This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of CORT. All opinions are 100% mine. Military life can be hard and unpredictable. So much of it, we spouses can’t control. We can’t control anything about deployments or training or too much overnight staff duty, but we can somewhat control our moving, PCSing, and relocations. In many cases, these moves from one duty station to another, are left in our hands. We are left to manage the coordination, moving, and in many cases finding the new place to live. While this can be extremely stressful, even for the most experienced spouses, there are ways to make it through unscathed.
Many swear by keeping a PCS binder. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a binder, as I’ve used accordion files in the past. In the binder though, organize all important paperwork. This includes anything you need for the actual move itself, like travel arrangements (flights, hotels, etc.) and temporary lodging, as well as anything you will need right away at the new duty station. This includes school records and shot records for the kids, as well as recent LES’s, shot records on pets, and any information from the moving company. Organization alone will alleviate a lot of headaches.
Most of us have a decent amount of notice before any major move. Use this time to sell any unwanted items. Have a garage sell or list items on an online yard sale or forum. This will also help to make sure you stay below your required weight limit. The military can bill you for any overages of weight. This is also a great time to get the entire family involved. Moving really is a family affair, so have the kids help go through old clothes and toys to determine what is no longer needed. If your kids are like mine, you can always go through their things again later when they aren’t around.
Squeeze In An Adventure
Many times, we have great ambitions of all the things we want to do and see near our duty station. However, plans don’t often work out. Take family time and enjoy an outing. Knock a few of those must do places off the list and enjoy the last bit of time you have there. This is a great time to have a last hurrah with friends as well. Take a trip to that restaurant you love so much or have a girl’s day at that winery you’ve been meaning to visit. It will be a great stress reliever and a great way to say goodbye.
Prepare For The Movers
The first time you move, it’s a bit overwhelming. There are strangers in your house, going through and packing all your items, and then there’s you, trying to run from room to room and keep on top of it all. Save the headache and start before hand. Take pictures off the wall and organize them all together, so hopefully they get packed together. Separate out any items that are not to be packed. I like to put them in a separate room, shut the door, and maybe even put a sign on the door so no one goes in there. If you’ve been doing this a while, you know it’s no surprise to open a box and find random things in the bottom. Go through drawers and put those random things in ziplock bags so that doesn’t happen. It’s always nice to have water or other drinks on hand for the movers as well.
Research The New Location
Do your homework before you arrive. If you plan to live on base, contact the housing office to see what the wait list looks like and get your name on it. If you plan to live off base, start researching neighborhoods and schools. This will give you a good idea of housing costs, as well as what is in the immediate area. Local Facebook pages and groups can help answer any questions you might have. If you think temporary housing will be needed, look into your options for that as well.
Congrats! You Made It!
You made it to the new duty station and everyone is accounted for an in one piece. Breathe and prioritize. First order of business is a place to live, then worry about belongings. I like to get my house in order as I have it and I’m sure I’m not alone in that. If you need furniture right away, give CORT a call. They have a long history of serving military families and can supply you with all the furniture rentals you need. If only part of your belongings arrived and the rest is who knows where, don’t freak out. That won’t help anything and at the rate you’re going, your wine glasses will be part of the MIA items. CORT can supply you with a room or a piece of furniture. Now, go out and make friends and make the most of your new home! Check out CORT’s Spouses Guide to Surviving Military Relocation for more tips!