Moving is stressful. Add on being a single parent with a couple of kids and you may be in for more than you can chew. But don’t worry, if you take it slow and plan ahead, you can get it done easily!
Here are 15 moving tips for single parents that will help alleviate the stress of moving:
- Plan Well In Advance
- Keep A Positive Attitude
- Involve Your Kids
- Prepare The Kids
- Get Help From Friends
- Donate Unwanted Items
- Research Schools, Neighborhoods, Parks, Hospitals
- Make Positive Connections
- Keep Costs Low
- Hire A Babysitter On Moving Day
- Book Direct Flights Only
- Take Advantage of The Chance To Order New Items Ahead
- Find A Reputable Moving Company
- Unpack Little By Little
- Take A Break – You Deserve It
1. Plan Well In Advance
When you’re the only parent taking care of your children and doing everything yourself, knowing when to start packing and moving is essential. As a single parent, give yourself a bit more time. At least 2-3 months before your move should be ample time to get everything done.
Consider planning everything out in a planner beforehand and keeping the planner with you at all times. Anything you need to do before moving, write it down and plan a day to do it. While the kids are at school use this time to do the tasks that might be the hardest to do when they are home.
2. Keep A Positive Attitude
The most important aspect of moving as a single parent is keeping a positive attitude for the kids. Whether you’re moving because of a divorce, death, or other situation, it’s going to be quite difficult for the kids as well. Take this advice from Emily Green, a mother in Florida
“Stay positive and keep a good attitude before moving. Do not let your kids see you are worried about the move because that can make them doubtful or resistant to moving. If you are positive about the move then your kids will be positive too.”
3. Involve Your Kids
Unless you have baby children, it’s important to involve your kids in the moving process. Not only will it alleviate some of the burden on you, if done in a positive way the process can actually be good for the kids. You can let them help you with cleaning, going through and separating old belongings, and teach them the importance of donating. Don’t forget to give them a chance to have some fun with the moving process. You might want to encourage them to be creative during the process like decorate moving boxes or plan how their new rooms will look like.
4. Prepare The Kids
Communication is essential. If you’re moving because of a separation, sit down together and talk it out. Ask your children how they feel, let them know how you feel. Good communication and open dialogue for both parties can help.
It may be a bit harder for older children to move, especially if they will be going to a new school. Younger children will likely be a bit more resilient than older children who’ve already established deep friendships. Again, the more positive communication the better. Understand that you will likely get resistance, so keep a positive attitude.
As mentioned above, when there is a chance to have a little fun, allow them to express themselves, make small fortresses with moving boxes, or even hold a coloring contest for the best-designed box. These simple little activities can make moving a little more fun for your kids, which in turn can make it a little easier on you.
5. Get Help From Friends
Moving is no easy task. Usually, when you move, there’s always more to it than it seems. You can’t just hire a moving company and have them take care of everything. There’s a lot of preparation beforehand you must do to prepare for movers.
Get help from your friends for helping you declutter, setting up a garage sale, cleaning your house, etc.
Consider throwing a few “help” parties with your friends and make it into a good time. Honestly, nobody likes to help their friends move, but if you turn it into a party or get together type of atmosphere, it will make it fun for everybody.
6. Donate Unwanted Items
Decluttering your home is a perfect opportunity for teaching your kids about the importance of donating. Have your kids bring everything they don’t want anymore into the garage or place you’re putting your items to be donated.
Let your kids understand that when they donate their toys, they are helping out other less fortunate children. Here’s where to donate furniture.
7. Research Schools, Neighborhoods, Parks, Hospitals
If you haven’t decided on a location to move, do a bit of research on these places before deciding where to move. If you already have a location, knowing where these places are will help you when you’re already moved in.
When it comes to researching neighborhoods and schools, the internet is an invaluable source of information. There are websites with school ratings and student and parent reviews, websites which list top neighborhoods by crime rate, education, and prices as well as social media outlets where you can reach out to people in your new community for advice and information. The information is literally at the tip of your fingers. Also, you can check out these 5 tools for neighborhood safety.
8. Make Positive Connections
Making new connections as a single parent is very important. Consider using the website/app called Meetup to find groups of people who have similar interests as you. You can also get to know other parents from your child’s school by joining the PTA or other school groups. Also, have some open dialogue with your work associates that you’re new to the area and ask about what there is to do in your city.
9. Keep Costs Low
If you’re a single parent who now needs to now be frugal, keeping your costs low is very important. Here are a few of our best money saving tips for moving:
- Find free boxes on Craigslist, OfferUp, or Facebook Marketplace
- Get rid of or sell items you don’t need to move. If you’re moving long-distance, consider if the item is worth the cost of moving.
- Do all of the packing yourself or with your friends or kids.
- Stage all the boxes in the garage for easy moving.
- Buy lightweight packing materials like tape, mattress bags, etc. online.
- Don’t buy boxes online – new boxes are cheap at Home Depot or Lowe’s
- Move during the offseason. Movers usually have lower rates from September-April.
- Use your gift cards
- Settle up with your debtors
When you’re a single parent hiring a moving company vs. moving yourself is a better option. Although it’s a bit more money, it will be worth it to not take on that amount of stress. But, if you’re a warrior and want to move yourself, check out this DIY moving guide we’ve put together.
10. Hire A Babysitter On Moving Day
Consider hiring a babysitter on moving day. It’s likely that you will be needed by your movers on moving day and tending to your kids constantly will just slow the moving process down and cause stress.
When hiring a babysitter, consider sending them all out to the movies or have them do something else away from the movers and your home.
On moving day, also understand your customer responsibilities. Here is a list of 15 things to do on moving day as the customer.
11. Book Direct Flights Only
If you are moving long distance that requires a flight to your location, consider booking direct flights instead of layover flights. This will help ease the process of traveling with your kids as a single parent.
12. Take Advantage of The Chance To Order New Items Ahead
How nice would it be if you scheduled new furniture or items to arrive the day you move in and not have to worry about moving them or going out to the store to buy these things?
Consider planning a day to order new items online and having them delivered to your new home right after you arrive. This will save you a lot of time and allow you to unpack correctly instead of always having to run out for things.
13. Find A Reputable Moving Company
The moving company you hire can completely make or break your move. Make sure you hire a moving company who has great reviews on all platforms and has experience in the industry. Consider getting recommendations from your friends, realtors or others who know of a great moving company they’ve used before.
14. Unpack Little By Little
When your juggling between being a parent and moving, don’t rush the unpacking process and don’t feel like you have to do everything in a couple of days. It’s best to take it slow and start unpacking little by little.
Separating the boxes into the correct rooms will make it easier to unpack. While your kids are at school, use this time to unpack items in the kitchen, garage, and living room. When it is time to do their room, have them get involved with what they want their new space to look like.
15. Take A Break – You Deserve It
Not everything has to be done all at once. Take some time for yourself. Many times, taking this time to yourself will actually help you be more productive when it comes to getting it done.
Remember, You’re Not Alone
What’s the difference between binding and non-binding moving estimates? – In short, a non-binding estimate is what your mover believes the cost of your move without guaranteeing a price. Your actual move cost will be determined on the actual services provided, not necessarily what the estimate says. A binding estimate means that whatever the estimate says, you pay. No matter if the service charges fall under or go over the total cost, that’s what you’ll pay.
How To Pack Dishes Without Newspaper – The best material to use for packing your dishes is packing paper. Packing paper is essentially the same thing as newspaper but it’s blank. It’s often referred to as unprinted newspaper. Sometimes when packing your dishes, if you just can’t seem to get your hands on what you’re originally looking for, newspaper, here are some alternatives to help you pack your dishes right.