BY JENN KUBICZA
The weekend before Halloween, we left our first-ever home. Moving has been more of an adventure than I had ever expected it to be.
Last year when our youngest, Cole, began having seizures and got the diagnosis of Angelman Syndrome, my husband and I really stopped to think about the future. We had always known we wanted to have children, and when we bought our first home we did pick a town with a good school system. We didn’t know that we’d really need to be looking for a town with a good special education program. We did some research and talked to families in town and in surrounding towns and decided that, in our opinion, it was best for Cole to get into the program one town over … and we had to do it before he turned 3, so he could start with preschool.
And so it began. We put our little two-bedroom townhouse on the market back in April. We had quite a few showings before someone FINALLY put a realistic offer in. Ironically, it was the day we came home from one of our short hospital stays with our son and the house was in NO condition for a showing! During this whole process we had been talking to the boys about the move. We had even taken them to see a bunch of houses with us to include them in the process. I believe this really helped my oldest, Lincoln, understand what is going on.
But, we had run into one problem. Unfortunately, we have yet to find our new house. Seeing that we have such a specific school district we’re looking for, and such a specific price range, our options are very limited. We continue our search, but for now, are living with my husband’s parents, whose home is (thankfully) in the school district we need.
“The Move – Part 1,” as I have called it, has taught us a few valuable lessons that we will indeed be putting into action when we are ready for “The Move – Part 2.”
1) Moving with children takes a lot more planning than we anticipated.
The last time we moved it was out of our parents’ houses and into our own home. We did it at our leisure! This time…we had more of a deadline, but we also had lots of “Mom!!!! Can you help me with this?” and “Dad!!!!! I need you to fix this!” going on while we were trying to pack. We also had lots of “Oh, Mom/Dad!!! You found my [insert old toy that I was going to donate here] …” So things were not getting packed nearly as quickly as I had hoped.
The moral of this story is to pack the toys AFTER the kids go to bed…or hire a sitter!!! (Note: I will say my 4 year old did try to be helpful!)
2) A good thing to do is wash your entire cloth-diaper stash BEFORE you pack up your washer and dryer.
Turns out it’s not really useful to have your washer and dryer packed up early. We ended up having to do two days of disposables because I wasn’t thinking ahead much. We ran out of clean diapers.
3) Accept help.
We actually believed that we could move our entire house by ourselves in one day. Obviously, that was way too ambitious. It is pretty much impossible to finish packing, load a moving truck and unpack it (three times) within eight hours. We really did think we could do it … but, it turns out that we really needed help (which we thankfully did get) and it took us about two days to get it all completely done. We learned that doing ALL the packing ahead of time is helpful… and getting as many extra hands as you can get!
4) If you think you have enough boxes, buy at least 20 more.
We aimed to use as many “reusable” packing materials as possible, so we kept an eye on the local ads and opted to get a bunch of the plastic totes. We decided this would be beneficial for us because we will need to store old kids’ clothes and toys eventually, and it would make less waste. Well, we needed a lot more than what we bought. We had to go to the hardware store and buy cardboard boxes twice before we were actually done.
We had no idea that four people living in a two-bedroom townhouse could actually fill an entire 10 x 20 storage unit…plus a few more square feet in each of our parents’ garages. This lesson won’t have to be used next time since 90% of our stuff is already packed up … thankfully!!!