PACKING & MOVING HOMES WITH KIDS

Moving is stressful and exhausting. Add kids to mix and the level of tension and fatigue is multiplied. If the daunting take of juggling between packing chores and parenting responsibilities a must this summer while school is out, follow these tips to help keep summer vacation fun and the move entertaining for those little ones full of curiosity and energy.

Learning Through Packing packing-toys-for-children

Kids are hands-on learners. Moving offers a teaching opportunity for kids of any age. Keeping kids actively involved in the moving process not only teaches them skills they will use later on as adults, but will also keep them occupied as they help the family in moving.

Smaller Moving Boxes for Smaller Movers

Show your child how to properly pack using smaller boxes based on the size of their belongings. This encourages them to be active participants as they pack their own boxes with their favorite toys and carry them to the moving truck. Smaller boxes can include old shoe boxes which your child can easily place their action figures or Barbie’s into. If the small boxes can be made as light as possible, you can also have your child carry their own boxes from their rooms to the moving truck or garage. This experience teaches your child to have responsibility for their toys and makes them feel part of the moving team!

The Game of Moving

Who hasn’t played (or at least heard about) the game TETRIS? The goal of the game is to fit different sized pieces together without leaving gaps and without allowing the area to overflow. Add a timer to it and the challenge has been heightened! Moving is a lot like TETRIS. Have your child figure out how to make all their toys fit in a small box. This will encourage him/her to organize all those toys better. For older kids, have them time themselves to see how fast they can finish packing up their toy room! Encourage them to maximize the space of the box by utilizing their TETRIS skills. Congratulate them when they show you that they are applying their game skills and reward them for jobs well-done with treats during breaks. Using games to engage your children during the relocation process makes the task of packing more enjoyable for kids and very helpful for you.

Creating Art on Moving Boxes with Children

After your child is done packing a small box with their toys or clothes have them note what is in the box by writing or drawing at the sides of the boxes. This teaches them to organize and help find that specific toy there are sure to need as soon as you go to your new home. Creating art on the boxes is a fun experience that will keep them both productive and occupied. When it comes time to unpacking the boxes in your new home, have your kids help by having them seek out the boxes based on their own labeling. Ask them to find a specific toy to show them how their organizing and labeling helped you out!

KEEPING NERVES AT BAY FOR KIDS DURING RELOCATIONS reading-kids-new-home-moves

Moving is hard on kids not only because their caregivers are preoccupied with packing, but also because they are nervous about the change. Make them feel comfortable by keeping their favorite toys and activities accessible to them throughout the relocation. A backpack for them to keep around them is a convenient way of not losing track of these items and an easy place for your child to store their items.

Keep Them Reading!

Marvel comic books, bed-time fairytales, or the latest magical series, keep kids occupied with learning. Before the hectic packing and moving period starts, make a visit to the book store or library and have them pick out books specifically for that week. While their minds escape to the far and wide adventures, you can focus on the moving chaos.

Coloring & Activity Books

Keep your child’s creative juices flowing! Coloring & activity books will keep their minds engaged and is a stress-reliever for them. Have them get a head start on the summer homework or make birthday cards for any upcoming celebrations. The best part of having coloring and activity books for them is they are easy to carry and don’t take up much space. Your child can work on them in the car or even at the self-storage unit while you’re busy working in your unit.

Electronics & Learning Apps

With the ever-changing options on electronic devices these days, learning apps that entertain your children while teaching them math, reading or creative thinking, are life-savers during home moving! Managing screen time when you’re busy is difficult, setting up screen time parental controls on iPhones and tablets will help control what they are doing and for how long they are on the device. Don’t forget to fully-charge the devices in case you need it at the self-storage unit or on the long drive to your new home.

Pack for a 3-Day Vacation

Moving to a new home is certainly not anything like a vacation. But, when it comes to the first few nights in your new residence, packing for a three-day trip will make those transition days much easier. Packing, loading, unloading and unpacking rarely come without any hiccups: misplaced phone, forget to empty out the fridge or don’t know who has the new apartment keys. When 9 PM hits, the last thing you want to worry about is where the tooth brushes and favorite blankets are. Have each person’s essentials packed up in their individual luggage and alleviate the night and morning frustrations of a “just-moved in” unorganized home.

