By Jaimi Erickson
Boxes for days. During our last PCS move, that’s what we had to deal with in our house before the truck loaded. Of course, the boxes blocked half of our dining table and half our closets. That is the way moves go! There are always surprise issues.
When our boxes and furniture were all loaded on the truck, we had two weeks to stay in our empty house. With four kids, the noise level in an empty house is something I cannot explain. If you have ever experienced it, you know. Everything echoes.
And, laundry does not stop just because the washer is gone.
Saving money and staying quarantined meant adapting to our situation the best we could. Moving is a common event for all of us military families. We can relate to the stresses and get excited together over tips that make each move a bit easier.
My plan is always to have a plan. There may be unforeseen issues during each military move. I like to prepare using a few tips.
5 ways to prepare for a military move:
1. Get Organized Before Pack Day
I rearrange some things in my current home to prepare for the move into a new home. It makes the unpack much simpler.
For example, the kids’ toys may be in their rooms at the new house rather than a playroom. If that is the case, I move the toys into their rooms before we get packed up. If the guest room and office will be combined, I gather those things together in one room so the pack-up helps simplify when things get unloaded at the new house.
I love this tip from PCS Like a Pro to bag everything up. Bag small office supplies, small toys, kitchen utensils into zip top bags. If the item could get lost in a box full of packing paper, bag it with other items of its kind. Such a simple way to keep small items from getting lost.
This tip for packing clothes using garbage bags was used by a friend. It keeps clothes clean and organized for quick unpacking. Keeps the move dirt off clothes too which brings some peace of mind.
2. Laundry During Transitions
If you will be without your washer and dryer for a bit, plan ahead for laundry. Do as much of your laundry as possible a few days before your pack-out. Then let the washing machine dry out to avoid unwanted smells. No stinky washer when you get to your new house!
After your goods are packed up, rely on your community for a few days. We all need to ask for help at times during moves.
My neighbor at one base let me go in and out of her laundry room throughout the day as she went about her normal routine. I could access the laundry room through the garage. She left her garage door open and I could switch out loads throughout the day.
Laundromats are always an option, too. Plan a few hours to head out to your local laundromat. Count it as alone time. Scroll your newsfeed or read a book while you wait for your laundry loads to finish. Turn the chore into an event.
My husband and I make a date day of laundry time when we are PCS-ing. The grandparents watch the kids, and we go do laundry. We stop at a restaurant beforehand to sneak in a kid-free meal together, and we get some necessary laundry completed.
3. Labeling Systems
There are some really creative labeling systems out there. One friend used this idea with colored duct tape on each box. The colors are a code for where the boxes go in the new house.
Big, bold markers work, too. Write the room the box goes in, and your last name, on the boxes.
Printing off simple address labels can be helpful, too, if you have ever lost items during a military move.
4. If Boxes Get Lost
Join the Lost During My PCS group. It is a way to track down your lost items, or share when an item is wrongly delivered to your house. I wish I had known about the group when we received extra bed rails or when an entire box was missing from one of our moves.
5. Tips to Overcome Issues During Military Moves
With the volume of household goods that are moved around the globe during a typical PCS season, taking steps to plan ahead for the inevitable challenges is important. These will at least ease some stress.
A plan can help you navigate tough moments as they pop up. Most of all, these tips give you systems to rely on for overcoming the issues you didn’t plan for during a military move.
I hope your next move goes well!
About Jaimi Erickson
Jaimi is a mom of 4, military wife, and writer. She blogs about motherhood, kids activities and homemaking tips at The Stay-at-Home Mom Survival Guide. Connect with her on Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest.
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