August 26, 2016, by Dixie Somers – The orders have come down and your military family is moving – soon and far away! It’s easy to feel panicky about everything that is involved in dealing with an unexpected relocation, but there are many resources online and off that can help.
Where will you live? Check out online resources like the Automated Housing Referral Network to find the best place for your family, even in a foreign country. AHRN also offers some terrific resources like an 8 week PCS countdown to help you stay on top of every step of your move and avoid last minute problems. In general, it is always a wise idea to buy or rent a little bit less than you think you can afford, at least until you know the full cost of your move. Make sure to do your research about neighborhood safety before committing to a new home. If you can’t find the right place in time, consider temporary housing—while it can be inconvenient, it is better than signing a lease or purchasing the wrong property, and there are many resources online that can help military families find temporary housing.
An overseas move, especially if it’s your first, can be intimidating. Start by ensuring that every family member has a passport, including minors. Your military Human Resources Office can advise you whether you are eligible for a “no-fee” passport. Next, check to see the restrictions on how many pounds of personal possessions you may move. Some locations are quite strict and you will need to arrange for storage of the furniture and vehicles you cannot bring. If you plan to take your pet, remember that you must bear the cost of relocating the pet personally, and pets must be microchipped and up to date on all vaccinations to travel overseas. If you cannot afford to take the pet, there are organizations like Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet that provide foster care while the military family is overseas.
Plan Ahead for Moving Expenses
While you can look forward to reimbursement for moving expenses, there are many you must pay upfront. Always keep a separate PCS savings account to stash away money for your eventual move. Even $50 a month makes a big difference in ensuring that a move doesn’t end with every credit card at its limit and no money left for an emergency.
Raise Moving Money Quickly
More month than money? Do you find it hard to save anything on your budget? Consider signing up with a temporary staffing agency for some short-term work to fund your move. Another option is to use eBay or an easy-to-use app like Offerup to convert unwanted or outgrown clothing, jewelry, toys, and household items into cash. Also, utilize a military-friendly moving company like Wheaton World Wide Moving so that your specific needs in terms of relocation are kept into consideration.
Take Care of Yourself!
It’s not unusual to feel stressed by a relocation or depressed about leaving friends and family behind. No matter how long your “to do” list, you will be more productive if you get enough sleep, and take a little time for yourself to do what makes you happy. Get some exercise, go for a pedicure, read a book or watch a favorite television show. If you’re really feeling overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to look into the military’s many counseling options. Military One Source can even arrange for telephone counseling so you don’t have to leave your home. They can also give you tips on dealing with kids and teens who are upset about your upcoming relocation.
With a little bit of planning, any relocation can be accomplished smoothly and you can enjoy the adventure of learning about life in a new state, or even a new country, together as a family!
AUTHOR BIO: This article was written by Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who loves to write for business, finance, careers, and education. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters.