Moving is hard. Talk to any military family you know, and they will tell you just how difficult – and stressful! – a PCS move can be. But what if we told you there were ways to get organized during a PCS move AND mitigate some of the stress? You’re probably thinking to yourself, “did they REALLY just use the words ‘organized’ and ‘PCS’ in the same sentence? Oh yes we did – and we are going to show you how it’s possible! MilHousing Network has recently partnered with 1Thrive, and we have some amazing tips to help your family THRIVE during your next move:
The first step to getting organized is getting rid of what you don’t need and/or no longer serves you. Start going room by room, going through clothes, decor, electronics, and other items you don’t use. You can either donate these items, give them away, sell them on the local social media buy/sell group, or have a yard sale and make a little extra cash for your impending move. If you need more decluttering tips, check out this post to help you get started!
2. Make a PCS Checklist
There is a lot of information that comes with a PCS – and it is handed out pretty quickly. Between the initial excitement – and freak out!- that comes with receiving orders, it can be easy for that information to get jumbled and/or lost. Start making a list of things you need to do for your PCS. You can start with the basics – your TMO briefing, making an inventory of your belongings, researching your new destination, etc. should go on your list. Keep it in a place you will see it everyday (for example, your 1Thrive Wall Organizer) so you won’t lose it in the chaos of your move!
3. Have a Folder Of Important Paperwork to Keep On Hand
Military life comes with a lot of important paperwork. You can keep all of your paperwork neatly organized in a folder so that it is accessible when you arrive at your new destination. Some important paperwork to keep on hand:
- Three hard copies of yours (or your spouse’s) PCS orders
- Birth certificates
- Marriage certificate
- Social security cards
- Court documents – divorce decrees, custody decrees (if applicable)
- Final payment confirmations – previous lease agreements, final utility bills, etc.
4. Make An Inventory Of All Your Belongings
This one is going to be a long (and maybe tedious) process. However, this is the best way to protect yourself and your belongings during a move. Take photos and have a spreadsheet of everything you own. Whether moving yourself, or having the military move you, you need to keep a record in case you need to make a claim for damaged or broken items.
5. Start Packing Nonessential Items
No matter how you and your family decide to move, it’s important to get a move on packing. Packing up all nonessential items (decor, clothes you don’t wear often, furniture that isn’t practical, etc.) can help save time and stress when moving day comes. This can also be a great way to protect fragile items from being damaged or broken by the movers. You know the value of your items, so packing them gives you some control over how protected they are.
Other tips to consider:
- Color code all of your boxes with duct tape, or put a sturdy label on them. This way you will be able to find your items easier on moving day
- When packing your clothes – leave them on a hanger, and store them in a garbage bag (like you would with a more fragile garment) so that you’re not digging through bins of clothes when it comes time to unpack.
- Have a “go” bag that you keep with you while traveling. Use it to carry electronics, activities for the kids, your PCS folder, basic first aid, and anything else you and your family might need on the go.
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