1. Pack early. Pack organized. I highly recommend that you start packing more than two days in advance. In fact, toddler or no toddler, this is a top tip, folks. I was pretty much in moving-denial. Despite being super excited to get into our new place, I some how imagined that if I didn't pack, our stuff would just magically float across the street and set itself up. I did start packing about a week before our move date - but every newly packed box and every empty shelf was just a new climbing obstacle for Kale. We really should have cleared out a room and designated it the 'packed stuff' room and kept Kale out of there.
2. Let the very mobile and active toddler help pack, clean and do other child labour tasks. Every time Kris sees a kid mowing the grass or shoveling a driveway Kris gets super excited and says "Kale, that's going to be you one day buddy!" Remember back in the day when people had a lot of kids so they had free labour to help on the family farm? Kris still lives in this era.
One of Kale's favourite things to do these days is unpack things. He likes to pull all his clothes out of his dresser drawers, dump out his toy bins, and pull clothes out of the dryer. This means he was great at helping unpack, but not much help in the packing department - unless it involves packing himself in a box (which is pretty cute):
3. Babyproof before bringing in the child. We went from a one-level home to a four-level home and so before we moved we didn't have a need for baby gates. We lasted about 45 minutes (all of which were spent walking behind Kale as he went up and down the stairs over and over and over) before we went to buy the gates. We went to a local baby store where they convinced us that we needed the most expensive gates in the entire world or we would be putting our son's life at risk. We then proceeded to spend our life savings on baby gates. No joke. LIFE SAVINGS. I really wish I would have been prepared before the move and had time to look at different models and price them out. I also wish we would have had time to babyproof the place without Kale there - although he was really helpful in finding the outlets (electrical outlets are baby MAGNETS. For reals.).
I'm sure that all of this is total common sense to the average parent (so I'm not sure what that says about us). I thought that moving two doors over with fifteen days of overlap between the places was going to make things really easy. Instead it's just made it a drawn out affair that involves us parading our junk down the street for all our neighbours to make fun of. Tonight we'll go do a last clean and move the piano and finally be finished with the move. As much as I love our new home, I am going to miss that little old place something fierce. We made a baby there, birthed a baby there, and became parents in that house. Kris told me last night that if he won the lottery he`d buy the property, tear down the house, build a park and let the birth tree** flourish. Until then, I`ll have to settle for pausing at the house on our walks and taking a few seconds to think of all the amazing things that happened in Kale`s first home.
**the birth tree refers to the plant that grew outside our bedroom window. It was a small plant. Then we dumped the water from the birthing pool out the window and, in a very short amount of time, the small plant became a tree that threatened to overtake our entire house.