Moving With a Toddler {Part 2} :: Prevent Poor Performance


When last I left you, Dear Reader, I was preparing to move my toddler to a brand new home. I shared with you some “Prior Preparations” we had made, in hopes the move would go smoothly . . . for all of us! We have been in our new home a little over a month and the verdict is in: SUCCESS! Don’t get me wrong – there were a few stressful moments which I will share with you as well, but for the most part, our use of the 5 P’s made for a reasonably seamless moving experience.

Happy toddler!
First breakfast in the new house! Boxes everywhere!

Prevent Poor Performance

As an uber-organizer, I had our move planned down the nth degree, so when we ended up renting a truck a week LATER than planned, it caused a bit of consternation, especially since I had been prepping my son for “the big move day” for weeks beforehand. However, he rolled with the punches like a champ and the first night went off without a hitch. We ensured his bed was put together for him to sleep in his room, and many of his toys were the first ones unboxed. He did try to come unglued a couple times when he couldn’t get to something, but gently explaining we had many boxes to unload and we would do our best to get his stuff out as soon as we could, calmed him down. I think he just wanted to make sure it made it to the new house! I also packed a bag of some of his favorites and kept it in my own car to make sure books and crayons were at the ready so we didn’t have to plop him in front of the t.v. for 48 hours. (More on that later.) We were also very lucky to have AMAZING family and friends help load, unload, play with TC and really save our sanity during what is (regardless of your level of planning) a truly stressful life event.

Kitchen Boxes
Always assume unboxing will take longer than you think!

Hindsight 20/20

  1. Toss your screen time, junk food, and behavioral expectations out the window. I’m not saying you should allow your child to turn feral during a move, but throwing their little world into utter chaos is bound to bring on some situations where bribery is a must! Even with all the planning we did prior to moving our toddler, in order to get some basic things accomplished, we absolutely made compromises we wouldn’t ordinarily make. And that’s OK.
  2. Make notes or take pictures of where you place boxes if they are not being put in their final location immediately. Since we moved in waves, items that were in (for the most part) well labeled and strategically packed boxes, are still MIA. I definitely still have things I can’t lay may hands on, which if I had taken a moment to snap a picture of where it was unloaded into the garage, I could have prevented the inevitable hair pulling figuring out where the heck it landed.
  3. Always assume unpacking will take longer than you think. I almost ended up freezing my buns off during our first November cold snap because the clothing that got moved first did not include winter items since *SURELY* I would have unboxed them by then! (Insert eyeroll here.)
  4. Moving a toddler two weeks before Thanksgiving after you have committed to (responsibly) host dinner would be a hard pass next time. While these events independent of each other are both cause for celebration, trying to cram them all in a two-week period definitely created some additional stress! (See numbers 2 & 3 above.)
  5. Planning absolutely pays off. Even if it seems silly to talk about some of the minutia involved with moving, when a toddler is involved there can NEVER be enough!
I hope you found these tips helpful. I am by no means an expert, but if my experience can help you make moving with a toddler go smoothly, then my job here is done!
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Laura Prewitt, 39, is a proud native of Birmingham, having lived here all life with the exception of college at Florida State University in Tallahassee, and a semester abroad in Spain. After graduating in 2004, she moved back to attend UAB, receiving a Masters in Communication Management. Laura has worked in fields ranging from service industry and event planning, to waste management and business development/marketing for a local startup company specializing in custom software development. She is currently a full time SAHM but does take on the occasional freelance marketing project, and is excited for the opportunity to write and share with other parents. Laura has been married to Michael, a senior financial advisor for Merrill Lynch, since 2012 and they have one son, Tristan (4). In her *limited* spare time Laura loves cooking (also eating!), watching sports (mostly football), travelling, reading, going to concerts and experiencing all the fun things Birmingham has to offer!