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Tips and tricks to moving while pregnant and with a toddler
When I was about 6 months pregnant and had an almost 2-year-old toddler, we moved into a new house. Here are some of the tips and tricks I used to pack and move our family.
The truth about moving
- You will need more bubble wrap than you think
- You will need more boxes than you think
- Packing will take you longer than you think
- Packing supplies are expensive
Where to start packing
- Designate a room or space for the packed boxes – start packing in that room or space to clear it out
- Once you have packed more boxes in other rooms and spaces, they can move into the designated room mentioned above
Must have items when packing
I put together a “packing bag kit” with everything needed to label and tape packed boxes. I could carry around everything I needed from room to room and because everything was together, I could put the bag on a high shelf when I wasn’t using it. That way, I never had to worry about our toddler getting a permanent marker or box cutter since everything was together, accounted for, and out of reach.
This is the bag I used and everything I had in my packing kit –
- Bag – I could not find the original pattern, but this is the same bag I have. It has a lot of pockets for organizing all of the packing supplies I needed.
- Room Labels – These are my favorite packing labels. They stay on the boxes really well and are very easily distinguishable.
- Box cutters – No part of the blade is exposed on these when it is pushed down which is great when kids are around. Even though I kept them in the bag most of the time, I always kept it retracted.
- Tape gun – Quick, easy, and cheap. Be careful as it is very sharp where the tape is cut so keep it away from the kids.
- Extra tape – I would order at least 2 of these so you don’t run out of tape in the middle of packing a room.
- Permanent markers – I labeled all of my boxes with the room label tape and marked what was in the boxes with these markers. This helped tremendously when unpacking and trying to find specific items.
- Stretch Wrap With Handle – I used this to wrap desk drawers that had a lot of small things. It saved a ton of time because I did not have to pack everything in the drawers individually and everything was right where I left it!
- 3×5 index cards (optional) – Use with the Excel method below.
- Note card holder (optional) – Use to sort the index cards based on room #s.
Where to get boxes
There are a bunch of places that will give you free boxes so you don’t have to go out and spend a lot of money on cardboard.
- Target – I spoke to the manager and she told me to come back about an hour after they open on the day they display new items. I was able to grab any empty boxes I wanted! It was a win-win since they were just going to throw the boxes away.
- Home Depot – There are a ton of display boxes they would be happy for you to take. I specifically looked for anything I could use for glasses, steam wear, or plates.
- Moving Companies – The moving company we used let me pick up used boxes for free. They even had a few wardrobe boxes we used which are usually about $25 each.
- Tip: Don’t overlook the small boxes. You can repurpose them by cutting them to fit a picture frame or make sections inside a larger box for drinking glasses.
Packing Hacks for your move
- Use anything soft to pack anything breakable
- Towels, blankets, extra sheets, and extra clothes can be used to pack pictures, home decor, glassware, etc.
- Use towels in the bottom of boxes with plates and cups to act as a cushion.
- When packing dishes, stack with something soft in between each one, then use stretch wrap to wrap the whole stack.
- The less movement the better chance they will not break.
- Pack books inside of rolling luggage for easy transport of heavy items.
Hacks to pack while pregnant with a toddler
- Pack during your child’s naptime or bedtime.
- Tape the boxes closed when your child is waking up so you do not disturb them when sleeping.
- Pack the boxes and leave them. You shouldn’t be lifting anything heavy so have someone else move them for you to the designated area.
- If possible, have someone watch your child for a few hours while you pack.
- Don’t pack your child’s stuff with them in the room (if you can help it).
- Let your child play with an empty box while you get a few things packed. It’s amazing how much fun a kid can have with an empty box and a vivid imagination!
How to label your moving boxes
- Use the colored labels and pack by room.
- Put the labels on all corners of the boxes so it doesn’t matter which way they are turned.
- Number your boxes by assigning each room a range of 100 numbers (Ex. Kitchen Box 1 – 99, Master Bedroom Box 200 – 299, Bathroom Box 300 – 399, etc).
- Beneath (or above) the label, write the box number and the contents of the box.
Create an Excel document or a Google Sheets document
I’m an Excel nerd and I really enjoy using it for a lot of things. So when it came time to move, I labeled all of our boxes and put them in an Excel sheet. If we needed to know where a certain item was packed, I could look it up very quickly using our Excel doc. This saved us a ton of time after we moved since I could run a search on the spreadsheet to find the box number.
Step-by-step to your organized moving box list
Follow these steps to create an amazingly organized Excel document for packed items
- On an index card, write the box number, room, and contents.
- Once you are done packing for the day, enter that information into your Excel document.
- Sort your index cards in your index card holder sorted by box number to keep as a hard copy back up.
- To sort your document by box number, click on the corner where the columns meet the rows.
- Click on data, sort, check the box that says “My data has headers.”
- Under Column, sort by Box number and click OK.
- The data will now be sorted by box number.
- Google Sheets can also be sorted by box number as pictured above.
Yay! So organized!!!
Create an “open first” box
Make sure you have an “open first” box of things that you will need as soon as you move to the new space. You do NOT want to be digging around for toilet paper or your coffee maker!
- Toilet paper
- Paper towels
- Trash bags
- Coffee maker – maybe this one is just me, but this is a necessity!
- Box cutters
- Cleaning supplies
- Small first aid kit
Pack an overnight bag
Pack an overnight bag for every member of the family
- Outfits for as many days as your move will take
- Towels for showers
- Sheets for your beds
- Travel bathroom/toiletry bags
Moving into your new place tips
- Once your bed is assembled, put your sheets on and make the bed. At the end of a long day of unpacking, you will thank yourself when you can just fall into bed!
- When you get to your new house, prioritize unpacking the most important – kids’ rooms, kitchen, bathroom, etc.
- Put toilet paper in each of the bathrooms as soon as possible.
- If you can, clean the area before you unpack that space. Spaces are super easy to clean while they are empty so why not take the opportunity?
- Prioritize the rest of the rooms on the list and unpack one at a time.
- Enjoy your new place!!!
Which tip do you find to be the most helpful?