Sleeping Bags

Sleeping bags are a crucial must when moving, especially when you have disassembled and packed away the bed. You may not be able to re-assemble the bed frames in the new bedrooms. Keep this in mind and anticipate that there may be a possibility of sleeping on the floors on the first night. Having the sleeping bags and pillows accessible will allow for a quick setup for the night.

Bedtime Stories night-light-new-home-bedroom

If reading bedtime stories is a nightly routine on a normal (non-moving) day, stick to the routine and provide comfort through stability. Have the kids choose a few books to pack in their luggage so you can read during bedtime as you help them fall asleep. For older children, ask them about their week and talk to them about how the move went. Spending some time with them will help them feel at ease as they try to wrap their minds around the big move.

Teddy Bear & Night Lights

Moving can be scary for younger children. The unfamiliarity of the new home can be frightening especially during the dark night hours. Pack your child’s comfort toys in the luggage along with some night lights throughout the new place. This will also minimize bumps in to moving boxes as you try to get to the restroom in the unfamiliar home in the middle of the night.

Take a Break & Explore your new Neighborhood with the Family!new-neighborhood-moving-tips

Soon after your family is moved in, the focus is on unpacking and settling your things into the new spaces. But, it’s also important to settle into your neighborhood. Take a break from the packing for an hour or two and explore the neighborhood. Take a family stroll to the nearby parks or the local store. You and your kids will enjoy the break together as you meet your new neighbors and get familiar with your surroundings. After all, the task of moving may not be fun but a new beginning in a new neighborhood is exciting!

If moving to Crestline neighborhoods near Mountain Storage, visit the  following links for helpful family-friendly activities and resources:

Travel Crestline–list of local events and things to do in Crestline.

Kids activities in Crestline — list of recommended kids activities to do in Crestline.

For Self-Storage in Crestline, CA

Call Mountain Storage: (909) 338-7079 or visit us on our website.

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De-Clutter or Move Homes: Make it Easier

How To Get Clutter Moved Out Of Your Home

Spring cleaning or summer moving, the task of de-cluttering or packing is dreadful (yet worthwhile) when done right. Planning, timing and organizing helps stay focused.

Plan Your Move

Sometimes just starting the process is challenging. Where to begin cleaning? Which closet should I start organizing? Which items can I start packing before my official moving date? These questions can be overwhelming and easily result in procrastination. What should you do? The answer is simple: start small!

Small Spaces Are Easier To Clean

Set Aside Time Just For Packing

Often times, even with the best of intentions, multitasking ends up being less productive. With daily demands of family, home and work, we are already stretched for time. Adding a home move to that juggle can amount to high levels of anxiety. Additionally, studies have shown that multitasking can cause us to get more tired which is counterproductive to your plan of staying focused and motivated to get through that long packing list. Read more about why Neuroscientists Say Multitasking Literally Drains The Energy Reserves Of Your Brain.

Multitasking Drains Productivity

Organize Your Space

The whole idea of spring cleaning is to freshen up your space by de-cluttering and well…cleaning! Which means: actually clean out your space by removing unnecessary items. Simply shifting items from one place to another without deciding on its need in your home is another form of procrastination. For instance, if you’re packing for a move, think how much time and energy you will save by getting rid of these extra items before you move into your new home. The laborious task of packing and moving items from your old to new place is undoubtedly tiring mentally and physically. By not adding unwanted extras to your boxes will, at the least, save you some time even when it’s time to unpack.

Moving homes or cleaning is not fun (not for most right?). But, managing it by planning, scheduling uninterrupted time and organizing will get you through it. Most importantly, remember that it will get done!

Storage in Crestline, Mountain Storage

For more options on how to maximize your space, read about storage units in Crestline, CA.

Moving Made Easy: How to Inventory Your Belongings

by Patrick Galvan featured on Storage.com

Whether you’re moving directly into your new home or temporarily using a storage unit to store everything you own, creating a home inventory when moving is a good idea. Not only does this help you keep track of your stuff, but it also makes unpacking easier because you’ll know what goes where.

Why You Need a Home Inventory for Moving

images (1)If you’re hiring a moving company or keeping everything you own in self storage until you can move into your new home, a home inventory is a good backup plan should anything happen to your belongings.

Moving companies are usually cautious when moving items, and most self storage facilities have security features like video surveillance, gated access, and alarmed units to protect your items. That said, accidents can happen, and a security system is never a 100% guarantee that your belongings are safe.

