In the military moving is called PCSing. It is also something that you should probably become familiar with, since they tend to move families every few years, according to the Military Move website (tons of resources are also available there). Being asked to move so often can make this a very stressful task, compounded by a lot of different moving parts. Despite this, if you follow some top tips for your military move, it can not only reduce stress but also make things as smooth as possible.
One of the scariest things about moving is the fact that many times, it leads to a lot of different things, each one of which is in various stages of completion. That leads to a lot of disorganization. Start by collecting boxes and packing materials ahead of time. Also, make a list of everything needed to be done. This should include items like shutting off utilities, calling the movers, transferring TV and internet service, etc...
Even if the military is doing the heavy lifting in terms of moving furniture and the like, you probably still will want to take some things in the car. Consider fragile and easily damaged items in this category, as well as things you will need immediately or simply just don't want to be without. Keep these in a separate place from your other items so that you will maintain organization.
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A move is a perfect time to get all those things you really don't want or need anymore. Toss those things whose useful life is done and maybe even consider donating others. You may even want to sell a few things that still have value. Obviously, having fewer things to move will make it easier and go more smoothly.
Not only do you need to make sure everything is packed, but do so in such a way as to avoid breakage and damage. Be practical, as well, by wrapping items in your own linens, towels, and clothes. Of course, the most breakable things will probably still require bubble wrap. Also, use things like packing peanuts and other cushioning materials in your boxes where needed.
It should go without saying, but use boxes. Make sure all boxes are in decent shape and they have tops that can be closed. You don't want to use trash bags or other carrying cases that will not stack well. Also, pay attention to the weight of each box. Making them too heavy will only lead to more problems. A good way to avoid this is by spreading heavy items like books among multiple boxes.
Think About Unpacking
Of course, getting everything to your new location is only half the job. To this end, make sure that all of your boxes are labeled. Some people simply label the box as to its destination in the new home, i.e. kitchen, bedroom, living room, etc... However, if at all possible, consider listing exactly what is inside. This will make it much faster in terms of unpacking and also make things less stressful because you know what needs to be unpacked immediately and what can possibly wait a day or two.
In short, they keys to a successful military move are:
- Staying organized
- Packing carefully
- Using a solid labeling system