Moving (With a Toddler!)
By the time we got the keys to our new house, we only had a few days of occupancy left in our old home. I was hoping for a couple weeks of overlap to get the house clean (I am not a clean freak by any means, but living in other people's dirt really weirds me out), to really get a feel for what we wanted to bring, and to have a solid understanding of what shape the house was in. An inspection tells you the nuts and bolts, but I wanted to know what impacts our daily lives. For example, there is a street light that shines in the left side of the home at night which requires immediate curtains, the bathroom door doesn’t always latch, and the bulbs in both bathroom lights were out.
There is also something to be said about seeing the home empty. When we bought our house, it was occupied. When we closed, it was still occupied, so we had never seen our new home without someone else’s stuff. This made it hard to picture how our stuff would fit in and to begin planning our uses for the spaces.
The last reason I wanted a couple weeks of time was our toddler, Marin. I wanted her to spend time at the new house to have her be comfortable (and excited!) before we moved. I tried to make moving day as normal for her as possible. She went to daycare as usual and I waited to pack her room so she didn’t see it in boxes.
Before moving day, we had someone come over to give us an estimate on painting the ceilings. They were in pretty bad shape and while we are good painters, this was beyond what we knew we could make look good. The peaks of the vaulted ceilings had peeling, bubbling drywall tape. There were some other ceiling cracks that looked they had previously been repaired, but poorly. (And ugh, that yellow paint!) We got bad some bad news about the ceilings. They required a lot more work than we had anticipated and we wouldn’t be able to move in until they were fixed. Move in day was pushed back a full week and the project would not be complete for about 10 days. This totally threw off my timeline for transitioning Marin to the new space.
Thankfully, my mom lives nearby and we could stay with her while the ceiling was being worked on. Marin is very comfortable and sleeps well at my mom’s (THANK GOD), so that portion of the transition was relatively easy. But moving into our new home after being there hasn’t been as smooth. Sleeping in the new house isn’t going as well for little Marin. Despite her room having the exact same furniture, we couldn’t match the layout. And, we're in a busier area, closer to the train than before, so I don’t think the noises are helping with the transition.
So, tell me parents, what helped your toddler transition? Did you move with small kids? Do we just wait it out? I want to hear it all!