Keeping a record of everything that’s being moved or stored is a good way to protect yourself. Should any of your items get damaged or stolen, having an itemized list (or photos) of each belonging can help you file an insurance claim and work faster with your insurance company to recover what was lost.

Label All of Your Boxes and Keep an Itemized Record

When moving, write or attach labels to all of your boxes and storage containers. There are a few different ways you can organize your stuff with labels, but the best ways are by item and room.

  • By Item: Labeling boxes and storage containers by item is good when you have lots of similar items. For example, a bunch of photo albums can be put in one box labeled “Photo Albums,” which keeps them together and makes it easier for you to find all of them when unpacking.
  • By Room: Let’s say you have several kitchen appliances and utensils in one box. It’d be hard to categorize them by item. In this situation, it’s better to label them by room. That way, when you’re moving the box into your new home, you’ll know it needs to go into the kitchen because it’s marked “Kitchen.”

Once you’ve packed and labeled everything, make an itemized record of what’s inside your boxes and containers. The more detailed and itemized the list, the better.

For example, an itemized list for a box marked “Electronics” could look like this:

moving inventory example

If you anticipate the need to retrieve something from the box before you unpack, tape the list to the outside of the container rather than putting it inside. This will help you avoid rummaging through all of your boxes to find what you need. Also, taking photos of everything inside the box and taping them outside can be useful.

There’s an App for That!

mobile-apps-1Of course, electronic records are much more convenient—and easier to produce—than writing an inventory out by hand. That’s why there are apps for smartphones and tablets specifically designed to help! In fact, some apps include features for storing pictures and video clips to help you document your items.

Here are three examples of moving and home inventory apps available through Apple’s app store:

  • Moving Day: With this free app, you can catalog items while you pack, track the value of items and store photos for insurance claims, create bar codes and labels for your boxes that can be printed, and more.
  • Moving Van: While this app does cost $1.99, you can keep track of each box and item you’ve packed and assign them to rooms. If you need to find an item, you can search on the app for the item and the box it’s in. Data can also be exported into a PDF or email if you need to file an insurance claim.
  • Sortly: This app allows you to take photos and organize items with the option to even keep track of product part or serial numbers. You can export items into a PDF and use QR codes to keep track of boxes and where each item is. (This app does have in-app purchases, otherwise it’s free.)

An inventory may not seem like it’s worth the work while you’re packing up your belongings, but it’s helpful to have when moving and storing belongings. With a good spreadsheet or inventory-related app, you can keep everything organized and make more efficient insurance claims should anything happen.

Bubble Wrap and Padding: A guide to properly packing your valuables

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For me,  the hugest pain of moving is not attaining boxes and packing all of my worldly possessions, but more so packing delicate items, specifically dishware; those china plates are fragile and will break easily. In order to protect your fragile items, I would suggest:
  • Individually wrapping each plate like a present with a thick layer of bubble wrap
  • Lining your boxes with a towel or a soft material to cushion your items
  • If you do not have a soft towel or soft material, try using wads of crumbled newspaper instead
  • Always place cups and glasses rim down
  • When wrapping glasses, do not only wrap the outside of the glass but the interior as well; you want full protection
  • Place dishes on their side and place smaller items inside of larger items for more storage space within your box
  • Make sure your box is packed evenly and tightly, i.e. no large unfilled spaces within the box, no loose space for your items to slide everywhere
  • Leave an inch or two of space towards the top of the box and then fill in this extra space with more padding (newspaper, foam, bubble wrap, a towel)
  • For extra protection, you can also invest in Dish Pack Dividers. Dish Pack Dividers are exactly that, dividers with multiple columns and rows to isolate your dishes to protect them more. However, please wrap your items even if you’re using a Dish Pack Divider. You can find Dish Pack Dividers online or at your local hardware store.
Furthermore, once you do move your boxes of fragile items into storage, make sure to:
  • Properly mark your boxes; I suggest using a different colored permanent marker for each type of dishware (red for cups, blue for plates, yellow for bowls)
  • Be sure to move boxes you do not need access to, to the back of your unit and place your boxes with fragile items towards the front. If there is not enough space, place the boxes of fragile items on top of other boxes you know you will not need access to anytime soon.
Follow the tips above to successfully store your breakables. Happy wrapping!