Moving with Kids: Mistakes to Avoid

Relocating to a new home is a big decision – especially if it involves moving your entire family. Whether you have young children or teenagers, informing them that they will soon be moving can bring on a supernova of emotions, from worry and sadness to anxiety and anger. If you are wondering how to make relocating easier on your family, be sure to avoid these common moving mistakes:

Not Answering Questions. As a parent, you know very well that kids ask a lot of questions. Why is the sky blue? Why do I have to eat vegetables?
Why won’t my friends talk to me? Along with the many questions they ask, kids are prone to worrying. This is especially true when change is imminent – like moving to a new house or city. It’s understandable if you don’t want to cause your children stress about moving. But a common mistake that parents can make is to avoid certain questions their kids have about moving. You may feel that you are protecting your kids by not talking to them about the move ahead, but this tactic can actually cause more harm than good. Sure, you don’t have to discuss with them every single detail of the move (how many boxes you’ll need, how much the movers you hire are, etc.), but covering the basics is a good choice. So create time to answer the exuberant number of questions your children have about the move. Explain to them why the family is moving, when the move will happen, what they can bring with them. Openly discussing these things is the best way to help ease them into all of the changes they will need to endure during a home move.

Waiting Too Long to Tell Them. It makes sense not to worry your kids with news of a move before knowing if it will actually take place. But a mistake you definitely don’t want to make is waiting too long to tell them. Springing a move on your kids at the last minute is guaranteed to cause them high amounts of stress and anxiety. Especially older kids and teens who will be leaving friends behind. It will take your kids time to process the idea of moving, transition away from their current lifestyle and become excited about their new home. So be sure to tell them about the upcoming move well before moving day arrives.

Doing Everything Yourself. Certain tasks in life can easily be handled by you and you alone. Believe us when we say that moving is not one of them! Moving is hard. It requires lots of time and energy, organization, planning and packing. Throw having kids into the mix and moving becomes much more difficult. Do you really want to be carrying boxes of dishes or heavy furniture while trying to wrangle your kids at the same time? We didn’t think so! Even if your kids are trying their best to be nice and helpful, being able to focus solely on making the moving transition smoother on your family will make things much easier. Hire professional movers to deal with all of the heavy lifting and truck organization. Then you can put your attention on the most important thing you are moving – your children.

Letting Young Kids Help Pack. Don’t get us wrong, it’s great to let your kids – especially teens – help pack when moving. It can even be an okay idea to let your littlest ones help pack certain things like stuffed animals. But for young kids, letting them help pack for a move can be problematic. Instead of saving you time and stress, it can actually do the opposite. With little hands at work, packing will take much longer. It will also create a high risk of items being broken or your child being hurt. For packing to be most efficient, keep your kids busy with other activities during this time.

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Top Tips for Labeling Moving Boxes

When you think of moving to a new home, what words come to mind? If you’re like most who have gone through the process of a home move, you probably think of words like chaos, disorganization and stress. It’s not that moving to a new home is all bad. In fact, it can actually be a very exciting time in one’s life. The problem is that there are a lot of details involved in order to orchestrate and conduct a move. From finding a new place to live, to packing, cleaning and buying supplies, there is a great deal to organize if you want to get from Point A to Point B successfully.

Luckily, your moving preparations don’t have to be disorganized, chaotic or stressful. How, you ask? One way is to devise a smart and foolproof labeling system for packing. Below you will find our top tips for labeling moving boxes for an upcoming move.

Create a Color-Code System

We previously mentioned a color-code system. Now we will discuss in full what this is and how it works. So here goes! The best way to label moving boxes is to create and use a color-coding system. Here’s an example:

Say you choose the color blue to mean bedroom. You will use either a blue marker or blue tape to label all boxes that are packed with items from your bedroom. Come moving day, you will know to take all boxes labeled with blue to the bedroom until they can later be unpacked.

How will others, like friends and movers, understand your color-coding system? A good way to keep them informed is to place colored pieces of paper on the doors of your new home that match the color-code on your boxes. For example, for bedroom boxes labeled with blue, place a blue piece of paper over that specific bedroom door.

Create a Number Labeling System

Are you into numbers more than colors? No problem! Another great labeling technique you can use is a number labeling system. The purpose of using numbers to mark your moving boxes is to designate a certain number to each container. Then, you create a master inventory checklist that includes the contents located in each numbered box.

For example: If Box #1 includes a coffee maker, toaster and blender, each of these items will be listed under Box #1 on your inventory checklist. Then, on the box, you will write “#1”.

The key to using a number labeling system is to ensure you don’t lose the master inventory checklist. So print several copies and also email it to yourself and even to a friend for extra backup.

Gather Labeling Supplies

One of the keys to successfully pack for a move is to have the proper supplies to get the job done. While the most obvious supplies you’ll need are things like cardboard moving boxes, packing paper, bubble wrap, and tape, you will also need labeling supplies:

Quality Markers. One of the most important labeling supplies to have are markers (have several on hand!). Unlike ordinary pens, markers are the best choice. When shopping for markers, keep these things in mind:

Color. Using markers of different colors will allow you to color-code each box based on the room it belongs in. This will make moving day, and unpacking, much more organized.

Quality. With moving costs exploding around you, it can be tempting to cut costs on things like markers. But this is a definite mistake, as they are more likely to run out of ink faster and not show up as well.

