PCS season will soon be upon us. As soon as it seems spring peaks its head out, the orders start to drop. One thing all military families can agree on is that moving is never easy.
There is so much stress around moving and though we have packers and movers, the stress still exists. If you have kids and pets, there is always an added element of difficulty. This is even more so true if you are coming back or going to an overseas station. One would think military families are veterans at moving and we have the skills and tricks for a move but the truth of the matter is, we don’t. Through each move my family and I have made, we have learned something different, did things differently, and ultimately were equally stressed. I want to offer some help with the moving process in the form of tricks, tips, and online assistance for moving.
Moving House for the Military Spouse is a Facebook group that can offer tons of information in regards to your move. Spouses like yourself can take pictures of the different kinds of housing at the base they reside and then post the pictures online. This helps to give you some heads up on the PCS process as you can get an idea on what your potential base housing will look like. You can also ask about the school systems in the area and the surrounding housing market. Members of the group are all very eager and happy to help answer questions. This resource is imperative to your move.
I also like the online resource of White Walls on Facebook. This is another great resource with different assistance. This closed Facebook group helps with decorating ideas and they offer help on organizing your home. Members can post pictures of their current abode and ask for help with ideas on where to place furniture, how to decorate, or just general craft questions for home décor. The pictures alone are great inspiration for a new home and the members help is an even better benefit. This group requires military affiliation to be part of the group and if you want to join it can take a few days to be approved. Don’t let this discourage you, this group is wonderful.
During our last PCS move, the moving company manager gave us a great piece of advice for moving. If you buy different colors of duct tape to designate for each room, the movers have an easier time putting the boxes in the right places. We did this trick and it worked perfectly. Pink was for my daughter’s room, green for my son’s room, red for the living room, blue for the kitchen, and white for my room. The movers didn’t have to look for anything but a color, which helped decrease move in time. We moved in to our base housing when it was 15 degrees with a negative 2-degree wind chill factor. So, glad we used this trick.
If you have a medical condition or you or your family takes daily medications this advice will help you. Make sure you pack all your medicines prior to the moving company coming to pack. Even though they say that they will not pack medicine, that was not the case for us. We even had a designated Don’t Touch Spot and they still packed our medicine! So, take heed when they are packing and anything that is essential make sure to pull it out and put it in your own personal luggage. Lesson learned for me. If you have kids also make sure you have over the counter medicine with you. During many of our moves we had a kiddo who didn’t feel well. By having the medicine with us, we saved time and money having to buy it. Believe me on a ten-hour drive day, a kid with a fever is no fun at all.
To save money on your move pack meals. This isn’t such a big deal if you only adults are moving but things get complicated when kids enter the equation. One thing all parents know is that snacks are a kid necessity. I have snacks packed in my car always to fight off my hangry kids. When you move, packing snacks are super helpful because it keeps the kids happy and happy kids are good road trip kids. To save money I bought the little snack lunch bags and boxes of snacks. It’s easy and much cheaper than buying the individually packaged snacks. After I found all the kid’s favorite snacks and packed them up, I used a wicker basket in my front seat to hold the snacks. That way when I am driving and the kids are hungry I can easily reach their snacks. This was probably the best tip of all of them. It saved having to stop a million times for snacks and it helped keep my kids happy. You can also do this with drinks. I put juice boxes and organic chocolate milk boxes within easy reach for the kids.
My final tip is to only keep what you need. I swear every time we moved I thought I needed so much and by the time we got to our new destination I was ready to destash items. Ultimately this led to a yard sale shortly after moving. I could have saved so much time if I had sold them prior to our move. So, when it comes to moving it helps to determine necessity items versus want items. We also found that base housing did not work with many pieces of our furniture, so make sure to consider Moving House for the Military Spouse and do not hesitate to ask for room dimensions. Determining necessity is the hardest part of the move. How do you tell your kids they don’t need all eight million of their toys? How do I let go of my massive home décor collection? The hardest part is getting rid of items but after you get rid of them there is always such a good feeling. Take it from a clothing and toy hoarding momma, you will so appreciate letting go of items.
What tips or resources did you know of for a PCS move? We would love to hear what helped you and your family during a move.