This post was sponsored.  All opinions are my own.
Are you planning a move?  We are!  We announced to our family last week that we are are moving down to the Tampa area of Florida!
For the past 5 years or so, my husband and I have debated between moving to South Carolina or Florida, and a couple years ago we took a road trip up and down the east coast and all around Florida, trying to decide on where we wanted to transplant to.  We ended up staying in Massachusetts because I chickened out at the idea of being away from all my family while the kids were so young.  However they have gotten older, and easier, so the move was back on the table.  Then my parents made the sudden decision 6 months ago to make their Florida home, their permanent home.  Suddenly the idea of moving became easier.  My father is home during the day and my mother is working from home so they were able to find us an apartment to transition into and they had already gotten to know the area towns and local establishments.
Plus my brother is only 5 to 6 hours away from Florida in South Carolina, and visits the Tampa area every couple months.  We had been taking a long road trip to South Carolina twice a year over the last few years, so being closer to him is a huge perk.

So this means we are making a move from basically the top of the United States to the bottom with three kids in tow and it is a extremely daunting process.
I have tons of different emotions swirling around inside from excitement and joy to fear nervousness and homesickness before I had even packed the first box.
 There’s so much to do when planning a cross country move, especially with children.
We are currently renting and we have chose to rent again in Florida so that we can be sure that the town and neighborhood are a good fit, and we want to make sure that Aidan and Anthony get the special education that they need.  I also need to be close to doctors and we don’t know where all that is going to fall so spending the first year in a apartment building sounded like a perfect fit for us.  On top of that it will be easier for myself and the kids to make friends with having a pool and playground within the complex.
This is my first long distance move and I am learning fast organization is key to a smooth transition.  Plus we have made several close moves over the last decade so the basic concept is the same on a larger scale.
These are my top tips to making a  move go smoother especially for you renters out there.
 
1. You will want to pick up all of your doctors records ahead of time this is especially crucial if you have special needs children or are facing your own health issues.  I currently have my own disabilities that comprise of five specialist along with my primary care doctor.  My children have a neurologist, optometrists and their pediatrician.  We also have a full medicine cabinet of prescriptions and in order to be able to seamlessly find a doctor and continue with the care that has been working, having our medical records in hand makes our transition much faster.  Otherwise I would likely get down to Florida and have to have my records forwarded to my new doctors office which can take up to a month.  I am being type A and would rather have them in my possession to hand to doctors immediately, especially knowing that I will need new prescriptions after taking the long road trip down there.
2. Get your kids school records, my kids all have IEP’s and I worked very hard over the last two years to get all of my children’s needs met within our current school system and because the new school system will have to follow the children’s agreed-upon IEP from Massachusetts until we can come to a new agreement, I want to make sure I have all formal documentation of the IEP agreement in the school records.  This also goes with medical records, I may not be able to get into a pediatric neurologist immediately so having documentation of the disability when fighting for new IEP services is imperative.
3. Start cleaning out and stocking up early.  your going to need tons of boxes and you’re going to be getting rid of everything that is not a needed unless you want to spend a fortune on movers or drive two trucks, and we’re trying to do it the cheapest way.  After pricing shipping containers and truck rentals we decided I will drive the kids in the van and my husband will drive the moving truck and pull his car on the back this will limit us to 24 foot truck space with two adults and three children we currently have a three bedroom duplex plus a basement full of stuff.  I have been spending the last 3 to 4 months slowly getting rid of stuff.  I have sold the kids old clothes, shoes and winter supplies on apps such as Totspot.  I have consigned the kids toys at local consignment shop and I have donated countless boxes of canned goods, extra shoes, clothes and household appliances because if it’s going to cost more to bring it to Florida than it is to buy it in Florida it doesn’t make sense to me.
4. A moving binder to keep all your documentation in is also a great way to stay organized.  I know the kids will be home all day for the next month which means I will likely not get fully unpacked until September because no one wants to spend all summer unpacking. Having my medical records, school papers, birth certificates, and insurance info in a moving binder that I keep in my “priority moving box” makes loosing documents or having to dig through boxes less likely to happen.
5.  Make a Priority Moving Box, because were renters leaving our current rental clean and maintained means we receive our security deposit back and while we are moving into a nice apartment building that my mother had already looked at I still like to go through the apartment and do my own cleaning before I unpack so it is important that I have a priority moving box, it is the last box that will be put in the truck and the first box to be taken out.  In this box I have to keep all of my cleaning supplies and a small toolkit of my husbands, so that we can wash floors before we leave and when we arrive, we can wipe down counters and cabinet and also the simple things such as toilet paper and laundry soap.  As a family of five a long trip move will cause us to go through clothing which I will want to wash before we leave and when we get there.
Also we don’t know if when we get to the rental if there will be toilet paper and nobody wants to be sitting in a new state, new city and not have toilet paper or even more frustrating knowing that you have tons of toilet paper but that it is all the way in the back of the truck so that is a definite in my moving box.  One more thing we keep in our moving box is room spray, when your landlord walks into your home you want them to smell a fresh scent, it’s going to make them feel immediately as though it is a clean environment which will help retain your security deposit.  Plus when you move into your new rental it will instantly make you feel at home to have a fresh scent in your new place even if you have no furniture out of the truck yet or food in the fridge it makes your new place feel more inviting.
Top items in my priority moving box:
1. Moving binder
2. Bounty ® Select-a- Size 12 Super Rolls
 2X more absorbent so you can use less with each mess, making your roll last longer!
3. Swiffer ® WetJet Mop Starter Kit
I love this all-in-one mopping system, it traps and locks in dirt so it doesn’t get pushed around.
4. Tide ® PODS ® Laundry Detergent Original Scent 42 count
3-in-1 laundry solution, detergent, stain remover and brightener
Dissolves in any temperature and can be used in all types of washing machines!  So easy to pack and use!
5. Unstopables™ Air Refresher Fresh Scent
Infuses the air in your home with an instant burst of airy undertones and crisp, vibrant layers that last for up to 6 hours
6. Charmin ® Ultra Strong 24 Double Roll Bonus Pack
Now cleans better with washcloth-like texture!
These are all available at Walmart, making my stock up process easy too!
Having a moving box and a moving binder will calm the entire moving experience down.  This can be a very stressful time and it can be scary and exciting so with all those emotions swirling around keeping things organized will be essential.

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