Moving can be an incredibly stressful experience for anyone, but it can be even more challenging for military families who often have to move frequently and with short notice. Military moves can be overwhelming and disrupt normal routines, whether it’s a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) or a deployment. Fortunately, there are simple strategies that military families can use to make their moves less stressful. Here, we’ll explore eight simple ideas to help military families prepare for and manage the moving process.
1. Start Planning Early
Starting to plan the moving process as early as possible is a crucial first step for military families to reduce the stress of the move. Depending on the location, military families may have to move frequently, sometimes with short notice. By starting early, families can ensure they have enough time to complete all necessary tasks, such as decluttering, organizing, and packing. It also allows them to take advantage of cost-saving opportunities such as booking movers in advance or finding discounted rates for flights or hotels.
2. Create a Moving Binder or Folder
This can be a simple yet effective way for military families to keep track of all the important documents, receipts, and information related to their move. This binder or folder can include everything from the moving contract and insurance documents to utility bills and school records. By having all the necessary information in one place, military families can easily access it when needed and avoid the stress of searching for misplaced documents. Additionally, a moving binder or folder can be a reference point for the moving checklist and other planning documents, helping keep the moving process organized and on track.
3. Make a Checklist of Important Tasks and Deadlines
The checklist allows military families to stay organized and on top of the numerous tasks that come with the moving process. Families can prioritize tasks and ensure that everything is remembered by creating a comprehensive checklist, from contacting service providers to packing specific items. Additionally, having a clear timeline of when tasks need to be completed can help reduce stress and avoid last-minute rushes.
4. Declutter and Organize Belongings
Having a clean, organized home is an important step towards making the transition to a new location less stressful. By decluttering and organizing belongings, military families can ensure they have enough space for all their items, avoid unnecessary clutter, and easily locate belongings once they arrive at their new home. By disassembling furniture and packing items into smaller boxes or bins, families can also help simplify unpacking when they reach their new location.
5. Label and Color-Code Boxes
Although this may seem like a simple tip, it can effectively reduce stress during the moving process. Boxes full of random objects can become overwhelming quickly, making it difficult for military families to keep track of their belongings. By color-coding boxes, families can identify what’s in each box, making it easier to find important items when needed. Additionally, solid colors or patterns are easier for people with visual impairment to see and navigate through boxes without missing something important.
6. Research and Choose a Reputable Moving Company
Because military families often have limited time to complete their moving process, choosing a reputable company with low prices and skilled movers is crucial. By researching multiple companies and comparing their prices, military families can ensure they get the lowest possible price for their move. A professional long-distance mover and moving service is also an option for military families who may need to relocate farther distances. It’s especially important to choose a reputable moving company before signing a contract or paying in full, as this ensures that the company will honor any issues that may arise.
7. Notify Important Contacts and Service Providers of Your Move
This is another important step to a smooth transition to a new location. This includes informing the post office of a change of address and updating insurance policies, bank accounts, and other accounts. Military families should also notify their child’s school, doctors, and other service providers of the move. By communicating with these contacts in advance, families can ensure that important documents and services are transferred smoothly and that they are aware of unexpected issues after the move.
8. Evaluate the New Location Once They’ve Arrived
Once military families reach their new location, they should take time to assess what they like and dislike about the new area. Once they have an idea of the good and bad features of their new city, they can start making plans for social outlets, local attractions, and other hangouts, as well as find out if there are any schools nearby that are a good fit for their children. They should also research local community resources such as hospitals, churches, restaurants, and entertainment venues.
Military moving is a stressful process, but it can be mitigated through careful planning and preparation. By following the tips outlined above, military families can reduce stress during moving and ensure they can settle into their new homes as quickly and smoothly as possible. Also, by comparing multiple moving companies, finding the best price, and informing important contacts of the move beforehand, military families can ensure they get the lowest possible price for their move.