I have moved a number of times over my life, I think I have tallied up 17 moves. A lot of them were when I was a kid, but I have done five as a mumma.
The packing for me is the easy part, keeping the house clean while having inspections was always a nightmare! We ate a lot of breakfasts out during those early morning showings let me tell you!
Here are some hints for those of you who are packing, moving, selling or downsizing with kidlets in tow.
Declutter the shit, don’t move it! As soon as you have an inkling you're moving start decluttering. Hate that wall hanging? Toss it! Can’t stand that book? Donate it! The tea pot you have used once when Aunt Bessie came to visit? Donate it! Don’t pay to pack, transport and then unpack things you hate.
Step one also helps drastically with the showing portion of moving house. How much easier is it to pick up three toys as compared to 200? Downsize can mean to donate, toss or pack away. You want to be able to tidy your house in 20mins or less. I have sold my house to a random person. The annoying “hey, we are in town for an hour and would love to view the house” type of person. As annoying as they are, it was worth the crazed 20 mins of cleaning to get them in. I literally packed, tossed or donated every single thing I could. I was lucky and had a garage to store it in. If you don’t have the space this is the one and only time I would highly suggest getting a storage unit off site. Just keep packing and then deliver the boxes to the storage unit.
Pack everything you're taking to the next house minus the decorations that make the house feel warm. Get rid of all the overly personal items that people can’t relate to, but keep the rugs, and pot plants that make people picture themselves in the space. Having empty cupboard spaces and half-filled drawers also gives the illusion that this house has HEAPS of storage. Feels fresher and a lot roomier.
I always tried to make my inspections as early as possible during the day. I would get the kids to help tidy their rooms and spaces as much as possible. Then after they were in bed I would clean like a madwoman. I would then wake them early and take them somewhere for breakfast. Sometimes friends, sometimes a café, anywhere they couldn’t trash my house! All I would have to do is make their beds and pop their uniforms on. No crumbs, or scattered toys or toothpaste splatter in the sink!
Have a basket or tub for all the “pretty” things like pillows and throws and candles that you put out to decorate for inspections. I put them out just before the inspection (aka the night before) and then put them all back in the basket straight after the inspection. Why? Because I don’t want boogers, dirty fingers, or the extra picking up that’s required after the kids get a hold of all that stupid shit. Keep it tucked away then it will still look nice for potential buyers. You want these buyers to think that this place is a freaking magical castle that allows families to live in complete perfect tidiness. (we all know that magical castles don't freakin exist ANYWHERE!)
Have boxes in each room - one for donations and one for packing. This will allow you to keep up with the donations rather than just tossing it in the move box to deal with later. Just make sure they are clearly labelled or you may donate your worldly possessions and keep all the teddy bears, too small clothes, and those really uncomfortable shoes.
I hope those few tips help make your moving journey a little less stressful and your unpacking adventure way more fun! Unpacking only the good things in the new shiny house will feel amazing.