Article courtesy of the blog Life Lessons of a Military Wife. Though now run entirely through a Facebook page, this blog is a goldmine of tips, tricks, and information.
I’ve been dreading even talking about it. We’ve known now for a few months that we are going to be moving next year . . . another permanent change of station (PCS). It’s a duty assignment we really wanted . . . Germany, but, this time we are moving with two inquisitive kids, a cat and a 100lb dog! Since this move next summer deals with a few more logistical challenges, I thought I would put together my thoughts and start planning now, so I can stop being a worry wart about it! Here’s what I’ve come up with so far.
-Make a list of accounts with phone number and addresses that are going to be stopped when we move, such as telephone, electric, cable, and the newspaper
-Make another list of accounts where you will forward the mail, such as your mobile phone, any magazine subscriptions, insurance, mortgages, investments, credit cards and bank accounts
I also recommend doing the following:
-Try to find out as early as possible who your sponsor will be at your next duty station; they can send you housing and school information, maps and brochures; feel free to ask about hotels and also restrictions for pets and any other requirements you may have
-Get a forwarding address you can use; it’s usually the headquarters address for your new unit; verify this with your sponsor; you will use this address when you fill out your forwarding mail form at the post office before you move
-If you have pets, start researching the requirements online; what shots and health records are needed and are there any quarantine requirements; if your pet has never been in a crate, I suggest getting them used to it now; most pets love the safety and security of a crate if they get used to it beforehand; read about crate training so you do it right
-If you have other pets, such as fish or houseplants or anything else living you will not be taking with you, start giving away or selling that stuff earlier rather than later
-Take stock of what you have in your pantry and freezer; the last time we moved, it took us over 6 months to eat all the residual stuff; I know you can move with canned and boxed food items, but it just seems unappetizing to me, knowing the stuff was moved in an uncontrolled environment where heat, bugs, moisture and who knows what else could get to it; start eating it now
-If you own your house and will be keeping it, start advertising on the sites below about 6 months out; as it gets closer to your move date, start advertising in the newspaper and other avenues you can think of; identify who you are going to have manage your property; so far, we’ve had good luck with neighbors watching over our home for a more economical fee than if you hired a realtor (with ulterior motives) or a property management company (which typically charges 10% of the rent); just make sure they are handy and can work a hammer and such
-If you are selling your home, now is the perfect time to start decluttering it and getting it ready to show; start asking around for referrals to find a good realtor
-Make a list of furniture and stuff you want to get rid of and at least start getting rid of it now; we have the added fancy of deciding what to put in long term storage and what to take with us since we are going overseas; “long term storage” is just your stuff roped off in a big warehouse with other service members’ stuff who also went overseas; I have heard countless stories of things being misplaced or lost; if you have family heirlooms or special items you don’t want to take overseas, make arrangements with a close relative to keep them for you while you are gone
-Try to get the kids excited about the new duty station; focus on the positive; go online and look at photos and travel sites; contact the travel bureau there and request brochures and activities for the kids through the mail
-If you are going overseas, make sure everyone’s passport is current or will be when you move; check everyone’s shot record too
-Start identifying where all your medical and dental records are; we have records all over the place since we get our healthcare off post; find out what the requirements are for you to obtain copies of your stuff
-Don’t forget collecting your childrens’ school reports and any other records they may need
What did we miss? Is there anything that you absolutely always plan ahead of time? Let us know your best advice in the comments below!