Young couple packing and checking stuff by using checklist before moving to new residence.

When the Dust Settles

Ahh, PCS season. There are so many moving parts to a PCS and such a sense of relief when it’s finally complete. Truthfully, even after the boxes are unpacked and the furniture is perfectly placed, there can be a sense of “what now?” lingering. In my personal experience, I have not felt completely settled in for about two to three months after a move. I often need to remind myself that I live here now. However, you can do to several things to help ease the unease, and start to feel like you are truly home.

  1. Getting your new space organized, cleaned and adding touches of love will really start to make your home feel like your For example, I love flowers and plants, so I always bring these into a new living space as quickly as possible. It makes me happy to look at them, and they’re one of my “signature” touches. Take some time to decide what personal touches speak to you. Pull out all the things that give you a sense of comfort and thoughtfully put them in places that seem special, like a window that catches beautiful sunlight.
  2. Exploring your neighborhood and familiarizing yourself with essential places will help you feel grounded. Where is the commissary, the exchange, and other grocery and specialty stores? How long does it take to get there? After a while, I like to try to get to these places without the use of GPS, as it creates familiarity. Ask locals and other military families for recommendations on everything from the best pizza place to a good vet, and start to get comfortable with your go-to places.
  3. Introducing yourselves to the neighbors can be both fun and a bit intimidating if you’re shy, but this is a crucial step in feeling welcome in a new community. Sometimes it will be easy, sometimes a little harder, but is worth the effort, especially when you make new friends. Also, use your military network. Your friends from your last duty station may have friends where you are going – and vice versa.
  4. Review your moving company through DPS. Real humans will read your responses and make sure that the moving company’s review affects their score. Your responses are important.

Remember that you are getting used to a new place and give yourself time to acclimate. People may drive differently, use different lingo, and have different mannerisms and expectations. Stores may carry different products; new festivals and celebrations may abound. All these things are part of the PCS experience. Everything will settle eventually and before you know it, you will feel at home. What makes you feel settled in a new place after a PCS?

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