Nearly every military family experiences a PCS move at least once in their life, but many have become seasoned pros by the time they end their service. From organizing and packing to moving and finding a new home, the whole process can be overwhelming for anyone, but it doesn't have to be with the help of some supportive friends and endless online resources at your fingertips. We've curated some of the top tips by military families, for military families, to help make your next move as smooth as possible.
Get Rid Of Excess Stuff
It happens to everyone. After a few years in a home, everyone happens to collect stuff that they've used once or not at all. If you have any boxes in the basement from your last move, it probably means that you haven't needed anything from it in the last few years, and maybe you could do without it. Think lean when it comes to your belongings, and try to go through your clothes once every season to just get rid of things you don't need any more. You'll thank yourself when it comes time for your next move.
Wash Everything Before Packing
There's nothing worse when trying to unpack clothes and bedding than having it pile up in front of the new washer and dryer before it can reach your shelves and drawers. Washing these items before they're packed means that you can simply open the box and put it where it needs to go. To keep things extra fresh while it's in transit, cut a dryer sheet in half and add tape one-half to the insides of the boxes or totes to maintain that freshly cleaned aroma.
Take Pictures Of Everything
This is important for your consumer protection as well as your sanity when it comes time to put everything back the way you had it before. You can never take too many pictures before the move, because you never know when you'll have to file a claim, and if they're digital you can always delete them after the move if everything looks good. Some even like to take a picture of the back of their television, receiver, and computer to help them put everything back together after the move.
Invest In Ziplock Bags
Some movers have a tendency to throw everything in a box without care or concern about how it turns out on the other end. Make your life easier by putting smaller items from one room into large, sealable bags and tape over them with packing tape to prevent them from opening up during the move. Use larger bags for bathroom products, kitchen utensils, office supplies, and so on. You can use smaller bags for furniture screws. Write on each bag with a Sharpie to keep track of what it's for, then you can either tape the bag to the furniture itself or place it in a box with other similar bags to keep everything in one place.
Create A Binder For Paperwork
During a move, you tend to acquire a ton of paperwork that you'll need to keep in one place. Have a binder on hand with folders and dividers to make it quick and easy to file away every piece of paper. Pick up a binder-friendly hole puncher to make it even easier to add it to the binder the moment its given to you.
Offer Refreshments To Your Movers & Packers
Pickup a travel box of coffee from Starbucks (or your favorite local coffee shop of choice), some juice, and easy snacks to have on hand during the move. It's not expected, but it's certainly courteous and your movers and packers will really appreciate it. The nice gesture could even make them be a little bit gentler with your things.
Ask For A Full Unpack Ahead Of Time
Packing up your old home is a lot of work, but many people underestimate the work involved in unpacking once you move into your new place. However, with a PCS move, you may be able to obtain a full unpack too. Make sure you ask for a full unpack ahead of time if you think you may want one. Do not wait until you get to your new location. By asking ahead of time, your organizer may be able to arrange for an unpack and save you and your family from the headache involved with getting your belongings inside and put away in your new home.
Stay Positive & Relaxed
Stressing about the move will only make it worse. Change is hard, but staying focused on the positive things in life can make all the difference in a trying time. Look at the bigger picture and don't sweat the small stuff. Focus on what brings you to the city, and take some time to learn more about the city before you arrive.
If you're moving to Colorado Springs, we hope you'll let us welcome you to this wonderful city! Our site can help you find homes for sale in Colorado Springs, discover the perfect neighborhood near your base, and simplify your search with our military-tailored search tools. Have a question? Give us a call or send us a message today!
Lauren Schneider, Real Estate Agent and Military Relocation Professional (MRP)
Lauren Schneider has lived in Colorado Springs for nearly 20 years and knows that the military is what keeps this town ticking, which is one of the reasons she's chosen to pursue her dream of helping military families with all of their homebuying needs. Learn more about Lauren or start your home search now.