By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
When you move, you and the moving truck usually leave at about the same time. After all, you'll need to oversee the loading and then have no reason to stick around after all your stuff is gone. So, you and your kids and all your overnight bags load up into the car and head out to the new place. But moving
trucks can't go as fast as a personal car and don't always take the same route. So, they almost always arrive a few hours to a few days later than the family doing the moving.
Which leads to one of the most interesting challenges of moving: Empty House Day. There is bound to be some time where you are at the house with a working key and no furniture or boxes to start unpacking. Alone, you might simply settle in with a few movies on your phone. Or perhaps go out and walk the neighborhood a bit. But when you have kids, it's important to have a plan. Kids can get wiggly, bored, or even spooked spending a day and night in an empty house before the moving truck arrives.
Today, we're here to talk about a few handy ways for parents to help their kids have fun on Empty House Day.
Plan Rooms with Masking Tape
The first thing your kids will want to do is claim their new space. But without furniture, it's hard to do anything after calling 'dibs'. Unless you have a roll of masking tape. With this, you can easily mark off where the furniture would be if you had it, a rectangle for the couch, one for each bed. Even a circle for the dog bed, if you've got pet gear on the way.
Masking or painter's tape is easy to tear and has glue weak enough not to leave a residue. Which means you can safely put it on floors and walls without damaging the finish or needing to scrub afterward. And you can spend much of the night drawing outlines of bookcases on the walls and beds on the floors while your kids get sleepy enough to camp out for the night.
Dinner Out or Dinner In
Then there's the question of dinner. There are a few ways to deal with eating during Empty House Day, from packing a cooler to ordering takeout. If your kids are energetic and you have the moving funds, consider taking them out to eat to take care of dinner and make moving day special.
Modern phones and laptops are more than capable of charging up in the new house and helping you search for a good place nearby that's open at night. Or, if you'd rather stay in like an empty house sleepover, order a pizza or takeout. You can even cook your first meal by packing ingredients and some utensils on the drive. Or swing by a local grocery store for supplies. All these activities will be fun and special, and kill a few hours, for your kids before the truck arrives.
Explore the Attic
If you have a whole day to wait for the truck, you'll want more than a few daylight hour activities. Playing out in the yard is a good place to start, but you can also explore the house from top to bottom. Chances are, you didn't see every nook and cranny before deciding to move in. Work with your kids to find access to storage and utility spaces and explore the attic and basement if there are any. (Just be sure to supervise the kids carefully and use appropriate safety precautions.)
Walk to a Local Park
Most neighborhoods have a park somewhere within walking distance. Apartments and HOA neighborhoods are great about keeping their parks well-maintained and ready for local children to play. There may also be an elementary school nearby that wouldn't mind you spending a few daylight hours playing at their park.
Do a little research, then take your kids for a fun walk to get to know the neighborhood. This is your perfect opportunity to learn the route to the nearest park and decide if you're okay with your kids making this journey on their own later. And they will get their first experience of the fun place nearby to play.
Sock Slides and Gymnastics Tricks
Finally, there are the things you can only do when the house is empty. Like tumbling across the wide-open floor or sock-sliding across the entire length of the hardwood rooms. Empty room gymnastics are one of the best ways to help your kids think of Empty House Day like a special event to celebrate instead of a spooky time without furniture.
When planning a move with your kids, it's important to remember that you will almost always get there before the truck. With these fun techniques and a few that you will naturally think of along the way, you can make it fun for your kids to spend an adventurous day or two in an empty house before their stuff catches up with them. For more great moving tips, contact us today!
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