It’s orders season, and you may be finding yourself in that group who is still trying to patiently wait for orders. You are living in that limbo phase of knowing you will be moving but don’t know where you will officially go or when in the year it may happen. All the wondering can quickly lead to you having all the stress of will you have enough time to plan all of the things and get everything done before the moving truck shows up.
Before you go any further take a deep breath, roll your shoulders, and unclench your jaw. Now that you’re a bit more relaxed, let’s take a moment and walk through what you can do in the meantime so when the orders come you wont have the stress!
It is always a good idea to do some kind of clean-out prior or moving. You do not need to do this all-in-one day, take the time to spread it out and get the whole family involved. Take it room by room and evaluate what you really use/need, what is sentimental, and what you know you will not use at your next location. Do you need 418 mugs? Are there books on the shelf that are no longer loved? Broken toys or toys not being played with that can be pulled out? Clothes that do not fit? Doing a purge now will not only prevent you from moving unnecessary items, but it will help keep you within your weight allotment and be less that you must put away when moving in.
Making a budget can be scary, but it can also be a great way to prevent any PCS debt. You can go ahead and figure out what your daily per diem travel days will be, your DLA, mileage and estimate what you may be paid if you are doing a full or partial PPM. If you have any inkling of where your orders may send you then you can start plugging in those numbers to have an idea of what you may receive. From there you can begin to estimate what your expenses may be – food, lodging, gas, move out clean, trailer rentals, etc. If you think the expense of moving may be a concern then you can begin saving some extra now based on your budget, and you can have a great yard sale with all of your purged items for some extra PCS cash!
Having a plan can go a long way to easing some stress when you’re near ‘go’ time. Do you know how many days it generally takes to pack your home? Do you want this process to start on a Monday or a Wednesday? Knowing this piece of the puzzle can make scheduling your move easier and knowing if your service member will take leave with the PCS can help with planning the dates of when your home should be packed.
Do you know how you want your home packed? Is there a room you prefer being packed first or last? This can help set expectations for the crew when they arrive and help you know what is going on in your home.
Do you know what items are high value? Do you know what you are going to pack to take with you? Determining this ahead of time can help the stress when the chaos is happening. Collect your HV items to one location for easy identifying for the inventory and pack your items into a car that can be locked prior to the crew arriving.
While it may not seem like much, these three PCS pre-planning categories can help you be more prepared for your PCS when your orders finally arrive. You can do each one without your orders and lets you feel productive in the process. Wherever the military may be sending you this year, may your PCS be smooth and stress free!
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