Moving house is a quite expensive task, so the last thing you’ll want is additional childcare costs on top of the estate agent fees, solicitors’ fees, packing supplies and van hire or removal firm costs.
However, unless you’re paying a removal company to do the whole job from wrapping and packaging at the old property to unpacking at the new one, you will have bored and restless children on your hands to deal woith with while you’re busy.
Finished by home time
Not everyone has friends or relatives close by who can look after their children for an extended period while the move goes ahead. Moving during school hours is only a consideration for those people with children of school age.
The end result is that most people who move house do so with their kids around – and even if you’ve managed to get through the packing phase relatively stress-free, the well-behaved kids may start acting up once the excitement of moving day arrives. All of that of course depends on each individual child, so you may even have them help you, rather than use the chance to get things done before they are home.
The first rule…
The first rule is to have some ground rules ready. Make sure you set these as to what children of different age groups can do. For example, are you happy with your older kids joining in by carrying boxes? Does the van you’re using to move have a tail-lift, and if so does it come with a minimum age for operation?
If you have younger and older children, you might be able to convince the older ones to play babysitter in a single room while everything is being moved out. If this is the case, then plan this space in advance and see what you can do to keep them entertained.
Clear the room of all belongings the day before the actual move and place the basics within, such as a few toys and books, bottles of drinks and plastic cups, energy bars (for example, flapjacks or muesli bars), and maybe even a small TV that can be packed at the last minute with their game console or something similar.
Ensure that every item will either be going in the bin (such as plastic cups and food wrappers) or getting packed. Packing everything neatly only to find you have no bags for toys and books could be pretty problematic during the move.
If you have to consider childcare, then book it as far in advance as possible. Make sure your plan includes how the children get to and from childcare, particularly if you’re moving a considerable distance from your old property.
Seeing the signs
It makes sense to see moving into your new place and unpacking your belongings as two separate jobs. The main aim is to get all the items from the van and inside the house as quickly and effectively as possible. If your boxes are marked with their destination room name, this makes the job a lot easier – especially if you’ve made temporary signs for each of the doors.
As it’s difficult to have spare room in this scenario, this may be the point where the children need to be entertained elsewhere. Check in advance if there are any parks or other suitable facilities to keep them busy long enough to get all tasks done.