In life, moves happen, and no one knows this better than military service members and their families. For those in the armed service the need to move may come with or without advanced notice, but one thing is for certain; when duty calls, they answer. Instead of getting stressed out by the thought of everything you need to do to move, follow the tips below. These will help to put your mind at ease and lessen the burden that moving puts on you and your family.
Reasons the Military Moves
In the military it’s common to receive a PCS order or a Permanent Change of Station. This means you’ve been ordered to move to a new destination with no intention of returning. If you receive a PCS order there are a few steps you can take in preparation before the move that will make the process of moving a lot easier on both you, and your family.
Preparing for a Move
1. Make a checklist of everything you need to have completed before you move, and check those items off as you complete them.
2. Research the location of your new home. You can use Google Street View to see your house before you ever set foot in the driveway. It’s also wise to look at which businesses are near by.
3. Meet with your base transportation office. The name of this office varies by branch so look below for yours.
a. Army – Installation Transport Office
b. Air Force – Traffic Management Office
c. Coast Guard – Household Goods Shipping Office
d. Department of Defense – Joint Personal Property Shipping Office
e. Navy and Marine Corps – Personal Property Shipping Office
4. For relocation assistance, contact the family center at your new location and notify the housing office if you’re living in government quarters.
5. Meet with your finance office at your current base. They can help you plan for the financial expense of moving, as well as provide information about any benefits you may be eligible for.
6. If you have school aged children you’ll want to meet with the base SLO (School Liaison Officer) upon arrival at your destination.
7. Make use of Relocation Resources.
Packing Up Your Stuff
Take Notes and Pack Well. Before packing up all your belongings get a “packing journal”, and prepare to take good notes. Pack each box with care and write the box number on the top and all sides for easy viewing. Write the box number in your journal and what that box contains. This will make unpacking a whole lot easier when you arrive at your destination, and you’ll be able to take a box inventory with ease to make sure nothing was lost during the move.
Origin and Destination Storage. When making a move from a large residence to a smaller residence finding a local storage facility may be the best way to cope with the smaller space. In order to make this a pain free process mark the boxes in your packing journal that you’d like to take to storage and move them over before you pack up the rest of your home. This will prevent you from putting things in storage that you need, and ensure that you don’t move things to the new residence that you’d rather have in storage.
If you’re making a move out of state, across the country, or out of the country then you may need to find a storage facility at your destination. Storing items at your destination is helpful when moving because you can send your things ahead of you and pick them up from the storage facility when you arrive. If you follow the steps above by packing well and taking good notes, this will be a quick and easy process.
What to Look for in a Storage Facility. When looking for a self storage unit to store your personal and household belongings in you’ll want to keep a few things in mind. First of all, select a unit that is nearby. There is no sense in driving all the way across town just to save a few dollars per month on rent. Find a good location near your home, and stick with it. Second be sure to inquire about a military discount. Even if you don’t see one advertised, many companies are willing to honor your service with a discount if you ask.
And third, decide whether or not you’d like to have your items stored in a climate controlled facility or a standard facility. If you’re storing things that you’d normally store in the garage, they can probably go into a standard unit. However, if you’re storing things like antiques, wooden furniture, artwork, or musical instruments you’ll probably benefit from the additional comfort a climate controlled unit provides. Storing your things in climate controlled conditions is the only way to insure they aren’t damaged by changes in the season or weather.
Secure Your Unit and Visit Regularly. Pick a good lock to secure your unit. Most storage facilities sell locks on site. This is the best method for getting a lock because it’s guaranteed to fit. Pick a certain day every month and visit your unit. If you’re unable to visit your unit regularly leave a second set of keys with a trusted friend or family member so they can do it for you. Visiting your unit regularly will help you stay on top of any problems before they arise.
It is of the utmost importance to keep proper documents during your move. Surely any financial aid you receive will require proof before reimbursement is made. This means keeping receipts for any expenses including truck rentals, fuel cost, mileage, and other expenses incurred during the move. Additionally you may qualify for tax breaks, but again that requires documentation.
It certainly goes without saying that moving is a stressful time, but taking the time to prepare properly will reduce the amount of stress on you and your family.
Jenn Young is a freelance writer working with Uncle Bob’s. She is passionate about beautifying her home and keeping things organized. Jenn currently writes on anything and everything related to storage units.