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The Realities of Packing with a Toddler

Basically I should make this post 5 words – Don’t pack with a toddler. EVER! Post over. However, that would be very boring eh?

We are potentially moving house in less than 2 weeks. Can’t believe it. I have kept this a bit quiet on the blog as sometimes you don’t dare to believe a move is going to happen until you get those keys.

You have to pack up of course and we have steadily been doing that but something or someone is kind of getting in the way; a small creature, I’m not even sure she is 1m tall. Of course, my gremlin.

The realities of packing with her include:

  • Getting sod all done basically; her constant chatter, nosying, cuddles (all of this lovely) but not conducive to me filling a box!!
  • Re-packing what she has unpacked for me – thanks my angel.
  • Tidying up all the mess she has made with the neat piles of paperwork and pens (I have tonnes) that I need to bin.
  • Breaks – so many cuppa and snack breaks. If I have to hear “I want something to eat” one more time.
  • Way too much kids TV to keep her occupied for a bit. A bit then stretches into an hour into the whole of Frozen (thank you Netflix).
  • My house becoming a state of chaos including water everywhere in the kitchen, (we left her playing at the sink as she was quiet – big fat error).
  • Her wanting to play with every baby toy/bottle/item of clothes/teddy from her early years collection when we boxed it up. This then took double the amount of time and a game of feed mummy from a Tommy Tippee Bottle.
  • A detor to the park on the way home from a charity shop trip. Well it was a sunny day!!
  • No relaxing with that glass of vino after a day of packing. Pregnant women woes.

Ultimately toddlers are a massive distraction, time consuming and just want to be the centre of the attention constantly. It’s like packing with a running commentary and sadly it just HAS to be done.

My advice for packing with a toddler? Take your estimated timings and double them.

Or failing that have Nanny and Grandad help out and babysit! Thanks Mum!

And then the fun began...


  1. April 5, 2016 / 6:42 am

    Trust me it is not much easier with older kids, I moved when Adam was 9 months, April 3, Aspen 6 and that was hard, but then I moved again, Adam 6, April 8, Aspen 11, and it was no easier. especially Aspen, even though she was the oldest she is the most clingy to everything and when trying to secretly throw things out she kept finding things and keeping them! Drove me mad. Then their was the tears from mainly the 2 girls about why are we leaving a home they loved! We are in temporary accommodation right now at my parents and will be moving in our new house end of the month. Then i am staying PUT! Great post #twinklyTuesday

    • RunJumpScrap
      April 5, 2016 / 8:10 pm

      Oh nooo. Bless them..sounds so tough especially if they want to keep everything. Good luck with your new home x

  2. April 5, 2016 / 7:25 am

    Oh god I can’t even imagine trying to pack with little ones around! It’s hard enough just trying to go to the toilet or make dinner with little ones around, let alone actually achieve something like packing! Good luck for the rest of the packing and the big move itself xxx

    • RunJumpScrap
      April 5, 2016 / 8:09 pm

      haha so true. Thanks lovely x

  3. April 5, 2016 / 7:56 am

    We moved in September and trying to get everything done with a 2 year old running around all over the place was so stressful. I found the best way was to do as much as I could in the evenings when he was in bed. Good luck with the move!xx #TwinklyTuesday

    • RunJumpScrap
      April 5, 2016 / 8:09 pm

      Oh bless I hope went all ok. Thanks so much. I end up being all lazy in the evening x

  4. April 5, 2016 / 9:46 am

    Packing with children is just not a recommended thing to do is it?! Nor is cleaning, tidying, packing for a holiday or anything that is remotely productive I’ve found! #twinklytuesday

    • RunJumpScrap
      April 5, 2016 / 8:08 pm

      Nope in fact just nothing!! x

  5. April 5, 2016 / 10:18 am

    This never ever get’s easier! We’re going to be moving this year with 5 kids aged between 4 and 12 and just the thought of it has me needing something stronger than a coffee!

