Moving is a huge undertaking under any circumstances. Moving with kids, though, is a whole new level of difficulty. The very things you need to keep them entertained and happy are the same things you need to pack up and get out of the way. So how can you pack up their toys before a move without losing your mind? Try these six tips for packing up a playroom before a move.
Donate or discard any old, unused, or broken toys
Start by getting rid of anything that none of the kids play with anymore. Whether it’s too old, broken, or just unused for whatever reason, if the kids haven’t played with it in at least six months or so, get rid of it. You can donate items that are still in good shape and trash the rest. This is your first step for two reasons: first, it gives you less to pack up later. Second, it inconveniences the kids as little as possible so you’re not battling them to get things done.
Get packing materials
Once you’ve pared down the playroom to just the things you’re keeping, it’s time to assess what’s there and get the right packing materials. You’ll want the usual basics:
- packing tape
- markers for labeling
- bubble wrap or other wrapping material (for electronic or more delicate toys)
Consider using other things for packing up the playroom too. Existing toy boxes (with or without lids), baskets, large backpacks or unused diaper bags all offer inexpensive ways to pack up some toys and find them easily later.
Pack a “toybox” to be unpacked first
Once you get to your new home, you’ll want the kids to be entertained so you can unpack, order dinner, and maybe even find a few minutes to relax. So plan for that by preparing a “toybox” to be unpacked first. This can be one general toy box that contains a few things for each kid or you can create one for each kid. It should be relatively small and just contain a few favorite toys, plus any stuffed animals the kids sleep with or toys that are irreplaceable. This is a great way to use the backpacks and diaper bags mentioned in the previous step. This “toybox” should be either packed in the moving truck where it can be the first thing out or in your personal vehicle with you.
Save space by packing soft toys in bags
While you might be able to fit a bunch of stuffed animals or other soft toys in a cardboard box, cardboard boxes aren’t all that flexible. If you pack stuffed animals or other soft toys in plastic bags instead, you give yourself a little more room to fit them in. You can shape the bags around boxes to fit empty spaces that might otherwise go unused.
Pack items in clearly labeled, organized boxes
Put board games with board games, art supplies with art supplies, and so on. As you do this, clearly label these boxes so there’s no doubt what’s inside. The more organized the boxes are, and the more clearly labeled, the easier it will be to unload the kids’ toys at your new home so they can be entertained and out from underfoot as you try to unpack.
Make sure all toys are free of water, batteries, etc.
Moving trucks aren’t climate controlled and can get really hot. If you’re putting any of your stuff in a storage unit, it may get hot in there as well. Save yourself potential illness and damage by making sure any water toys are free of water and all battery-operated toys have the batteries taken out. This will avoid problems like mold, mildew, and battery explosions.
Moving a playroom doesn’t have to be hard. The more prepared and organized you are, the smoother it will be for both you and the kids. And that means a better move for everyone.