There are many reasons why military spouses might have to handle moving alone. However, it does not have to be an overwhelming undertaking! I am proud to report that when my spouse was overseas, I single-handedly conducted our cross-country PCS. Here are the top four takeaways that I learned.
- Prepare before you get orders. The key to making a move easier is getting organized BEFORE you get new orders if you can. Accessing resources and making lists before you know all the details can seem like putting the cart before the horse. But trust me, this will keep you sane. Remember: depending on what kind of military move you choose; you may have to make purchases for the move and wait for subsequent reimbursement. Consequently, you may need cash on hand to do things like buying moving supplies and hiring help. Save money before getting new orders to make sure that you are not blindsided by upcoming expenses. Have financial questions? Talk to a Military OneSource financial counselor at 800-342-9647.
- Build the framework. If you can, start building a framework as soon as you learn that moving is a possibility. I started planning our move before I even knew where we were moving. Although it might seem a little hasty, preplanning can give you time to prepare the basic logistical framework for how your move will play out. I took the head start to complete research about what resources were available and map out the procedure for moving. Then, once you know exactly where you’re moving, you’ll be in good shape to make more specific decisions like what moving company to use and where to look for a new living space. Want to learn more about your new installation? Check out MilitaryINSTALLATIONS to gain helpful insight for mapping out your plan.
- Write everything down. When autonomously handling the innumerable considerations that go into moving, it is a great idea to write everything down. Otherwise, things can quickly get lost in the shuffle. I used the notes app on my phone for months leading up to our move to write down considerations that popped into my head. For example, every time I received a new piece of mail, I wrote down the name of the company for later when I would need to complete a change of address. Want help planning your move? Check out Plan My Move to build a custom moving checklist. The tool offers a great outline of the basic things that you will need to consider during a PCS.
- Dust off your POA. You might need to use a power of attorney to complete some of the moving process if your service member is not nearby to help. Remember that different tasks can require unique POA documents. For example, a general power of attorney document will likely not permit you to sign mortgage documents on your service member’s behalf. Learn more about Military Power of Attorney Documents. Do not assume that you have the correct power of attorney document without confirming that it specifically grants you the ability to act on your service member’s behalf for a particular task. Have questions? Contact your installation’s legal office for help.
With the right preparations in place, moving alone really can be mostly stress-free. Access the many moving resources available to make things easier on yourself and remember: You can do this!
Have more questions? Contact your installation Military and Family Support Center. Military OneSource consultants are available around the clock to answer your questions every day at 800-342-9647.