You may feel like a military family who enters basic training every time you have to move to another area. However, when making a permanent change of station (PCS) move from one duty station to another duty station, there are great entitlement perks like temporary lodging and dislocation allowance. Unfortunately, these entitlements don’t come with moving tips. Never fear. The following tips will help you get ready for your military move whether you’re a do-it-yourself type of person or just want to get the move over quickly.
The Top Five Tips for Preparing Your Military Move
1. Organize, Organize and Organize.
Yes, the “O” word is a dreaded word when talking about moving. However, getting organize is the best way to take control of your move. Getting organized means:
- Separating moving expenses.
- Taking pictures of your valuables.
- Keep inventory of all your boxes.
2. Plan Way Ahead of Time.
You need time to move because you have a lot of belongings. Some people think they start organizing and planning a day or two prior to the move. Of course, reality quickly sets in because they have so many things to pack that it’s overwhelming. Give yourself plenty of time to pack. If you’re sure that you need two weeks to pack, double that time.
3. Get Rid of the Stuff Your Family Doesn’t Need
Moving is an ideal time to get rid of stuff you don’t need. Who wants to take unused or unnecessary junk in the attic, closet shelves or under beds with you? You may think you need everything, but as you pack create a donation pile. If you find yourself asking, “Why am I packing this?” Then it’s for the item to become someone’s treasure.
4. Save Cost by Recycling Boxes
New boxes from a moving supply store are nice. They have the new cardboard smell and what not. Since you are trying to save money during your move, go green. Stop by stores that recently had deliveries made and ask for boxes.
5. Choose Packing Material Carefully
Not all packing materials are made for one time use. As soon as you slap cheap tape on a box, it’s coming undone. Also, some good packing materials can’t be reused. Let’s say you mislabel a box. You carefully remove the label and it won’t stay on the box. Warning: the next sentence has a terrible and goofy pun. Choose your packing weapons wisely.
The Top Five Tips for the Packing and Moving Process
1. Employ Strategic Packing
You want to pack for the process of unpacking later. When you are packing items, it’s easy to forget you’ll be unpacking later. So use a color-coded system along with writing the names on the box like “Jon’s room” or “kitchen.” It will help keep track of things.
Also, pack a survival bag to take with that includes:
- Hygiene products.
- Bags to put dirty clothes.
You don’t know when you’ll find the things you need among the many boxes. Another packing strategy is to start packing the items you rarely use first. That way you’re not packing and then reopening boxes to look for stuff you thought you didn’t need.
Resist temptation to over pack to save on boxes. No one wants to suffer an injury trying to carry boxes to and/ or from the moving truck.
2. Use Free Labor.
Your friends may request a favor or two for helping you pack. Your kids don’t have that kind of power.
3. Accept Help
Speaking of friends and family, if they offer to help, let them. You may have a spouse who turns down help thinking he or she will lend a helping hand, if needed. Well, this doesn’t include a tip on handling your spouse (you’re a professional in that area). Just remember that you are lucky to have people who want to help you pack.
4. Consider Temporary Storage
Many moving and storage companies like PODS offer military discounts. It’s a way to store big items and boxes out of the way.
5. Rethink the Entire Moving Warrior Thing
You know weekend warriors act like they have the military training to exercise or triathlon, but end up overdoing it. If all else fails and moving becomes overwhelming, consider enlisting the help of professional movers. It’s not a failed mission. You’re determined to save your sanity.
These are the 10 tips that will help you with your military move. There are definite benefits to moving with the help of your friends and family. Whether you decide to move with professional help or not, these tips will certainly help you complete your moving mission.