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Packing and Moving Tips for A Single Parent – A Moving Guide From the Experts

Last Updated: Wednesday, June 12th, 2019

Moving as a single parent can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. We have created this guide to make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible

We enlisted the expert advice from Rachael Scharrer, relationship expert and founder of Divorce Answered to share her tips and experience moving as a single mum of two.
Moving as a single parent with two young children presented a few challenges. It was a daunting task looking at a home and thinking that somehow I had to get all items (except for the large furniture) into boxes, by myself!
If you are selling your home, de-cluttering and minimising can help the presentation of the property and give you a jump start to the packing process. Try to apply the points below while maintaining a homely or staged home feel.
single mum with child playing

I have come to realise there are three types of personalities when it comes to moving:

1. The Prepared
People who do a little bit regularly and consistently – these people space out the packing burden


2. The Procrastinator
People who throw everything they can into boxes at the last minute – they either clear a day or two to solidly work on packing with a sense of order or they madly drop everything they can into anything they can grab.


3. The Clever 
People who hire professional packers to take the pressure and burden

I identify myself as the first category – slow and steady wins the race. For those who want to try to have a more orderly packing process, the following 10 tips can help:

10 packing & moving Tips for single parents:

1. Pack away your less frequently used items and box them by room. Sometimes it is easier to start with bookshelves, reduce the pots and pans, study, linen cupboard. The boxes don’t have to be sealed

2. Re-purpose existing household items to save on packing costs:

1. Use clean linen to wrap clean crockery, ornaments and sentimental items

2. Cardboard fruit trays are great for moving the drawers of your kitchen – then tape them together

3. Local newspapers that are glossy are great for wrapping special items because they don’t leave ink on your items like the traditional newspapers

3. Lighten your load:

1. Start selling unwanted or over-sized items. The extra cash can go towards your new home, furniture and furnishings and make it your own!

2. Order new furniture to arrive at the new home on your move in day or a day later

3. Don’t over pack the boxes – you need to be able to lift them yourself. Over-weight boxes can also break and you don’t want broken boxes on the move

4. Clearly mark boxes on the top and one side with the contents and the room for it to be placed in. Labelling will help you and the removalists place the box in the most appropriate room

5. Declutter before the move, not after! Check out this guide on decluttering before moving home here

4. Ask the children to gather one backpack of their favourite toys. These are the toys that they can keep as you pack up the house and pack away their toys. With a limited number of toys available to them, they will exercise their imagination. Best of all, when you unpack the children’s toys, it will be like Christmas has arrived!! Each new box of toys will be exciting again
5. Utilise your vehicle for:

1. Any very special sentimental items may be better being moved in your own car
2. Items that you will need at short notice (especially through separation) should also be packed in the car

6. Be packed and ready for the removalists before they arrive – the more organised you are the faster the work/move will be done. It also limits the extra unforeseen time to move (or time wasted packing while the removalists are there) and helps to cap your moving costs
7. Photograph all of your boxes before the removalists come. In the rare instance that a box is missing, you will be able to identify which box it is. Photographing the boxes is more important when you move a great distance and if your boxes have to be transferred (say, from a truck to a container) in the process of relocating
8. Recruit some help:

1. Have the children on an extended playdate on your moving day. This will allow you to focus on moving and not worry about a child escaping or getting in the way of the removalists moving heavy boxes or furniture
2. Ask a friend to tag team with the removalists – if you have multiple trucks it can be really helpful having someone supervising the removalists at each home

3. Arrange for the cleaners to be there the afternoon that you move out. This is an extra expense to your move, however, an exit clean is much faster and easier for the cleaners when there isn’t any furniture

9. Connect, disconnect and confirm:

1. Remember to call ahead and disconnect your existing utilities and either transfer the connection to your new home or create a new connection. Think phone, gas, water, electricity,

2. Remember to call and confirm that Smoothmoves are ready for your appointment on the designated moving day

3. Remember to change all the appropriate addresses! This change of address checklist will help.

10. Dont forget the cleaning! If you are in a leased property you will need to arrange an end of lease clean, it is best to do this ahead of time to ensure you receive all of your bond back.

Moving can be very stressful and tiring You may be wondering ‘will I get everything done in time?’ With some preparation and a bit of a plan, packing and moving gets you closer to your new home.

Before you realise, you will be in your new home, setting up your sanctuary and preparing for a beautiful future filled with endless possibilities.
The only question you need to ask yourself is
‘what am I going to do with the empty boxes?’

Moving With Kids


Guest author: Rachael Scharrer is the founder of Divorce Answered – an online separation resource which offers people a range of free and affordable resources to assist in the break-up journey.  It offers e-books, Separation Checklist, Parenting Plans and customised forms.



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