Moving is a standard part of the military lifestyle. You move every year or two, and then it repeats again. Moving is not a simple or easy process, especially as family members are added to the family that is moving. You can use these tips to help you pack and move with a smoother process.
Pack By Room
This may seem too simple, but simple makes the packing and moving life simple.
Pack kitchen items with kitchen items. Wrap dish towels around glasses, vases or dishes. Use oven mitts as protection for breakables.
Pack outdoor toys together so you know where everything is together. If you pack like items together, you are more likely to notice when you are missing something or if something is broken.
Pack By Season
While military families move around the world, the seasons are not the same for each location.
The Southern Hemisphere has a warm season in the winter months. Okinawa has two seasons — rainy and not as rainy (just kidding, but it can feel this way). When you are moving to different locations, having seasonal items that are easily identifiable are extremely helpful.
Pack holiday décor in bins that you associate with that color or label them with large signs so you can easily see where the Valentine’s or Halloween décor are.
Pack clothing by season. As the season finishes, cull through clothes to determine that you want to keep handing down or donate or sell at consignment stores, etc. Get Ziploc containers that are clear so you can easily see the clothing items, and easily see a label as to what size or season they are.
Pack An Open First Box
When you are leaving a home and arriving at a new one, there always things that are absolutely necessary. Toilet paper, cooking utensils, dishware, etc are needed to keep life livable. Other kitchen tools like crock pot or Instapot differ per family, but if there are things you absolutely need, make sure to pack them in the “open first” box. Label it as such, or always move with it in your car so that it is easily available. This prevents you from eating our constantly or having to run to the store as you leave or as your first arrive at your new home.
Color Code By Room
There are stickers that label each box by the room — kitchen, master bedroom, study, garage, bathroom, family room, living room, etc. If you didn’t get stickers or they won’t arrive in time, ask the kids to get involved with color tape for each room or coloring a square on each box to a corresponding room. Red for kitchen, Orange for family room, etc. Do what makes sense and make sure to have a sheet with the labels so you know which boxes go where in the next house.
Bag Up Clothes
Keep clothes on hangers and bag them up with garbage bags. This keeps seasonal items together, and allows for them to be easily hung from closet to box to closet without requiring washing. Empty dresser drawers into Ziploc square bags that easily pack into boxes and then easily transfer back to the drawers after the move is complete.
Keep A Photo Library
Take pictures of box contents with each sticker, and take a photo of its location so you have context. This helps if you are looking for something in particular and also if something goes missing on the other side.
These moving tips make the PCS life just a bit easier. Moving is a stressful upheaval of everything, but can got a bit smoother with these tips. Don’t forget to blast the music while unpacking — and dancing while putting away kitchen dishes — those endorphins will also help the moving process.