    Em xXx #TwinklyTuesday

    • RunJumpScrap
      April 5, 2016 / 8:06 pm

      5 kids…I salute you!! x

  6. Melissa
    April 5, 2016 / 7:57 pm

    Oh my..I hope I am laughing with you and not at you!! 😀 I completely understand and relate to everything here. …if I have to hear I want some something to eat one more time… HAHAHA! When we moved from Hawaii to the mainland with four kids I thought I was going to lose my mind. The youngest was only 4 months so I thought at least he would be easy…well he was deathly afraid of the sound of the packing tape and would scream each time we closed a box! Nothing easy about a move with little ones. But hang in there!! #thetruthabout

    • RunJumpScrap
      April 5, 2016 / 8:05 pm

      haha thanks lots. Oh bless you that sounds like a nightmare but wow you lived in Hawaii? xx

  7. Nicole (The Brightness Of These Days)
    April 5, 2016 / 9:54 pm

    Oh you poor thing! I feel your pain. We moved twice last year in 3 months with a new baby and a just turned 2 year old. It was so stressful. Good luck with your move #thetruthabout

  8. Fran Back With A Bump
    April 6, 2016 / 6:46 am

    My best friend just moved house with her 18 month old and she had the same nightmare of getting under her feet, unpacking what she’d just packed and generally being a pain! Hope the move goes well! #bestandworst

  9. Emily
    April 6, 2016 / 7:25 am

    Oh yes! I know the struggle! Every time it comes to packing, the girls always like to ‘help’! #bestandworst

  10. Rach
    April 6, 2016 / 7:27 am

    My son was 18 months when we moved house last Summer and if I’m honest, it wasn’t no where as bad as I’d anticipated. However, if I had to move house now he’s approaching 2.5 I know it would be a very different story!!! Best of luck with the new house lovely #abitofeverything

  11. Something Crunchy Mummy
    April 6, 2016 / 7:45 am

    Yeah I can totally relate to this, so stressful especially with a little helper. Hope it’s all going well, exciting times! #twinklytuesday xx

  12. April 6, 2016 / 7:53 am

    Double your estimates? How about quadruple them?? Just as well you’re moving now as when child two comes along I think you’ll find it takes 10 times as long!! #truthabout

  13. April 6, 2016 / 7:59 am

    Sounds like me trying to put my washing away! Haha! I’m going to try and link up more often, I’ve had a little break from blogging but I’m back now! Congratulations on Gremlin part 2! 🙂 Love the updated blog look too!

  14. April 6, 2016 / 8:03 am

    Definitely agree with trying to get Grandma to babysit if possible – trying to pack up a house is hard enough without little ones “helping out” too! I resort to the googlebox too if I need to get anything done – it does help to keep them occupied for a while and give you a few moments to do something. Good luck with the move!

  15. Mrs C
    April 6, 2016 / 8:43 am

    Brilliant! At least you’re doing this now rather than in a few months when you’re heavily pregnant, right?! Once you have the new keys it will all be worth it!x #bestandworst

  16. April 6, 2016 / 8:58 am

    Haha. It’s hard enough to pack (or do anything for that matter) with my 12 month old around and he can’t speak yet so I can only imagine the chaos. You paint a great picture! Great post #bestandworst

  17. Katie/Squirmy Popple
    April 6, 2016 / 9:00 am

    The only way we were able to pack when we moved was having my mother come visit for a week and watch the baby while we packed up boxes – and my daughter was only four months old at the time! I can’t imagine packing with a toddler, though as we’re planning to move in a few months, I guess I won’t have a choice. #bestandworst

  18. April 6, 2016 / 9:32 am

    Haha this made me giggle – I find I’m constantly packing/putting away all things only for Taylor to take them all out again – so I cannot imagine packing up a whole house!! Also love those moments when they’re quiet for 5 minutes doing something that you know they shouldn’t really be doing but you leave them so that you can get on – and then regret it when you find what they’ve actually been up to! #Bestandworst x

  19. April 6, 2016 / 9:32 am

    Good luck with the move. We are moving soon with a 10 month old… She’ll be going straight to Nannie’s #bestandworst

  20. Right Royal Mother
    April 6, 2016 / 10:15 am

    Blimey. We are going on holiday in May and I’m terrified already of packing for that! Good luck with the move 🙂 #bestandworst

  21. April 6, 2016 / 11:25 am

    The struggle is real. I now pile everything up during the day and then when they are in bed I pack. I have this joy coming next month as we are going to Norway and that means also needing hand luggage with change of clothes for all of us too as we are staying in the airport for one night too. Urgh, dreading the packing! #bestandworst

  22. Single Mum Speaks
    April 6, 2016 / 11:57 am

    Oh yes, I recognise these woes. The packing and unpacking would be hilarious if it wasn’t so inconvenient! #BestandWorst

