Well, if you are only interested in translating (moving) things, then it sounds like you want a group. Put all of the objects in a group and you can move them within the group, or move the group as a whole. Select them, press ctrl-g, and they will be grouped. To enter the group, double click on it, and then you will be able to move the objects within it independently.
You can also make "linked clones" select an object and press Alt-D and you will get a linked clone of the original. Changes you make to the original will be reflected in the clone, except for translation (moving)