Every 3 years or so it rolls around: the inevitable PCS.
The most predictable and hardest part of a PCS is the time spent waiting for the orders.
From the moment you realize that THIS is your PCS year to your final move-in day could be months. And that’s without factoring in unexpected changes like last-minute orders to a completely different location!
For military spouses especially, the PCS waiting game is hard.
Our lives depend so much on where our spouse is going next. From jobs to housing to schools for the kids, everything depends on where the service member ends up next. Plus, despite years of knowing otherwise, we enjoy planning the next phase in our adventure.
So, if you are dying to start house hunting or scrolling through job boards, here are 5 things to keep you occupied while you hurry up and wait for those orders.
1. Make a duty station bucket list
No matter where you are, CONUS or OCONUS, there are sure to be a few things that you never quite got around to doing. Make a final bucket list of cool things to see near your current home and start checking things off right now!
Hit up the local wine region, check out cool historical sites or explore the biggest city near you. Most places have festivals year-round that would be fun to swing through before you leave. Or grab a few unique souvenirs from local businesses.
2. Weed out your closets
We all have some clothes and shoes kicking around that we are never, ever going to wear again. No matter what. It could be any reason: size, way out of date or just not your taste.
Take the PCS wait time to really go through your things and toss anything that you know you’ll never wear again.
Don’t talk yourself into keeping something “just in case we move to _______.” Some things need to leave your closet, no matter the clime or place you move to next. I promise you will be able to find new, weather appropriate clothes at your new home. And if not, many companies will ship worldwide.
Ditto for your kid’s clothes. Those little ones grow like weeds, and before you know it you are hauling around pants that Junior hasn’t worn for 3 years.
Before the movers come, go through all the children’s clothing that you own. Yes, even the baby clothes that you have been saving “just in case.” Donate reusable items to charity or hand them down to another family. Trash everything else.
3. Downsize your stuff
Do you have picture frames that haven’t been seen in a few moves? Maybe a table that never quite seems to fit? Now is the time to toss or donate those things. Seriously, just do it. If you haven’t used it in about 6 years, chances are you probably won’t miss it when it’s gone.
For those with kids, I absolutely know that there are toys that go unplayed with. Get rid of them now. You know you want to do it! Plus, think about how much more space that will leave for other things on the moving truck. Things like your collection of shoes that you can’t part with or yet another bulky unit farewell gift.
4. Plan a farewell dinner or party
As the time gets closer, make plans to host a get-together with all your friends. This can be a great way to say “Sayonara” to your best buds, and to use those last items in your pantry or empty your liquor stash.
Get creative with the Pinterest recipes or DIY new concoctions. You can also use up the last of your propane or charcoal by grilling.
If, at the end of your pack-out, you have things left over that won’t move with you, a farewell party is also the perfect time to off-load those things to your friends as they leave. You could make a “take me” box for friends to pick from or you could create personalized goodie bags. It’s great for cleaning supplies, half used bags of flour or random craft things.
5. Organize your pictures
Along with downsizing, use your pent up energy to organize your photo files either on your computer or actual pictures. You could sort by location, by date or by person. Really, the options are endless!
While you’re in there, maybe you’ll finally get around to making those scrapbooks you’ve been talking about for the last few years. Probably not, but you at least thought about it. And that’s what counts.