It only seems fitting that I have at least one blog about PCSing since that is where my mind is at right now. Funny how just one month ago it felt like the move itself was right around the corner and now it seems like a million years away. Emotions can do funny things to us like making a move months away feel so close. But, while a hurricane may have derailed me for a bit, it’s time to refocus and get the ball rolling. Like many military spouses, I have a method to my moving madness and I’m going to share those with you in some easy to do tips. Nothing complicated, just simple things.
1. Set times for cleaning out cabinets and closets. Simple right? Three years is a long time to collect things in a medicine cabinet or in a storage closet. Sometimes, boxes can even go unopened. But, these are things we have to go through. So, break out the calendar and set days and times to do this task. One or two cabinets or closets a day should do the trick. That way you aren’t overwhelmed the week the movers come and you still haven’t cleaned out the old medicines.
2. Separate your HHG from unaccompanied baggage and color code it. A few days before the packers come designate a room, closet and kitchen cabinets for the items going in an express shipment/unaccompanied baggage. Create a color code system. I use green for HHG, yellow for express and red for DON’T TOUCH. I have found that separating the items helps you and the packers remember what’s going with what.
3. Get kids and pets out of the house while the packers are there. This tip will just make everyone involved so much happier. Parents won’t worry kids are in the way, kids aren’t sad to see their stuff being taken away, pets aren’t nervous over strange people in the house and the chaos. Kids and pets are so easily stressed during a move and you, the adult, really need to keep your eyes on the people packing your beloved items.
4. Last month before move make a meal menu that will help use up the last of the food in the pantry. With about 3-4 weeks before we actually leave our home, I look through the pantry and freezer and start planning meals that will use the food that is left. I don’t mind giving food away to neighbors but I really want for us to eat as much as possible. So, I only buy what we will eat. I make a menu (including meals out) and stick to it that last month.
5. Once you are out of your home relax and enjoy the time off. Moving is so stressful for so many different reasons. Things can happen unexpectedly, like packers coming late or forgetting boxes and so forth. But, once you are out of your home and on the road to visit family or even just heading to the next duty station, ENJOY IT! Treat that time as a vacation because once you arrive at the new location the stress will return. Relaxing and enjoying the time as a family can help everyone regroup and de-stress.
PCSing is usually not a fun time. There is always so much to do and a lot of the “to do” list happens in a short period of time which can be stressful. If the stress is getting to you and you begin to feel overwhelmed with the process, sit and write everything down that needs to be done. Ask friends for help or even family if they are able. When you and your spouse are at each others throats just remember that you are in it together as a team! And there is no “I” in “team”. One thing my husband and I have decided is that we do it together. Everyone goes in together and we all come out together. None of this “you go ahead and find us a house and get us settled”…. No! We are Team Laing and we do the entire process together.