Packing up a house for moving day is no easy feat. Packing up a house while caring for a young child is even harder. Luckily, there are steps you can take in order to make life easier on yourself and to keep your child safe in the process.
Young children often assume anything within reach can be considered a toy, so it is important to ensure all dangerous packing materials are out of the child’s reach. Objects such as scissors, packing tape, box cutters, plastic wrap and bubble wrap should be kept off of the ground when the child is in the vicinity.
If the child is extra rambunctious or it is hard to keep an eye on him or her while packing, it is helpful to keep the child enclosed in a play-pen with their favorite books and toys, or engaged in an art project. This is a great idea of giving the child a box or two of different sizes so they can mimic you while staying away from the hazardous items that you may have lying around as you work.
Another tip is to pack delicate and hazardous items when your child is asleep. Because our little ones like to help sometimes, we can allow them to lend a hand when it comes to packing unbreakable items such as wooden kitchen utensils, pillows, and even DVD cases. When it is time to pack your favorite dinnerware, knives, and precious jewelry, ensure this is done when the child is either not in the house or asleep. This way, your items are carefully put away and your child is not in danger.
Perhaps one of the best ideas, depending on the age of your child, is to allow them to pack a box with their favorite soft toys and pillows that they can unpack at the new destination. This allows them to feel a sense of independence and also helps them feel important because they are able to help with such a meaningful process. This box is to be unpacked at the new house with the help of the child.
The final thing you can do to ensure your child is safe while you pack is to send them on a play date or fun outing with a family member or friend. Help create a fun adventure for the child so they can enjoy being out of the house, while you have the freedom and time to take care of business at home.
The same rules can apply when you make it to your destination. Always make sure you give yourself ample time to unpack. The less pressure you put on yourself to unpack everything quickly, the less stressed you will feel. This is especially helpful if you have a little one at home, because we all know that watching a small child is a full-time job. Making sure hazardous items are left off of the floor is just as important now as it was when you were packing. It is helpful to unpack one box at a time, placing everything in its proper place so that there is no chance the item will end up on the floor and in the arms, or even the mouth, of your child.
Set up a play-pen or designate a “playroom” for your child to reside in while you unpack. This room can be one that you will decide to unpack last. If your child is old enough, allow them to unpack the box that they filled with their favorite soft toys and pillows prior to the move. This box will bring them joy to unpack, they will feel a sense of accomplishment, and these items will keep them busy, which gives you more time to take care of what you need to do.
Packing and moving can be stressful, especially with a little one to take care of simultaneously. In order to ensure their safety, and your sanity, follow the tips and ideas listed above.