Tips to Survive Moving With Kids, Husband and a Competitive MIL

by Hope Daniels
Originally Published: 

Two months ago the thought of selling my house, clearing out the kitchen, giving away the kids’ crap, starting fresh and announcing the good news to family and friends sounded euphoric. A dream come true. But add two kids with lots of stuff, an exhausted husband and a competitive packing mother-in-law into the mix? More like a nightmare. Here are ten things I learned the hard way …

1. Labeling boxes with washable markers sounds genius until it’s raining on moving day and all descriptions get washed away.

2. Keep an eye on your husband. “Shredding important documents” in the basement is code for drinking a beer, watching ESPN or napping.

3. Take advantage of bulk pick-up. Unfortunately, the service won’t discard any annoying family members, but whatever massive furniture or objects you want to dispose of, try to schedule the service at least 24 hours before close of sale.

4. Be prepared to go to battle with your MIL. Remember you took her son away. The last thing she is going to do is let you pack for him. Most likely her 30-second-triple-tape-it skills are not a coincidence. She’s been running packing drills since you revealed the moving date.

5. Have a heart-to-heart with your children about the transition. “Sweetie stop sobbing. I am not giving your American Girls away; they are just being relocated. Stop crying now or I will throw them out!”

6. Have a list of synonyms for “useless” memorized because your kids and husband might become unfazed by your dissatisfaction after calling them the same adjective for the 100th time.

7. Do not give your son anything sharp, like keys, after your belongings are sealed. It’s only a matter of seconds before he goes Edward Scissorhands on the boxes.

8. Make sure the last things to go are TVs and tablets. Otherwise you will be forced to think out of the box and play creative games with your family.

9. Involve the kids in packing. Not because it will make the activity go faster or alleviate any stress, but because you can’t stand hearing them asking over and over again, “Can I help. Can I help. Can I help …”

10. Pray! Pray that the move will be breezy and all the aggravation doesn’t kill you … the first most stressful event in life.

Good luck with your move. I’m rooting for you.

Related post: On Moving…and Moving On

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