Moving abroad with a toddler: be prepared

A week passed since we moved in our new house in London and like I was saying on Food and Quote’s page moving abroad with a child is so exhausting! I know I’ve never expected either to be easy. Although I moved a lot (I mean I stopped counting after 13 movings and it was 6 years ago) until recently I’ve never accumulated so much stuff that I couldn’t carry in a few luggages. Two years ago during my last moving we just used a small car’s friend to move our stuff while this year we needed two plan trips with luggages and a truck filled with over 30 boxes!!! How did this happen?? We even sold and gave away so many things before to leave… Why do we accumulate so much stuff in our lives? You either accumulate new things because you have money or old things because you don’t want to throw away anything, but in the end we all accumulate so much.

Moving abroad make you realise something different. If you are like me and you find very difficult to throw away (or give away) stuff either for emotional or financial reasons, you find yourself forced to give/sold (if you’re lucky)/throw because it is actually cheaper to throw away than to ship! It feels so wrong but it is true!

Now I don’t need to explain that a moving is tiring. However moving with a child is crazily exhausting. Put together all the ingredients of a moving: thinking how to empty the house, emptying the house, packing, thinking – yeah, moving involves so much thinking, organising, planning –  weighing, measuring, reviewing removal services, then unpacking, finding a solution for bills, internet, bank account, buying what’s missing… and we did all this in two weeks, including finding a house to rent in London. Now afterwards I would say we managed pretty well. But it is – oh so – not true.

We actually started packing 3 days before to left the flat in Italy. We booked 2 tickets for London for nothing as we couldn’t manage to actually go until things were done. It took me a whole week to prepare and ship the parcels while looking after a Lobster with a cold (and it has been painful, believe me), while the dad was already in London.

But, hey! We did it.

The real difficulty is not your child, it’s you. If you keep doing things like you would have done without a child then it becomes a pain in the ass, but it is so obvious! I wouldn’t even know what advice to give to someone else moving abroad but if I’m honest here’s what I’d say to myself for the next time (even if I’m not ready to think about it!):

  • Start one month before damn it! Not 3 days. Even without furniture.
  • Be physically and mentally ready: it’s gonna be tough. Even prepared. You always underestimate something.
  • Ideally find a removal service that includes everything from packing to delivering unpacked. Ideally payed by the employer.

So, are you planning on moving abroad? Don’t worry, in one way or another everything will be done. The difference is, it can be in a smooth way or in a painful way, but either way you’ll manage. ;)


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