Columbus Ohio real estate

Moving with children and decluttering you home can be stressful!


This is a re-blog of a post from Sheri Moritz of North Hills , North Carolina.

It's a post that would be hard for me to write first hand in part because although I have moved a number of times myself, I have no children. 

I do remember going to Pittsburgh years ago to help my sister who had a toddler  on moving day.  Moving day was long and eventful.  The moving truck was loading, she was going to the closing and hitting the road on a holiday weekend to drive to another state with a toddler and a couple of cats in her compact car.  My sister's husband was already on the job, she had power of attorney to close for him on the Pittsburgh Pennsylvania home. 

I was a real estate agent at the time and I went to the closing to see how it was different than ours and to babysit the toddler during the closing. That is probably the only closing where I have got down under the closing table for any reason.

It's been so long... but I will never forget her vet gave her "sedation"  for the cats for the long drive.  She followed the instructions to administer the sedation hours before they were scheduled to leave.   While the house was wide open for the movers one of the cats walked out but was very easy to catch as he was "stoned." 

But moving with pets.... is another story... Here's advice for parent's from Sheri.



Ok, Who decided that moving with children was a good idea?  As a Realtor myself, I see families pack up their family and belongings everyday and move them to a new house.  It looks like an easy task from the outside.  We, the agents, just get the paperwork signed and the family packs their belongings...Right?

Well, when I was in high school and college I was a waitress and thought everyone should do it once just to see what it is like to better appreciate what the servers are going through.  Maybe part of the real estate exam should be to see how well us Realtors handles a move of our own.  This might help agents better understand what our clients go through on a daily basis.

I recently moved my 1 and 10 year old to a new house.  I think that those who move a long distance have the advantage of limited space.  When you are moving local and can make several trips people seem to throw or give less away.  In my move I learned several things that I hope will help you whether you are moving with children or not.

1.  Prioritize what you really want and need to move with you! Now is a great time to look in those boxes that have been in the attic for several years.  Do you really want or need these things.  Sometimes it seems easier to just pack that box into the truck and move it to your next home.  I found that if you post anything for free on Craigslist ( that someone will come and pick it up.  This way you don't have to worry about an additional trip to the dump or goodwill.  Just set it outside, post an ad and someone will pick it up.

2.  Help Children Sort through their things ONCE!  That is right...ONCE.  This is my third move with my 10 year old and found the best thing to do is first have a discussion with her about the importance of giving to other children that don't have as much as she does.  Then I let her go through each of her toys and decide what is important to her and what she really uses and what would be a blessing to a child needing toys.  Of course our pile of give always is small, but I then go through them while she is not around and narrow the keeper pile to what I know she actually uses.  I allow her to look at the pile of stuff I don't think she needs anymore and have her explain why it is important.  With most of the toys she agrees that it would be better for another child and she really doesn't play with it.  But like most adults, children find it hard to let go of things even if they are not using it.

3.  Ask the Older Children to Help!  I found that children enjoy helping pack.  Although it may take longer sometimes it makes them feel better and more secure with the move if they have seen their belongings go into the boxes and then where the boxes go.  Most children fear a move and losing their belongings.  This allows them to feel more comfortable that the new house will have all of their things from the old house.  Most teenagers should be responsible for packing and unpacking their own room.  They too will feel more comfortable knowing where their belongings are and if you are a parent of one will understand..."you didn't touch their stuff".

4.  Get a Babysitter for Children Too Young to Carry Boxes!  You might have to pay a friend or a neighborhood teenager to help with this task, but is worth every penny in time.  Moving is very stressful without children running around and needing attention and food.  It is also a potentially dangerous place for them to be.  You will be able to cut your move time considerably if you don't have to manage the small children.  If you can't find a sitter because they are all helping with the move you should plan to have things for the children to do such as coloring.  Moving day might be a good time to rent a couple of good kid's movies, get out some snacks and pack the tv and dvd player last!

5. Resort items at Your New Home!  Take a second look at the things you moved with you when you are unpacking.  If you have no place for it, don't plan to use it, but still moved it... This again is a great time for Craigslist.  If it is valuable, sell it.  You are not under the same time pressure.  If you have a garage, don't bring items into the new house you don't plan to use.  This will encourage you to get the garage cleaned out and to donate or sell those things you are not going to use.

The closing to a blog like this can only be... Good luck!  Moving itself is hard.  But, moving with children allows us to show them our maturity to give to others, to prioritize what is important and needed, and how the unconditional love we have for them gives us patience to help with their stress from moving and the separation anxiety from the clothes and toys they have outgrown.J


This post provided by Maureen McCabe HER Realtors*

Contact Maureen McCabe of HER Realtors* - 614.388.8249

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Information is deemed to be accurate but should be verified to your satisfaction.  Information provided herein is supplied by several sources and is subject to change without notice.  Opinions expressed are solely those of Maureen McCabe.



Comment balloon 4 commentsMaureen McCabe • January 17 2009 07:36AM


Maureen - this is terrific information for someone who is relocating. I have moved several time with pets AND children. Always a challenge, and you have to do some planning and preparation. And it depends on how far you are moving and the way in whcih you are getting there - by car, by plane? I did not see the original so was glad to see this.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) almost 11 years ago

Maureen, in working with sellers with the children and moving (especially with young ones) it is no easy task. these tips are all great. I love the comment about the stoned sedated cat.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) almost 11 years ago

Hi Maureen... Great advice.  It's always a nightmare when I move by myself, I can only imagine what it would be like with children to consider!

Posted by Steve Shatsky almost 11 years ago

thanks fellas content is Via Sheri Moritz (Real Living Realty Experts):

Posted by Maureen McCabe, Columbus Ohio Real Estate (HER Realtors) almost 11 years ago