimate. In-person estimates tend to be much more accurate than anything you’ll get over the phone. Ask the company for a written, binding prices so that the final cost stays close to the estimate.”
As told to Lindsay Armstrong.