Thursday, July 17, 2014
I want to talk about PCSing! It's one of the most exciting, anxious, sad, and happy times in the military life. There is so much to look forward to when you PCS, but first there is so much to do! I have noticed a lot of wives post questions and comments about what to expect when your moving out of one home into another via the army. And it makes me think back to my first PCS move and how there was so much I wish I had known before hand, and so much I'll remember for next time.
But I thought I'd take some time and compile a list of things to do, not to do, and to expect. At least from my personal experience. And hopefully it will help at least one other wife out there. Because this sure would've helped me! And if I have overlooked or left anything out please let me know and post it below! :)
A few days before you move out:
With as often as the army can make you move, thank God they send movers to pack out your entire house! If we didn't have this I might run and hide when PCS time comes around! And while they do almost everything there are some things you need to do to ensure that nothing gets left behind or broken.
*Pack the bags with everything you plan on keeping with you throughout the move. And put it some place it can't be accidentally packed up. A closet with a sign on it, or a friends house works great. Make sure it's safe, because trust me if it's not nailed down they will pack it!
*Don't forget to keep all important paperwork with you in your CARRY ON, even papers you may not need for the move if there irreplaceable or expensive/hard to replace keep them. Birth certificates, marriage license, SScards, Passports, vehicle titles, his Orders, POA's, his Love Me book, ect. Because God forbid that one box or bag with any of these things were lost… well that would suck. So stick them in a file folder and make space in your carry on for them.
*Medical records, don't forget to pick up a hard copy from your hospital to add to your "important paperwork folder" Most hospitals will digitally transfer your files to your next duty station but it's still really smart to have a copy on you.
*Return things. Library books, your friends sweater, your neighbors casserole dish, get it back to them before it's packed up and sent away. I know what I'm talking about we had to pay 60$ for a library book when he cleared that was packed up!
*Take everything off the walls, whatever is nailed up or screwed in that you want to come with you, take it down. And if your keeping any hardware that comes with it (screws, nails, ext.) put it in a ziplock and label it.
*Go through your house, top to bottom, and trash the trash! If you don't they will, I repeat WILL pack it. As silly as that sounds it's there job to pack everything and there is no toy, man, or piece of garbage left behind.
*Take things to donate. that dress you haven't worn since 2008, the 2nd George Forman grill under the sink you haven't touched, toys, shoes, and clothes your kids have out grown. This is the perfect opportunity to downsize some things. Theres no point in trying to make room for stuff you haven't used in years, in your new home. Besides somewhere, someplace there is someone who would get some good use out of those things.
The day your movers arrive!
Now you might be tempted to pack things yourself, that china that was a wedding gift, or your favorite wine glass. But DON'T. The moving company often times is not responsible for anything that was broken during the move that you packed. What you can do though is supervise how it's packed.
*When it comes to that fine china (or anything else) your nervous about surviving the move, as much as you might want to don't pack it DON'T. But when you movers are ready to pack it DO supervise. If you don't think they used enough packing paper, ask them to add more, if they put too many things in one box, ask them to divide it. And maybe even have some bubble wrap (movers don't always use that) on hand to add to the box if that'll make you feel better. This way is something is broken the moving company still has it covered under their insurance.
*Make sure all your cabinets are opened up and anything that might be over looked is pulled out and put someplace visible. Thankfully our movers grabbed most things, but I did forget my Brita pitcher in the fridge…
*Ask about what they will, and won't pack. For us they packed unopened canned/dry goods, spices, and my wine! They would also pack my lotions and soaps, but only if I had a plastic container/box to seal them up in first. So just ask because you may be surprised at what they'll ship for you. And that'll be just one less thing you'll have to re-buy.
*Keep some water bottles, or/and sodas in the fridge for your movers. It's not required but it's thoughtful. And if you take care of them, they'll take care of you. :)
*Hardware, lets talk about that for a minute. Now the great thing about our movers was that they took things apart in one home, and the movers in the next put them back together! But the downside was that when it came to the hardware from our furniture they dumped it all together in ONE BOX! This might not sound so bad to you, but picture your movers on the other end getting all these puzzle pieces of furniture to put together and they haven't even seen what it looks like all together! So as they take things apart ask for the hardware and put it in labeled ziplock bags to be packed with that piece of furniture. Trust me you and your next set of movers will thank me for this! I wish I would've been told about this our first time.
*Your TV. Now it might be too late for this TV but keep the box it came in if it's a larger TV. Every company is different but some charge for TV boxes (this will come out of your pocket) some may just offer it, and others (like ours) will just wrap it in thick paper and stick it in the back of a truck. Which resulted for us in have some pixels go out. Now this is being fixed for us but it's just a hassle you'll really want to avoid. So keep those boxes! (As annoying as it can be to store them)
I think that about covers all the things I wish I had known, and now know to do for our next move. I hope this advise help you ladies out! Good luck! :)