Moving While Your Spouse Is Deployed: Hacks To Make The Process Easier
So your spouse is deployed, and you are tasked with moving you and your family to your new PCS assignment. You’re probably pretty stressed, right?
Moving is a daunting task, and when your spouse is unable to be there to help you do the work, the process can become even more overwhelming. Fortunately, with a little preparation and a calm attitude, you can get your family moved to your new location and still maintain your sanity!
Keep Everything Organized
The worst mistake you can make when moving is being disorganized. Especially if you have children, you can’t afford to be unprepared for each step of the process.
Make a List For Everything
It all begins with the organization– make a list for just about everything. List out all of the things you will need to do before you even start packing, such as your preferred moving service, costs associated with the move, personal items you will need for the trip, etc. These will all need to be decided ahead of time. It’s worth the extra time to make sure that the moving process starts on a good footing.
Identify What is Most Valuable to You
Keep a list of your most valuable items, such as electronics, jewelry, family heirlooms, and sentimental belongings. It’s common for possessions to be damaged, lost, or sometimes even stolen during the moving process. Keeping a checklist of these items to ensure they make it through the move safely will prove to be beneficial.
- Set Aside the Essentials
Another helpful tip for planning your move is to pack the essential items that you will need right when you get to your new home separately, such as toiletries, phone chargers, a change of clothes, and some food. The last thing you’ll want after traveling to your new home is to have to dig through boxes to find the things you need to get settled in that first night. To make things even easier and time-efficient for yourself and your family, you can have these essentials delivered to your new address while you are en route. This way, not only can you get settled into your new home quicker, but you won’t have to pack all of those items and lug them with you during your move.
- Pack Unused Items First
Perhaps the best place to start packing is with your spouse’s belongings. While they are deployed, they won’t need any of the items they left behind and probably won’t for a while until after they return home.
Holiday decorations are another good place to start if you are moving well in advance of the holidays. Anything that you can’t see yourself or your family using within the first month of living in your new home should be packed away first. From there, you can pack more and more of your belongings as your moving date approaches, leaving your immediate needs to be packed last.
Use Your Resources
- Utilize Military-Hired Movers
If you’re feeling exceptionally overwhelmed by the thought of moving yourself and your children all on your own, look to external resources for help. The military does offer help with packing and moving your belongings to your new home. It could be very helpful to get a few additional adults to help you with the process of packing and moving. Especially if this service comes at little to no cost to you, you might as well make use of the help.
- Get Your Kids Involved
Including your children in the entirety of the moving process can help them cope with their own stress associated with uprooting their lives. This can be very beneficial for your family as a whole. Whether your children are very young, or young adults, there are a few things children of nearly any age can do to help with packing and moving.
For the little ones, you can give them the assignment of collecting their favorite belongings and setting them aside to be packed separately. Doing so will make it easier for your child to feel more at ease during the move knowing that their favorite things are safe and easily accessible once they get to their new home.
For slightly older children, you can give them even more practical assignments from house hunting to packing up the entirety of their bedroom. It’s important that your kids feel as though they have some choice and control over the situation in order to feel better about leaving their friends and school life behind.
Take it Slow
Moving without your spouse there to be involved in the process can be very emotional for you and your family. The stress of moving, missing your loved one, solo parenting, and uprooting your family can be exhausting.
For this reason, getting help from movers and your family members is going to make a big difference in the emotional exhaustion this process may cause. Don’t try to do everything on your own, and don’t try to get everything done in only a few days either. Once you get to your new home, take your time moving in and getting settled. Remember, there’s no time limit on unpacking.
No matter what, moving is inevitable for military spouses, as is moving while your spouse is deployed. While you probably wish you could avoid relocating on your own, it’s best to have a solid plan for doing so. Try out a few of these hacks the next time you are assigned to a new duty station, and above all else, stay calm!