Whether you have days or months to prepare for your move, it is undoubtably a stressful situation and will probably be something you do more than once. If you are a newbie to to Military life, you may be wondering what you can do to make the process require less Advil, and how you can make it as efficient as possible.
Check out these 10 steps for an introduction into the first stage of moving.....each week I will highlight a different stage so stay tuned!
1. Purge, purge, purge. Simply put - get rid of all the crap you have been hiding in the closets and in the garage. You want to make the move as light as possible so when you get to your new house you can start fresh. You could even make a little extra cash selling your items on websites like Craigslist, Sargeslist, and MilitaryTimes. Or better yet, have a good old fashion yard sale!
2. Become a list person. Seriously, make a list, check it twice and follow it. When you find out you are PCS's grab a bottle of wine or whatever and make a list of EVERYTHING you need to do from start to finish. Also, create a "do not pack room" and put things in there that you need until your departure date. Make a list of what is in that room too and keep your other lists in there. For example, keep track of medications, flight information, passports, insurance info etc there for your carry on luggage.
3. Keep your cool. This process is going to be stressful so you need to figure out an effective stress reliving method and practice it when you are about to pop.
4. Understand how much you should ship. If you are lucky you will end up with a generous sized house but more than likely you won't. Research the best you can the size of homes in the area you will be living to help you determine what you should take and leave. You do not want to over pack!
5. Take pictures. Do this for photo albums, to cherish the move and everything about it. Also, do this for insurance purposes by taking pictures of your belongs, especially your electronics. If anything gets damaged the company will need the serial numbers, so make sure you have all of them.
6. Stay positive and have fun! Turn your PCS into an adventure! If you have to move across country take your typical 10 day window and stop at all the iconic sites along the way. If you are moving overseas, add a few stops on your flight like Italy, France, or London. Why not enjoy your new move from day one?!?!
7. Know your weight limit. When packing, understand that each box/bag or total weight allowance has to be under a certain weight so keep selling your stuff until you can fit your life into boxes that meet the weight guidelines. Another thing, Pro Gear does not count against your weight allowance so when packing it make sure you clearly mark each box. Your spouse is able to claim it also so take advantage of the free weight.
8. Love your fur babies. If you are bring Fido or Whiskers along with you understand that not all hotels are pet friendly. When choosing a place to stay, make sure you are allowed to bring your pet in for the night. If they catch you with your pet "illegally" you will probably get kicked out or fined a hefty fine. No bueno either way!
9. Communicate, communicate the entire way through. Stay open with your partner during the PCS by talking about each other's expectations, goals, and ideas. Divide and conquer the tasks and I promise it will make the move much less stressful and maybe even fun!
10. Don't worry, be happy. What I mean is, stay positive. Sure, a few freak outs will happen but lets try to keep them limited. Turn this into an adventure, have fun, and make it fun for the whole family. Do it as a team!