Now we've got through the moving day from hell, I thought I'd share with you my top tips for making it as easy as possible on your little ones. I'd like to think that despite me being an exhausted mess at the end of it, the kids have got through pretty much unscathed... and where things went wrong, I hope you can learn from my mistakes!
1. Visit the new place with your toddler
We took Lily with us when we went to view it and it really helped when we then told her about the move. She didn't have to imagine it, because she had already seen it. We just had a job explaining to her that Derek, who showed us round, wasn't coming too...
2. Enlist their help with the packing
Lily was apprehensive about packing at first. She was worried about leaving things behind. Once I'd assured her that we would be taking everything she was more than happy to get stuck in with packing up her toys and books.
3. Read books and watch TV about moving
Thank goodness for Topsy and Tim. Lily decided she wanted to move house before we did just because Topsy and Tim moved to a new home. It made explaining it all to her much easier.
4. Organise yourself
Work out the plan. Then do as I did and cry when it all falls apart...
No. Seriously. An organised move is going to make it all a lot easier. For everyone.
5. Be positive - if you dread the move, they will too.
This was hard for me because I truly dreaded moving. I expected it to be stressful and it was. Despite trying to hide it from Lily I think she picked up on it anyway and kept telling me she felt 'sad' on the day.
6. Let them say goodbye
Lily wanted to say goodbye to her old house and so we made sure we left some time on Saturday morning for her to go back. I think it was important for her to have that opportunity, even if she did run back out of the door because she was visiting her friends and was excited to see them.
7. Unpack their room first
My best friend took the day off to help me move. Isn't that amazing? She was fantastic at every turn, but one of the things that meant the most was how she unpacked most of Lily's room and made it look ready for her to sleep in. By surrounding Lily with her old things straight away I think it helped settle her at bedtime and made for a happier little girl at the end of it.
8. Take breaks and maintain routine
Despite trying to fit an awful lot into that one day I still made time for a story before bed. It is such an important part of our routine and I didn't want to lose it. We were able to have a little sing song, read a book and snuggle and it was a good way to unwind at the end of a very stressful day.
9. Understand they may be clingy
Both Lily and Ollie are still clingy, although with Ollie I think that is as much down to teething as it is being unsettled by the move. Most of Lily's things are in place, but it's still quite hectic and it's going to take a while for things to even out a bit. It means that Lily wants tons of hugs and often asks to 'snuggle and watch TV'. It can be a bit frustrating when there is so much to get done, but I am concentrating on the positives of having lovely hugs with my special girl.
10. Treats! (One for you, one for me)
Yep, I'm not above a bit of bribery. I got Lily a magazine (a real treat, they're so bloody expensive) to keep her occupied during the morning. It didn't last long but it was better than nothing. She also picked out a huge chocolate chip biscuit at M&S when we stopped for lunch. She wasn't the only one to be fair, I treated myself to one of their new chocolate tarts. I think I deserved it.