After having the experience of moving ourselves the first go-round, I swore that I would never do it again. It was as terrible as you could possibly imagine, so I won't bore you with the details. For our second move, we made darn sure that we took advantage of the military moving us. I think I was way over-prepared for that move. So for our third move of the year, I have a better understanding of what I should and should not do for the move. I hope some of these tips (many from my fellow military wife friends-thanks Christi and Jessica!!) can make your next PCS smooth and flawless.
Unless you really feel the need to disrupt your household early, there's really no need to do any of this until a day or two before the packers/movers arrive at your house.
- Pack a suitcase with everything you will need for a week. It could take at least that long to get your HHG's.
- Go buy a huge Rubbermade tub and pack: one pot, one cooking sheet, one large spoon, plastic utensils, paper plates, paper towels, Sharpie, pen, note paper, packing tape, scissors, one dish towel, one bath towel per person, toilet paper, shower curtain, and trash bags.
- Keep all of your cleaning supplies with you so you can scrub down your house to prep for move out and to clean your new house (which is NEVER in move-in condition to my standards). This includes a vacuum cleaner, broom, and mop.
- Also be sure to keep with you during your move your personal files (with wills, POA, social security cards, passports, anything that is in your personal file cabinet) and valuable jewelry.
- I am too cheap to re-buy condiments and basic pantry essentials (it will probably cost about $175 to set up your pantry at your new home), so we pack a cooler with our fridge condiments, and pack a box with our pantry basics (non-perishables, flour, sugar, etc.).
- The movers will not pack any liquids (cleaning supplies, alcohol, etc.) or candles. Round these up as well.
- Place all of these things (items 1-6) in a designated "Do Not Pack" zone. At our tiny apartment, this was our bathtub. We were just very clear with the movers to not pack the bathtub. If you put these things in a room or closet, label the door with "Do Not Pack" and go ahead and put some packing tape on the door to "seal" it closed in case they forget to read the sign.
- Remove everything from the walls. Place all wall decorations together. Place all curtain rods and hardware (in a labeled ziploc baggie) together. Fold your curtains, and put them on hangers in your closet. This way they will be hanging in a wardrobe box during the move and won't get crushed.
- For all "junk drawers," office drawers, and the like, put all of the contents into a plastic grocery bag and knot it. Place the bag back in the drawer. This way the "junk" won't be free-floating in a giant box. It'll make organization much easier in your new home. Do the same for your lingerie drawer. This will keep your stuff private without you just having to move it yourself.
- Buy several plastic shoe boxes (.99 at Wal-Mart) to put all of your better shoes and/or handbags in. Otherwise, they will all be jumbled together at the bottom of your wardrobe boxes. They will still be in the bottom of your wardrobe boxes, only protected.
- Pull out cash in advance to tip your movers. Buy your packers/movers lunch. Let them use your bathroom. Don't feel guilty for not doing anything when they are in your home. They are being well-paid for their services. Hubby and I played UNO during our last packing session and loved having that time together!