As you all know we are in the middle of a PCS move to Savannah, GA. In Army talk that means a “Permanent Change of Station” … basically Chris is now assigned to a job at another base. That being said, I have been getting some emails from fellow military spouses about our move and requesting some tips to make their impending moves go smoothers. I am by no means an expert but this is our 3rd PCS in less than 3 years. I also reached out on Facebook to my friends for their input. Some of them have been military spouses for a LONG time and have PCSing down to an art. Now some of these tips may be military specific but I am sure anyone going thru a move can benefit
1. Inventory your house. The easiest way to do this is by taking pictures of each room or doing a walk-thru with a video camera. Write down the serial numbers to all your electronics. Videotape them turning on and off to prove that they are working in case you have to claim them. The movers will inventory things also but it is good to have your own list.
2. Clear the clutter. This is the perfect time to make a big donation to Goodwill or hold a garage sale.
3. Keep one closet room as “Do Not Pack”. This is where you should put everything that you plan on keeping with you! Label it and explain to the movers that they are not to pack anything in that room. We did this in our guest room and had them get the furniture out of there first. Then we shut the door, put a sign on it, and were good to go. Make sure to include any toilet paper, paper towels, and cleaning supplies you will need in this room. Otherwise you might end up without any TP … it happens a lot.
4. Take care of your movers. I spent some time talking to our movers and wouldn’t believe how many people treat them poorly! Stock your fridge with waters and Gatorade. Make sure they know they are welcome to it. Provide them lunch. We did pizza one day and Subway another. Treating them right might give them some more incentive to treat your stuff right … treat them poorly and who knows. That being said … you can also keep an eye on them to make sure they are packing things the way you want it done.
5. Saran wrap is your friend. I learned this from a friend who is the queen of PCSing … Carmen I’m “looking” at you! You know how you have the utensil trays in your kitchen drawers holding all your random utensils? Wash everything in them, put them back in the tray, and saran wrap the whole tray. That way your stuff stays clean and when you get to your new house you just cut the saran wrap and slide the trays back to where they go.
6. Giant Ziploc bags are awesome. Ziploc now makes giant sealable bags in 2 gallon an 5 gallon. I washed all of our extra bed linens and all the curtains, folded them, and sealed them in a 5 gallon bag. Again, your stuff stays clean and they are all in one place.
7. Make sure there is a “parts” box. Our movers brought a separate white box for all hardware. When they took something apart, they put all the parts in a Ziploc, labeled what it was, and put it in the parts box. It was the last box on the truck and will be the first one off. Sometimes with movers they will throw random parts in random boxes and then you have to play a game and figure out what they belong to. You could always ask to carry this box with you to ensure it safely arrives at your destination.
8. Empty trashcans. As gross as it sounds I have heard many a time that movers packed the trash can as is. Meaning if you had rotting food in there it went in the truck. Make sure all your trashcans are empty before they come.
9. Make sure your valuable items are inventoried correctly and specifically. I put Post-It notes with a description on many of our nicer things. This included Emmie’s BOB, our Kate Spade serving stuff, Waterford crystal, etc. If something happens to that box and it’s not labeled specifically it can be rather difficult to file a claim and get your money back.
10. Carry anything of major value or importance on you. We are taking our security safe with all our important documents in it, Chris’ gun, my jewelry, etc. with us on the move. You also want to have a folder of sorts with you for all your receipts while traveling as some of that is reimbursable (IE: Hotel bills).
11. BREATHE. Sure there might be headaches along the way but don’t get too worked up about it. Be flexible and go with the flow. It will all get done.
#1 tip from the movers when I asked them … be prepared. Know what you want to take with you, have it set aside, and be clear in your descriptions and expectations to the movers.
#1 tip from Chris … take the baby and get out of the way. The man knows what he is doing. LOL.
Have you ever had a major move before? Biggest tip?
*I’ve also had some requests about my tips for getting to know people at a new base. I will be a getting a post on that up soon! This will be my 3rd time playing that game so I hope to give you some ideas