Well, it’s officially been a week since we moved our large family from Arkansas to Alabama, and let me tell ya, it’s been quite an experience! Even after making a plan and thinking we had this whole thing figured out we learned that things just were not going to go as expected, and we honestly had way more things than we thought. In this post, I’m going to share my moving day tips for a large family, and tell you about what happened to us!
Moving Day Tips for a Large Family
Overestimate Your Belongings
Let me just jump in right here. We thought we could move ourselves and it would not be *that* hard. After all, we had purged our things down to a reasonable amount. We were wrong. We rented the biggest truck that U-Haul offers and filled it up the first day. We had all hands on deck. I had packed a great majority of our belongings. The only room I did not pack was my husband’s office.
That one truck didn’t hold half of our things. This was even with making sure things were stacked properly and using every available nook and cranny. Oh, it was terrible to realize we would have to come back and finish loading. Don’t make our mistake. Overestimate your belongings.
Clean While The House is Being Loaded
I worked on cleaning bedrooms as they were cleared out. It worked well because I could clean an empty space a lot faster and more easily than I could a room packed with boxes.
I did my best with the cleaning, but did not make it to the kitchen. Since we were moving out of military housing we will now have to pay for a cleaning crew since I didn’t get it all done. After realizing just how much we have and how hard it is to actually move the stuff, we will definitely let the military move us next time. That will make it much easier for me to clean the house we are moving out of, too.
Keep the Kids Entertained
I suggest sending the kids out of the house while it is being loaded, or if that is not an option, keep them corralled to the first room that is emptied so they are out of the way. I kept certain toys out just for this occasion so they would have something to play with.
Hit the Road Prepared
My husband towed his car behind him with the U-Haul, while I followed him in my minivan with our younger kids. Our oldest rode with him. I kept a cooler handy with drinks and we had a stash of snacks to help occupy the kids on the road, and to minimize our stops. This was also one time when they had almost unlimited use of the iPad and Kindle. My 21 month old daughter had the most difficult time riding, so I was glad to be able to let her watch Netflix during the ride. I’m not a huge fan of interstate driving, so if there’s a way to minimize her screaming at me while I’m driving, I’ll do it.
When we did stop for gas and bathroom breaks, we tried to look for a Love’s gas station. They seem to have nicer restrooms than other gas stations I’ve been inside. Trust me, though, we washed our hands and then used hand sanitizer as soon as we got back out to the van.
Keep Your Move-In Box Handy
Remember in my last post on packing tips I shared that you should have a special move-in box with essentials? Keep that box handy. Put it in the front seat of your vehicle if you have to. As soon as you get to your new house you will have toilet paper, paper towels, and paper plates and cups for the first night.
After all was said and done, we ended up taking three loads from Arkansas to Alabama to get everything here. Ugh, we still have a lot of stuff even after my decluttering efforts. The last load was mostly our outdoor stuff, and my husband’s plants that he didn’t really want to part with.
At least the hard part is over with! Now we get to finish unpacking and setting up house!