  23. April 6, 2016 / 1:50 pm

    I feel your pain, I had to move twice last year and each time was just as stressful packing with a toddler! He loved finding all his old toys that had been put away (to sell….ooops!) and I’d often find him behind me unpacking as I was trying my best to pack!! The worst thing was when he HAD to have a certain toy that had already been packed…sigh! #bestandworst

  24. Liz Lowe
    April 6, 2016 / 2:21 pm

    Oh wow, ha ha, I feel your pain! Toddler assistance is always so helpful. Thank goodness for Grannies! #bestandworst

  25. April 6, 2016 / 2:23 pm

    Oh I feel your pain! With four children the amount of packing is horrific and the packing itself is just a mission impossible! The 1, 2 and 3 year old don’t understand the concept of packing and the 11 year old is too busy on his PS4 to help pack up his things which always ends in an argument!! #bestandworst

  26. April 6, 2016 / 2:26 pm

    I have already decided that I’m NEVER MOVING AGAIN! Or at least until the kids are grown up. It’s bad enough trying to pack to go on holiday for a week, let alone packing up an entire house. You are a brave lady.
    Good luck!

  27. April 6, 2016 / 2:27 pm

    Oh no, I remember we moved to our new home when Amelia was seven months old so thankfully she wasn’t too mischievous then. But packing is an absolute nightmare without thinking about the little ones. Great post lovely, thank you for hosting this week! #BestAndWorst!

  28. April 6, 2016 / 2:43 pm

    Hard work isn’t it, ha! We just tried to pack as much as we could when the grandparents kindly helped out with the kiddies! Just wait till moving day, arghhhhh! Lots of exciting things for you 🙂 Will be looking forward to checking out the new pad hun! #bestandworst

  29. April 6, 2016 / 4:53 pm

    I would never attempt to do this with the kids around – definitely one for when they’re in bed or at nursery/school! #bestandworst

  30. Nige
    April 6, 2016 / 6:59 pm

    We have done it a couple of times and it’s not easy with twins good luck with the move thanks for hosting#bestandworst

  31. April 6, 2016 / 8:50 pm

    Ooooh, congrats! Theres nothing more exciting than a house move (other than maybe a new baby 😉 double exciting times for you guys! We moved last spring when our little one was one and so it wasnt too bad as she wasnt super mobile then. I can imagine if we moved now though, it would be very much like your story! Emily #bestandworst

  32. April 6, 2016 / 8:59 pm

    I was about to reply on your tips for not packing when I read that you are pregnant. Firstly how did I not know that? I need to read your blog outside of the Linky, Wednesday’s are my only blog reading time. Huge congratulations. When are you due? details, details? Ahh your Tesco insta from today now makes sense too, haha.

    Renee @peonieandme #bestandworst

  33. April 6, 2016 / 9:18 pm

    Wow totally missed you are preggers! Congrats Sarah! We moved when I was 20 weeks with Tigs, and packed up for our big build with two in tow. Don’t know how we did it, but as everyone will tell you…DON’T OVERDO IT! 😉

  34. April 6, 2016 / 9:47 pm

    The nanny and granddad option is the one that works for me! I get nothing done with Harry here. I have been painting the downstairs loo for 6 months now (it is only a small room!) and still have photo frames to put up that I bought AGES ago. I don’t even know where I bought them for now! Everything just takes so much longer, but it wouldn’t be as much fun hey?!?!?! Good luck on your move. #bestandworst

  35. April 6, 2016 / 9:54 pm

    Wow good luck with the move lovely! How did I miss that?? I feel your pain though. I cannot even imagine how hard it must be to try and pack a house with a little helper? I only tried to sort out the toy box today and ended up yelling “step away from the toy box please small people! Mummy is the only person allowed near to the toy box whilst it is being tidied!” (Which of course didn’t work and they carried on “Finding” endless treasures in the bottom and climbing over me to get to them while I tried to sort. Meh.)

