Trash bags and toys

PCS Hacks for Your Next Move

My family may soon be embarking on our next PCS journey. Although I’m thankful for a potential new adventure, it’s no secret moving is stressful. I’ve put together five PCS hacks that I’ve discovered or learned from another person in the military community. Hopefully, these will make our transition, and possibly yours, a little easier.

  1. Start early and create a clean space. When we PCS, I love to take the opportunity to go through every drawer, cabinet and space that is disorganized. Inevitably, I find a lot of things I want to get rid of. This makes me feel great because there will be less stuff to move, and organizing before a move makes me feel more at ease. I like to start this process two or three months out; that way I have plenty of time and can do it slowly. We don’t always have the luxury of knowing we’re going to move that far in advance, but try to start as early as possible.
  2. Have a garage sale. This feels like a no-brainer; however, this year will be my first time doing it. After you go through your house and set aside everything you don’t want, more than likely you’ll have enough to have a garage sale or at least to sell some things on online. Save all the money from your sales and set it aside to use during your transition time.
  3. Make a special space for items you don’t want packed up during the move. I always have small, breakable, sentimental items packed in my car with me. That way I don’t have to worry about them breaking or getting lost. This also goes for your suitcases, clothes you’re going to take with you, and other items you’re going to need easy access to. It’s not a bad idea to set aside toilet paper, paper towels, and trash bags too. That way once you get to where you are going, you won’t have to automatically run to the store to pick up any these necessities.
  4. Color code your boxes by room. Grab some cheap colored stickers and use them to help organize your boxes. Use one color for a specific room and put that color sticker on every box in that room. If you want to go a little overboard, put the color sticker on each side of the box so it will be easily identified. Then, when you are all moved in, you can quickly figure out where each box should go. Also, write down what room each color is. That’s the last thing you want to try to remember when moving.
  5. Get your kids involved. There are ways that your kids can help, and I believe it helps everyone’s sanity to have something to do while our houses get turned upside down. Even if it’s putting the color-coded stickers on the boxes. Finding small ways for them to get involved will help make it a family effort and help keep everyone busy. I like to also set aside some small activities for the kids to do during the actual loading up of boxes. It makes it easier to know the kids are occupied and aren’t running around while there are a lot of heavy boxes being moved.

The most important thing to remember is to breathe and remember that this is only a temporary situation. Eventually, we will be all set up in a new house with no boxes in sight. Being prepared emotionally before the actual move has really helped me and may help you too. My goal is to be 100% emotionally ready for the new destination by the time I get in my car and drive off. By that moment, I want me and my family to be focused on the new adventure ahead and excited about a change. This attitude can help the trip, and the whole PCS, go smoother.

You can also utilize tools for your move from Military OneSource which can be accessed here. Do you have any essential tips or tricks to help with a military move that I didn’t include here? Let me know in the comments.

photo of Katelyn Nixon
Written By Katelyn Nixon
Army Spouse

Katelyn has been a military spouse for six years and enjoys the adventurous lifestyle. To share her experiences with other spouses, she started a blog in 2018.

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