Permanent and Waterproof. Moving day comes with a big list of what-ifs. What if it rains? What if something leaks? Problems like these can cause labels to smudge and smear. This is why using permanent and waterproof markers when labeling your moving boxes is a must.

Labels. If you prefer to have sticky labels that you write on, you can find downloadable and ready-to-use printable moving box labels on the Internet. You can also purchase labels from a local moving company. These labels will include the names of different rooms on them so you won’t even have to write on them.

Colored Tape. While packing your belongings, you will have lots of clear packing tape on hand. But this won’t work for labeling! To label your boxes, you will need to purchase colored tape. This way, you can enhance your labeling system and make box notification easier.

Label Boxes Correctly

There are, of course, no serious rules to follow when it comes to labeling your moving boxes. You are a unique individual, after all, and can label them whichever way you choose. But we do have a few proven techniques to share with you to help make labeling an easy and organized success.

  • Choose a labeling method that works best for you. Then, label the top and two sides of each moving box. Be sure your writing is legible. It should also be visible on at least one side, even when boxes are stacked one on top of the other.
  • Attach moving labels to your boxes then place clear packing tape over them. This way labels won’t fall of or get torn or wet during transportation.
  • Label boxes that require extra care with words like “Fragile”, “Breakable” or “Handle with Care”.

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Safety Tips to Avoid Moving Injuries

Anyone who has ever endured a residential move knows it’s stressful. Unfortunately, many don’t realize just how dangerous it is until an injury occurs in an unpredictable, painful moment. What’s the best way to avoid injuries while moving? Start by checking out our list of safety tips that will help keep you and your moving crew injury free on moving day.

Plan Several Steps Ahead

Moving goes hand-in-hand with organization. Planning each step before actually taking it will be your best approach to a safe move. So plan several steps ahead. For example, if your couch won’t fit through the living room door, don’t use brute force to push it out the doorway. This is a big mistake that will lead to damaged property and personal injuries. Instead, opt for an adequate solution, like breaking down your couch or temporarily removing the door to provide a few extra inches of space so your couch can fit through.

Get Adequate Moving Assistance

Moving is not meant to be a one-person job. No matter how much planning you do or how organized you are, a solo move is basically impossible. This is why it’s crucial to have help when moving day arrives. Friends are great for providing physical and emotional help, but hiring professional movers is the optimal way to ensure a safe move. Professional movers are trained to follow safety procedures and are familiar with safety rules so accidents and injuries are prevented.

Avoid Overly Heavy Boxes

When moving house, there is one fundamental safety rule you should always follow: never pack a box so that it exceeds 50 pounds. Boxes that bypass this weight have a much higher risk of causing bodily injury. If a box feels uncomfortable to lift and carry around, this means it is too heavy and items should be repacked. The only acceptable way to move bulky boxes and other heavy, awkward items, like furniture and kitchen appliances, is to use the proper moving equipment. A moving dolly is the ultimate moving tool for heavyweight items. When using a dolly, always be sure to have the proper assistance and use the correct lifting techniques.

Use Proper Lifting Techniques

Moving day is filled with awkward and unusual body movements – lifting, bending, pushing, pulling and twisting. These movements mean your body is prone to sustain minor, or even serious injuries. To reduce the risk of self-injuries when handling heavy objects, here are some simple and efficient lifting techniques to follow:

  • Lift with your legs, not your back. Do this by keeping your back straight, bending at the knees and using the strength of your legs to lift the object. This technique will help decrease the chance of back strain.
  • Push heavy objects forward, don’t pull them backwards. This will help prevent back injuries.
  • Avoid twisting your hips when turning with a heavy object. Instead, pivot your body with your feet.
  • Keep heavy objects close to your body and centered in relation to your body’s height.
  • Take small steps, keeping your footing secure. Also make your movements slow and smooth versus sudden and jerky.
  • When lifting/moving heavy items, keep your eyes looking in front of you and slightly upward.
  • Unless absolutely necessary, avoid lifting heavy objects over your head.

Keep Hallways and Pathways Free of Obstacles

During your move, one of the most dangerous situations is to trip and fall over obstacles in your way – a problem that can lead to body strain and even broken limbs. This is why it’s vital to keep all hallways and pathways (inside and outside your home) clear. Here are some ways to do so:

  • Place packed boxes in labeled, organized piles away from all hallways or other heavy traffic areas.
  • Clear outdoor pathways that lead to the moving truck of mud, water, snow or ice. Also remove any debris from the ground that could prove hazardous.
  • Trim overgrown shrubs or protruding tree branches that might get in the way.

Dress Appropriately

When moving day arrives, it’s important that you dress appropriately for the tasks ahead of you. Being fashionable is the last thing you should be worried about on the longest, most exhausting day of your life. For comfort and safety, check out the list below for what to wear on moving day.

  • Clothes should provide a maximum level of comfort and protection. Wear fabrics that are breathable and flexible, and that won’t restrict your movements.
  • Choose clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty or ruined after a long day of moving.
  • Avoid baggy clothing because it has a high chance of becoming caught or tangled on boxes, furniture and so on – a situation that can compromise your safety.
  • Select a pair of shoes that are both comfortable and closed-toe in order to provide your feet the best protection, flexibility and traction.

For more tips to keep your move safe, check out ABC Movers blog.