How to prepare for a military move?

A US flag with a group of soldiers painted on it.

There is not a shortage of challenges you’ll face as a part of the military. That lifestyle is hard enough on its own, but it just gets much more complicated when faced with a PCS (Permanent Change of Station.) The sad reality of some military families is that they don’t even have enough time to unpack all of their bags before they find themselves on the road yet again. In order to help you prepare for a military move which is bound to happen sooner or later, as a top moving and storage Florida company, we have created this short guide. Hopefully, everything you read in here will be useful in preparing for what’s to come.

Start preparing long before your PCS

Precisely because the military lifestyle is so unpredictable, you should always be ahead of the situation. That means you should be prepared for your PCS long before it knocks on your door. To do that, we have one word for you – decluttering. If you have not moved in years, chances are you have piled up an incredible amount of items. Items you don’t objectively need and items that will be nothing short of a disturbance during your move. So, to prepare for a military move before it actually comes, put your entire household to work. Purge your home of all the unnecessary items and decide what to do with them.

A mirror in which you can see a couch.
The fewer items you have, the easier will it be for you to prepare for a military move.

Objectively, you can either throw them, sell them or donate them. Throw away only those items that are ripped, thorn or otherwise shabby-looking. Everything else can be salvaged. By donating your items, you get to help those in need. And seeing that you are a military man/woman, it is in your nature to help the people of your country. If, on the other hand, you decide to sell them, you can organize a yard sale. It’s a good chance to earn a couple of extra bucks as they are always necessary. Put up a couple of signs, display your items, and voila – a yard sale is a reality!

Once your PCS becomes a reality, hire the right help

What makes a PCS so complicated is the fact that sometimes you will have very little time for getting everything in order before moving. Whether you are moving on short notice or you have some time to prepare, the best thing would be to hire competent military movers in your area. They specialize in this type of moving, so they will know how to get everything ready in a matter of days or weeks. Besides, considering the fact of how many things you will have to take care of in the upcoming period, the last thing you would want to worry about is packing, carrying, lifting, and loading.

The tasks to take care of by yourself

  • Pack a survival kit.

The moment you and your family arrive at the new location, all of you will be exhausted. It’s because moving to a new household is a path riddled with obstacles, problems, and physical tasks. So, once you finally arrive, all you will want is to curl up in bed and sleep. To do that, you’ll need your survival kit. Unless you want to spend hours searching for bedding and your toothbrush, your survival kit should be ready and loaded with all the items you may need during that first day and night.

  • Pack your documents of importance.

Yes, you should let your movers pack up most of your stuff. That’s what their packing and unpacking services are for. But, there are always some items to take care of on your own, and your documents of importance are one of them. Passports, prescriptions, IDs and any other important papers should be packed and ready before your movers arrive. Make sure you keep them next to you at all times, as you never know when you’ll need them. Besides, that ensures you won’t easily lose them. Finally, do the same with your collectibles and your valuables.

A passport on a map that should be packed to prepare for a military move.
Imagine the hell that would ensue if you were to lose your passport.

Attend an orientation at your new base

Moving to a new country can be a terrifying experience. After all, you most likely know nothing about the country you will have to call home in a few short weeks. So, to best prepare for a military move, you have to familiarize yourself with the new surroundings. Luckily, most bases will have an orientation that you can attend online. The goal of this orientation is to prepare you for your long distance move so that you won’t feel shocked upon arriving. Although, don’t expect any miracles. You are bound to experience some culture shock, especially if moving to a country that has a different official language than yours.

At the orientation, expect to learn about things like the housing market, the weather and seasons, the educational system, childcare services, and similar. Basically, it would be a good first lesson that will make the first contact with the people from the country much easier. So, if possible, always make it your task to attend these types of orientation.

Throw a goodbye party to mentally prepare for a military move

Everyone always talks about the physical challenges and hardships of a PCS move, but no one remembers to mention the mental aspect of it. The truth is that military families oftentimes have to leave behind their friends and relatives and face the prospect of not seeing them for a long time.

A group of people making a toast.
Cheers! Your new and exciting life awaits!

For that reason, you should prepare for a military move by throwing a goodbye party for those close to you. Whether you are moving during the winter, summer, spring or fall, there are always certain party types you can throw. From barbecues and pool parties to inside gatherings, always ensure you say goodbye to your loved ones. And keep your head up! Who knows, perhaps you’ll get to see them before you know it!

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