I’m so glad you’re here. I have something very important to share with you.
If you are a military spouse, then you’re in the right place! Are you facing a quick military move?
I’ve been there!
As a former military spouse, I moved MANY MANY times, sometimes on very short notice. It’s super difficult to overturn your entire life in a short amount of time. There are all the emotions of having the leave the place you live & your friends, but add on top of that the stress of packing up an apartment or house, and it’s a lot to take!
Never fear, because I want to share with you some tips that have helped me over the years and many moves we experienced in the military.
Moving Around the Holidays
Moving. Relocation. PCS. Transfer. Duty station. Assigned. These words are something every military spouse knows. If you’re married to a career soldier, you may hear these nearly a dozen times. Sometimes, your spouse gets short orders and you have to plan a move in just a few weeks.
This can happen any time of the year, but it can be especially stressful when it’s near one of the major holidays like Christmas, Easter or Thanksgiving.
Once, I had to move the week of Christmas from our apartment. We had to put most of our property into storage because our new place on the other side of the country was a 4th the size.
Talk about stress!! My husband was away for training so it was up to me to decide which items we could live without for the next 8 months and then get it all moved over to the storage building.
This is what I signed on for when I married a military man. It comes with the deal.
I wouldn’t trade the adventure for the world, but I could do without the moving stress. lol
Holiday moves are so common. I found a good article by CORT that has great advice about handling a holiday move. The tips on how to claim your new space and help your family members transition are so true. Check it out here=>> Spouses Guide to Surviving Military Relocation
How to Get Ready for a Military Move
If you get tasked with planning and executing a military move, you need to be prepared. The first one is always the most demanding one. They are all stressful, but the first one is an unknown arena, so it has it’s own challenges.
Before You Begin:
1) Find Your Resources
You’re life and move will be much easier if you get in contact with your spouse liaison. They can help you find assistance and collect the proper information you’ll need to get and use any benefits available to you. If your spouse is able to, have him/her reach out to their admin department. They can get the paperwork done or at least gathered and brought home to you. This will save you a lot of time and legwork.
2) Set Aside Necessities
You don’t want to pack everything then realize later you don’t have any toiletries or clothes. Put anything you’re going to need daily in a separate area. If you have movers helping you, make sure they know not to touch it. They may end up packing it all up if they don’t know it’s off limits.
3) Use a Moving Checklist
A checklist to use room-by-room is really handy to have, especially if you need to pack up your things fast. Click on the image below to download a free copy of the packing checklist for your military move.
How to use the packing checklist: Highlight or cross of items from the list as you go. Don’t forget to grab enough boxes, tape, and soft packing material to get everything packed up.
Not only does this checklist come in handy when you are in the midst of packing, it also helps to have it when you get moving estimates. It’s easy to forget items to add beforehand. You don’t want to be stuck with additional charges after the fact because you forgot to add that 600 pound piano to the list! 🙂
Things You Can Do to Learn About a New Area
If you are moving to a completely new area, I recommend doing a little research before you get there. This could be something as simple as a search on your phone to find the local Facebook group for the town/city/neighborhood and asking what things there are to do there.
Also, many cities and towns have at least one blogger dedicated solely to that area. Those blogs are full of useful info on events happening and things to see. You can also look at state and city government websites and national park registries.
Hopefully with all of the unpacking you’ll be doing, you can find a few minutes to relax and enjoy the local culture. Knowing this info ahead of time will help.
Now I have something crazy important to tell you…
Super Important PCS Move Tip – THE Most Important Thing!
This is the Number 1 super most important thing I learned as a military spouse about moving. It’s something I wish someone had told me before I did my first PCS move.
You don’t have to take it all.
That’s right. You don’t.
Think about it….if you’re moving for a short time (like orders to go to a school house or short term task) why do you need all of your stuff for a few months or 1 year assignment? If you factor in all the money it would cost to move an entire house or apartment’s worth of stuff versus renting furniture for a short time, typically renting is the way to go.
This is the reason we didn’t take everything with us when my spouse got orders to a school house. We took clothing, a few small kitchen gadgets, and our favorite blankets and pillows and nothing else. Those things fit into the back of our car.
It would have been quadruple the cost to move it all!! In my experience, when you move, something always gets damaged. The hassle of unpacking it wasn’t worth it. So I recommend leaving storing what you can until you absolutely need it.
Rent the necessities like beds, tables, chairs, and even televisions. All of it can be rented as you need it. Besides, you can always ask for that sweet military discount and possibly save even more money.
Print out the PCS move checklist and get packing! You can do this. 🙂