Summer is Permanent Change of Station (PCS) season for us military families. Although a PCS can happen any time of the year, summer is when the majority of relocations occur.
Moving is stressful, no matter how many times you've done it. Whether you are a PCS novice or an old pro, the following tips can help you and your family get settled in your new home quickly.
Set the Wheels in Motion
The first thing you should do once you know your destination and the details of your PCS is contact housing, transportation and relocation assistance offices. These valuable resources can help you with all aspects of your move, such as determining allowances, figuring out where to live, putting a vehicle in storage or shipping a pet. If you have school-age children who are not enrolled in Department of Defense schools, contact the school liaison officer. He or she will help you transfer, transition and enroll your children in the school system at your new location.
Once you know a PCS is imminent, begin going through the closets, drawers and cabinets. Get rid of anything you don't use, haven't used in a year, or things you know you won't need in your new home. Put things you want to keep but aren't moving into storage. Get rid of what you won't be moving via a yard sale or donate it to Goodwill. Know what your property shipment weight allowances are. This will help you be more decisive about what to get rid of and what to hang onto.
Organize Important Documents
Use a binder or accordion-style folder to organize documents such as military orders, birth and marriage certificates, social security cards, insurance documents, etc. Once you have your documents organized, never let that file out of your sight! Leave it in your car or put a big red X on it so movers won't accidentally pack it, and keep it with you while you travel.
Secure Your Home
Protect your new home or the one you are leaving behind (if you own it) with an alarm system. According to www.securitycompanies.com, there are close to 5,000 home security companies in the United States offering everything from burglary protection and fire detection to fully automated systems that can regulate a thermostat lighting with a mobile device.
Create a First Night Kit
This should contain everything you'll need for the first night in your new home. Changes of clothes, sheets, towels, toilet paper, paper plates, a coffee maker, a can opener and a few basic tools are some must-haves for your first night kit. If you can't lift it yourself, label it boldly, so it's easy to find among all the other boxes and belongings.
Pack valuables and breakable items yourself. Anything that has monetary or sentimental value should be packed and moved by you, if possible.
Research Your New Area
Familiarize yourself with your new town before the move. Get a general idea where things like hospitals, schools, shopping centers, parks and restaurants are located.
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A painter, mom, wife and photographer, Andrea always has material to write about. Finding the time to write is another story altogether.