“Movers will do all the work; you don’t have to do anything” is something every military family has probably heard before. But there are a few things that you should do or consider getting done in the days leading up to the move. The big moving day will go a lot smoother if you pack everyone’s luggage ahead of time and declutter and organize your belongings beforehand. You should also welcome the movers in a clean house. Let’s break this down in more detail:
DECLUTTERING AND ORGANIZING are good ways to start preparing for the movers to come. If you don’t know where to start, use the KonMari method (Marie Kondo) of going through things by category. Start with clothes, then move onto books, paperwork, children’s toys, etc. The goal of the decluttering phase is to get rid of things that you haven’t used in a long time, and they are just collecting dust and taking up space. Consider whether these things “spark joy” in your life. You can try to sell these items (online or hold a yard sale), donate, or throw them away. Everything else that you plan on keeping should be gathered in groups or at least be in a room where it is intended to be used in the next house, for instance, have all toys in your children’s rooms rather than spread out throughout the house, have all books in a bookshelf, etc. This will not only make packing quicker, but it will also help when it’s time to unpack in your new home.
The next step should be PACKING EVERYONE’S LUGGAGE—the one you will live out of until you get a key from your next home. Start with clothes, shoes, travel-size hygiene items, electronics with chargers, wallets, purse, phones, car keys, important paperwork, and medication if you need any (pick up any necessary prescriptions). If you have children, be sure to set aside their car seats, and pack things to entertain children on a plane or on a long car drive. With smaller babies don’t forget to set aside their stroller, diaper bag, and a carrier. Set all of this aside to prevent movers from taking it. A good idea is to designate one room and mark it “Do Not Pack”. In this room you can also keep items that the movers cannot pack such as liquids and flammables. You can still use them up until you move out of the place, then dispose of them.
If you are moving overseas, you may want to separate UNACCOMPANIED BAGGAGE (UAB) that travels on the plane and gets to your next destination quicker from the rest of the household goods (HHG) that will travel on a boat and may take up to three months to show up. Some of the things you can include in your UAB are towels, bed linen, kitchen essentials for cooking, iron and ironing board, couple toys for kids, crib if you have a baby, seasonal clothes, TV, etc. If you are not moving overseas, you would still want to pack one special box with essentials that will make your first day and night in a new place comfortable such as towels, bed linen, toilet paper, and cleaning supplies.
WHAT PAPERWORK SHOULD I TAKE?
Passports, driver’s licenses, birth certificates, marriage license, insurance and medical documents, car titles, car shipping and HHG shipping documentation, orders and any other military paperwork that you might need during the move. Keep all your essential paperwork in an organized binder and have easy access to it.
OTHER HELPFUL TIPS:
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