Ahhh, the PCS. It is bound to happen. For some it’s met with resistance, while others see it as a brand new adventure. Regardless of what side you are on, below are some things that will make the transition easier.
Gather Important Papers
The first thing may be the most important. Gather ALL of your important papers in one box and plan on hand carrying these yourself. Do not allow the movers to take them. If you are moving yourself, be sure to put these documents safely in your vehicle first. This includes birth certificates, marriage license, ID cards, passports, vehicle registration and insurance, military orders, prescriptions, power of attorney, etc. It is vital to have these documents together so they don’t get lost in the shuffle.
Carry Critical Belongings
The next thing is similar to the first, but instead involves your items. Pack things like your Grandma’s wedding ring and your husband’s class ring in a box you will take to your next destination. Unfortunately, items sometimes come up missing, so carrying items of value on your person is important (jewelry, furs, family Bible, camera, Army coins, medals, etc.).
Also, be sure to pack a suitcase for every member of your family. Include at least ten outfits. It can take a few days for you and your belongings to get to your next destination and to get unpacked and settled. If you have a small child, remember to keep your pack and play with you. This will be valuable while traveling and again when boxes and packing paper are strewn all over.
Do an Inventory
Take pictures of everything you can BEFORE the movers arrive. Once they arrive, it will be fast paced and chaotic. It doesn’t happen often, but on occasion things get broken or lost. It is best to have an exact picture of all of your items to make replacement or repair simple. Professional moving company, movers NYC suggests that you make certain to take pictures of your big/expensive items like furniture, appliances, electronics, etc.
As soon as you receive those PCS orders, research where you are going. Is on-post housing available? Do you plan to live there? If so, you may need to get on the waiting list. If you choose to live off post or housing is unavailable, NEVER sign a lease on a house sight unseen. You are going to a place you have never been. The pictures may look great, but what they are not showing you is the area of town. Far too many military families have ended up in bad areas with a lease they can’t break because they signed contracts beforehand. Prepare to stay in a hotel or furnished apartment for a bit until you can find a home. Some military posts have decent hotels on them with affordable military rates that will suffice for temporary housing.
Embrace the Process
Honestly, whether you want to move or not, there is nothing you can do about it. The old adage “attitude is everything” rings very true when it comes to being a military spouse. Being miserable and complaining not only makes you unhappier, but it impacts your spouse and kids too. If your children see the move as an adventure, they will be more excited and willing to help as well. Your spouse generally has no control over where he/she is sent, so don’t punish him/her with your words and actions. Instead choose to be their helper. They need your support and unwavering love more than anyone else. Your family will remember your attitude and actions long after the move is over.
Don’t worry about your household goods. It’s just stuff that can be replaced if something happens. Moving is a fresh start…a blank slate. Take a deep breath and get ready for life on a new base!
Feature image credit Soldiers Wife Crazy Life