    Exciting times!! :0) xx
    Thanks for hosting #bestandworst

  36. April 6, 2016 / 9:57 pm

    I moved 6 times in 5 years, with 2 little ones in tow, so I feel your pain!! At least you are approaching it with a sense of humour, well done you. Good luck with it all, and thanks for the links #bestandworst

  37. April 6, 2016 / 10:20 pm

    Thank heavens I will never have to pack with a toddler! I’m sure slightly older children are probably just as much of a nightmare though… Good luck with it all and thanks for posting to #thetruthabout X

  38. April 6, 2016 / 10:33 pm

    Oh lovely, yes you need help, there is no other way! Hopefully it goes a bit smoother and the final packing goes ok and the exchange and completion (in our case we thought we didn’t have much left, and we definitely did!) x

  39. April 7, 2016 / 8:46 am

    Haha yep, basically impossible to do. I am a fan of getting a babysitter for stuff like this 😉 #bestandworst xx

  40. April 7, 2016 / 2:40 pm

    HAHAHA! I know this way too well. Once a month we used to take our then 2 year old back to our home town to visit our parents. Every time she would empty the case and sit in it!!

  41. April 7, 2016 / 3:08 pm

    I thought this was going to be about packing to go on holiday, and I thought ‘oh yea, that flipping sucks,’ but PACKING UP AN ENTIRE HOUSE??!! With a toddler around, that must be insanity. I like the advice of just don’t do it!! We moved just before I gave birth to the eldest, and have no plans to move again until they’ve both moved out!! I think the stress would kill me!! I hope everything does go really smoothly for you though…!

  42. April 7, 2016 / 7:28 pm

    Oh yes, I remember it well, Ava was about her age when we moved, and I had 1 year old Thea to boot, nightmare! I think that (although REALLY annoying) it does at least give them the opportunity to be involved and to help them understand and buy into the move. At least that’s what I told myself! Good luck, looking forward to reading about the new pad, eeek! xx #bestandworst

  43. Pen
    April 7, 2016 / 9:43 pm

    OMG, I hate packing at the best of times. The idea of packing with a toddler around would be my idea of hell. Good luck with the move. #bestandworst

  44. lisa
    April 8, 2016 / 10:52 am

    I hate having to travel with small people. Its great once you get there. Its the getting there that stresses me out!
    Great post

  45. April 8, 2016 / 12:42 pm

    I can’t handle packing for a holiday which is one suitcase let alone a whole house! Good luck with the move hope unpacking is easier! Thanks for hosting x #bestandworst

  46. April 8, 2016 / 4:14 pm

    Packing is challenging without the help of a toddler! I would make the most of any babysitting that’s on offer and then adopt a ruthless approach to sorting things out. It’s difficult but we had to be really strict when we moved here and I found the less I thought about it, the easier it was to sell/throw stuff away and most of the things we haven’t even missed since we moved…plus it’s nice to have an excuse to buy new things! #bestandworst

  47. The Mum Project - Meagan
    April 8, 2016 / 5:55 pm

    Oh my that sounds real tough! I moved while I was 37 weeks pregnant and thought that was bad, we didn’t have much help : (, although my partner didn’t want me to move anything heavy so all in all it was fairly easy….for me. This post is so funny, she just wants more cuddles and tea breaks! That would be hard to say No to…! Haha #bestandworst

  48. April 8, 2016 / 6:14 pm

    We moved 4 times before my daughter was 4. It was hell! Packing with a toddler AND a baby was just ridiculous!! Good luck with the move and enjoy your new house. 🙂 #bestandworst

  49. April 8, 2016 / 11:33 pm

    Oh, yes, it’s bad enough packing to go away with toddlers, let alone packing to move! #bestandworst

  50. April 9, 2016 / 7:56 pm

    Your post really took me back to when mine were tiny……it doesn’t change that much!!:)) its just ‘different’, my boys now are getting so particular about their clothes that it takes me ages to get them to settle on what to pack without a meltdown! Its all worth it though and I still call on good old nanny:)

    mainy – myrealfairy


  51. April 9, 2016 / 8:00 pm

    Lol!! I bet you huffed and puffed your way through each box! I’ve been there and I know how frustrating it is. It’s even worse packing their toys, when they realise how amazing each one is and they must have them NOW. Good luck with the move try and pack after her bedtime… thanks for hosting xx

  52. April 10, 2016 / 8:16 am

    Goodness, that sounds so stressful! And packing is hard enough at the best of times x #bestandworst

  53. April 11, 2016 / 7:29 pm

    Doing ANYTHING productive with a toddler is impossible…especially me! Seems that packing is particularly difficult! Congratulations on your pregnancy btw xx #TwinklyTuesday

  54. April 12, 2016 / 6:57 am

    I don’t envy you. I know that joy from just tidying. Toddlers and neat manageable piles don’t go together!

    We went for the Grandma option to get started. You then have the joy of unpacking with a toddler!

    Good luck!