When you had your first child, you spent a lot of time childproofing your home. You thoroughly covered electrical sockets. You installed child safety locks on all the cabinets. And you tucked cords, cables, and electronics out of sight.
But as you prepare for your move, all your childproofing will soon go out the window. You’ll have to pack up your safety latches and box up your knob covers. You’ll have to put away your corner and edge bumpers and unmount your secured furniture.
As your move progresses, your home will seem more like a disaster waiting to happen than a carefully planned event. So what can you do to protect your children during the chaos?
1. Pack and Label Dangerous Items Separately
As you go from room to room, you may feel tempted to keep similar items together for easy organization. For example, forks, spoons, and utensils may end up in one box. Dishes may go in another. And small appliances may end up in their original packaging.
But remember that not all of your kitchenware is created equal in terms of child safety. Your Disney-themed spoons are innocent enough, but they may prove a dangerous temptation for your children when packed alongside paring knives, cheese graters, and roasting forks.
Whenever possible, pack child-appropriate items and more hazardous tools in separate boxes. Don’t forget to write “warning,” “sharp,” or “dangerous” on the outside so you know to keep these boxes out of your children’s reach.
2. Use Baby Gates and Barricades Strategically
Sometimes even the best organizational methods and techniques can’t keep a whole-house move in check. The more you pull from shelves and closets, the more your home looks like a tornado landing site.
Your children may find the messy changes exciting and thrilling. The countless boxes and new furniture positions could look like an open invitation to crawl, play, and explore. Soon those little fingers will add to the mess as they pull out newly packed items and throw precisely folded clothing across the room.
To keep your small ones under control, consider barricading them in a bedroom, living room, or playroom. Or if you dislike the idea of confining them to one section of the house, consider setting up baby gates around the rooms that have the most boxes or the rooms with particularly dangerous items.
Be sure to give your children plenty of fun toys and books to keep them occupied in their safe space.
3. Schedule Bigger Jobs When Your Children Are Out of the House
Baby gates work well for toddlers and infants, but if you have slightly older children, you may struggle to keep them out from underfoot. They may be tall enough to scale your biggest gate, and they may be clever enough to bypass any attempts at corralling them into a single room.
In these cases, you’ll want to plan your biggest moving tasks when your children are out of the house. If you can, load all of your furniture into the van when your children are at school. Hire a plumber or electrician to unhook your dishwasher or your stove while your children play with their friends or neighbors.
Don’t have a convenient way to entertain the children? Hire a local sitter to watch them for a few hours so you can focus on the more complex moving tasks.
Enjoy Moving With Your Family
Although moving with young children and toddlers can feel chaotic, you don’t have to let the stress overwhelm you. When you follow the above tips, you can keep your children away from the dangerous items without interrupting your moving schedule.
If you need additional help, don’t hesitate to hire on a qualified moving team. When you let the professionals handle the boxes, you can shift your focus away from the move and back toward your children.