If you are moving this summer cycle, it’s time to get ready to move. Does 6 months sound like too much time? Nope, it is just enough. There is a lot to do to get ready for a move, and being as prepared as possible can decrease the stress. No, moving is not stress free (unless you are totally moving your stuff, but there is a different level of stress there) but prepping for your move now can lower than stress.
While you may not know where you are moving to yet. If you want to do a DITY (Do-It-Yourself) Move, begin research on types of vehicles or trucks. If you want to do it, begin collecting boxes from neighbors, grocery stores or Buy Nothing groups and begin slowly packing out of season items first. There are a variety of moving companies that will drop off a truck and you load it yourself. You can hire loaders too if you want.
Go through the pantry.
Pantry items are one item that movers often don’t move. While some military families have shared that movers have moved canned goods, opened items are a no-go in a move. Even if you just moved this past summer, go through the pantry to find shelf-stable items and plan to use them. Start to plan out use of the spices in your cabinet, or begin to give them away.
Pull out seasonal clothes.
Some military families have their orders 6-12 months in advance and can determine which clothes will be needed to move. If you are moving from a sunny, warm climate like California, you may need to add other seasonal clothing to move to Rhode Island. But if you are going East to West, you might be able to shed some of the winter gear. Once the season has passed, box the items up for donation through Goodwill, AMVETS or ThredUp which have curbside drop-off, pick up or mail in options.
In the winter months, when the weather is colder and you don’t want to head outside, delve deep inside to the closets, cabinets and garage. Do you have a dress that you haven’t worn in 5 years? What about your kids clothes? Maybe you don’t need to have 5 bins of holiday décor (or if you do, that’s good too!)? Figure out where you can cull. Planning for the PCS months in advance means you can do one room type a month if you wanted to – the kitchen first, then living room, then dining room, then bedrooms, then bathrooms, then closets. Taking a purge step by step feels a lot less panicked.
The new fiscal year starts in October for the federal government. Rules for reimbursement are on the books now, if you have a question about what your move rates, ask the Transportation office now.
Save for it.
PCS season is expensive. There are hotel stays, travel, babysitting costs, kennel costs, just to name a few. Start saving a little bit at a time now so the cost isn’t so surprising later. Starting earlier allows for spreading out the cost and savings in more manageable bits. Even if you are charging PCS costs on a credit card (and getting those points!), you have the money ready to pay off the card when the bill comes.
Start slowly building a stock of things you need for the move. Ziploc clothing squares allow for early packing of seasonal items that slip in easily to moving boxes protecting your clothes and making them easy to unpack. If you are doing a DITY, start building up a stock of boxes, bubble wrap, and packaging paper.
Make a list.
Start listing out valuable items and gather any receipts you have for them. If there is a model or serial number, add it to the list. Go room by room to add items, creating a master list in a slow and steady fashion. A copy of this list can be provided to the movers for high value item list, allowing for everyone to be on the same page.
The point: Start early, you’ll thank yourself later.