Guest Post: How To Move House With 2 Kids (and 2 Cats)

Housing | by | 26th Sep 2016

Lots of houses for Move House article

Have you got to move house soon? Wondering what to do with the kids? Gwenno has just done it and shares her tips, tricks and advice in the latest guest post on FamilyPoint.

If you’re interested in writing for us then please get in touch! Whether you have your own tips on how to move house, or parenting advice, or lunch box recipes or anything else family related,  we’d love to share your news.

This week we moved out of our house and are in that limbo where we have delays with the new house and have to find storage and digs in the meantime. With two kids and two cats in tow, it hasn’t been easy!

We’re not moving straight into the new house either. We’re staying with family rather than renting somewhere to try and save a bit of money in the meantime. So most of our stuff has had to go into storage. It’s difficult to reason with a four year old, not so much with the 7 year old, why they can’t take all their toys with them.

Lego construction for Move House article

“Where’s my Lego?”

Luckily for us we’ve managed to store all our stuff between houses of family, so it’s saving us a fortune in storage fees. Yet because storage space is limited it’s forced us to get rid of all our junk, unwanted and unused items. We sold some stuff on eBay, some on Facebook local selling groups and have made a nice sum to go towards the decorating fund of the new house.

But a lot of stuff (who knew a small two up two down terraced house could hold so much?) has been stored and I’m now just waiting for the “Where’s my Lego?” “Where are my dinosaurs?” “Where’s my five different pencil cases with hundreds of pens, most of which don’t work?”!

And the cats are freaking out at the move. They’re hiding under the cupboard refusing to come out while I’m frantically Googling ‘how to calm stressed out cats’.

So I’m two days into living back in my childhood home but with a partner, two kids and two cats in tow. Here are some of my experiences and tips on how to move house with kids and cats. Please, please comment below with any tips that you have to survive this because I fully expect to be tearing my hair out by the end of this unknown time in limbo.

1. Lists, lists and more lists.

I like lists. Nothing gets done in my family without lists! If it’s not on a list then it may as well not exist! But lists were invaluable when planning the house move. What needed to come with us, what needed to go into storage, what went to which house for storage, which addresses needed changing, what things needed doing before the move. Because we are a family of lists, we’ve discovered a fantastic app that allows us to share lists, Wunderlist (other apps are available I’m sure).

I can add something on my list and it will show up on his list wherever he is. We use it for grocery shopping and everything. Then when something is done you can tick it from the list. The other people who share the list get notifications when stuff is added and completed. When it comes to organising our lives this list app has been a saviour.

2. Get the kids involved…

…to an extent! We explained to the kids that we couldn’t take all their stuff with us because we didn’t have the space to keep them while we were living with family. So we gave them a number of things they could take and allowed them to choose. They did need a little gentle guidance thought to stop them taking the biggest things or 5 dinosaurs and nothing else. Because they were involved I found it much less of a battle than telling them what they were allowed to take. Although it certainly wasn’t battle free!

I moved for Move House

Photo Credit: via Compfight cc

3. Get rid of the kids

In the nicest possible way, you can achieve so much more if the kids aren’t around. You have so much sorting, packing and unpacking to do that having to entertain the kids at the same time is difficult. If you have family or friends who are happy to help then ask them to take the kids for a few hours/day/night.

If this is not possible then allocate them a space. Give them plenty of toys, books, colouring things and DVDs. Try and get them to entertain themselves, so you can get on with other things. The same is true when unpacking the other side. If you can’t shift them on then give them their own box to unpack. You can also ask them to sort out their bedroom while you take care of the rest.

Noodle box for Move House Article

4. Think about food

I think about food all the time anyway, but I mean think about it in the context of moving! The likelihood is that you won’t have the time, ingredients or appliances to prepare your meals on move day. So be prepared by preparing food for you and the kids beforehand. Otherwise, if you can, ask family and friends nicely if someone will prepare/cook you all a meal. Failing that takeaways are always a bonus!

5. Be prepared for tensions

I wasn’t prepared! I never imagined that a person I got on so well with would end up being the person I tried to avoid the most. When you’ve been living independently for years it can be difficult being in someone else’s space, and following someone else’s rules.

The main issue is the children. I’ll live to anyone’s rules, albeit biting my tongue, but I can’t stand someone else interrupting when it comes to the kids. Grandparents are used to spoiling, but this can’t work when we’re living under the same roof 24/7! And having someone mollycoddle and sympathise with the children when they’ve been told off for something is so infuriating. This is what threatens to turn this family home into a World War 3 zone. I’m just hoping that things will sort themselves out soon and it won’t end up with us not talking anymore by the time we’ve moved out!

Tension face for Move House article

Being a few days into this move there’s not much else I can add to this list. Maybe by the time we’ve moved out into our own home I’ll have a huge list of wisely tips to give you, but for now I’m offloading on anyone I see and asking anyone for any tips they can give me!

And the cats, which was one of my biggest worries, are just fine. I bought a fake pheromone plug in and the cats are totally chilled and sleeping and eating all the time and being stroked and spoilt by everyone. Right now I’d do anything to be a cat!

If you have any tips or advice on how to move house please comment below!


Want to find out about services available to you and your child in your area? Would you like to chat about family matters in general? Then get in touch with the FamilyPoint Cymru helpline.

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