Military families are used to the art of taking off to a new home but just because it is expected, it does not mean that moving is ever easy. Stress free tips for your next PCS.Military families are used to the art of taking off to a new home but just because it is expected, it does not mean that moving is ever easy. Stress free tips for your next PCS.Moving Tips

How to Have a Stress Free PCS Military Move

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Military families are constantly on the move. When it is time to transfer to a different base, Military parents and children are used to the art of taking off and planting roots somewhere new. However, just because it is expected, it does not mean that moving is ever easy.

Though it is not easy to say goodbye to a place where you made friends and connections, moving to a new station can be less stressful when you have a plan. By applying some of these stress-reducing moving tips, you can have a better Permanent Change of Station (PCS) military move.

Tip #1: Label Everything

When you pack your items, do not just think about getting them into a box. Instead, picture how you would feel when you arrive at your new home. You will have to find new ways to organize and arrange furniture. Instead of rummaging through unmarked boxes to find what you need, imagine how much more convenient it would be to know exactly where frequently-used items are such as power cords, light fixtures, technology, bedding, and more. Therefore, before you leave everything in a box, label everything.

Tip #2: Be considerate of weight allowances

Getting entitlements like a moving allowance is one of the biggest advantages military families have over civilian moving, which can normally cost hundreds or even over a thousand dollars. Your moving allowance allows a certain maximum weight of your household goods. The amount of your moving alliance is based on your rank and dependency status. Other situations like moving overseas (OCONUS), retirement, or separation move may have different parameters compared to a PCS move within the continental United States.

If you have any overages on the weight that was approved, you will need to pay for it. By staying within your weight allowance, you can have an extremely affordable move. To stay within your limits, get rid of anything that you don't need for your new location. Host a yard sale or sell some items online a few months in advance. This will reduce clutter in your home and make it easier to decide what goes in the moving van.

Tip # 3: Keep important documents separated and other essentials with you

When you're on the move, nothing is more inconvenient than when you realize that some important documents or essential items are packed away in an inaccessible box. Think ahead and have these necessities set aside in a container that you can take with you personally.

If you have anything especially important such as car titles, birth certificates, and other vital documents, they should be kept safe and with you throughout the moving process. This also goes for anything that absolutely cannot be replaced or recovered by insurance. Items such as precious family heirlooms or things that are extremely delicate belong on this list.

Tip #4: Learn how to file a damage claim in case something happens

Even the most careful moving companies can potentially damage a piece of furniture or a delicate item in a box. If this happens, file a damage claim right away. During a military move, your items are insured at “Full Replacement/Repair Value (FRV)” at no cost to you.

If any items are lost or destroyed in transit, the transportation service provider (TSP) must pay the repair or replacement cost. Items that are replaced should be matched with a product that is the same or similar. Make sure you have proof of the lost item’s value so the TSP can replace it. The same process of proving worth applies to any costs of repairs to one of your damaged belongings.

Tip #5: If you are moving with kids, expect some adjustments

Going anywhere with the kids requires extra planning. Even a simple trip to the restaurant can require extra coloring books, crayons, and entertainment activities. Therefore, a moving trip should not be any different. Be prepared for your children to need more of you during this time. This is a transitional period that is stressful and emotional for people of all ages. Kids often do not know how to process these complex feelings.

If your kids have any changed behaviors or feel extra sensitive, offer them plenty of understanding. Keep the channels of communication open and let them know that you are there for them. Also, during the moving process, make sure that they have some regular comfort items that they can access for entertainment and fun. For instance, educational tablets, favorite books, a few of their favorite toys, or a themed sleeping bag will keep the surroundings familiar even if you stay at a hotel for a night. These items also help them stay occupied during the unpacking process.

Also, be prepared for extra screen time. When all the toys aren't unpacked and kids are spending a lot of time in an unfinished house or hotel room, boredom can set in pretty quickly. When items are limited around them, it is only a matter of time before it's time to watch a movie or play video games. Understand that this is not typical of your standard life and to let go of any strict screen time restrictions for this season.

Tip #6: If you need extra storage, find a storage rental near your new station

Moving from one station to another can mean that some furniture or items may not work well with your new home’s layout. There may also be seasonal sporting gear and lawn care items that you do not need to use right away. If you have any extra items that do not need to be at your new home immediately, place them in a storage rental unit.

A rental unit can also be useful if you have a time gap between your move-in date and when your belongings arrive. If your new housing is not ready yet, then arrange for your moving truck to temporarily place your items in a storage unit. This will keep them safe until move-in day without the extra costs of storage by your transportation provider, which can add up quickly in costs.

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