7 Tips for Planning a Military Move

According to Military.com, active military members make a PCS military move
(Permanent Change of Station) move every 2-4 years. Not only do 
military families move frequently, often times they aren’t given 
much notice before a move, causing moving day to become 
extremely stressful. These 7 tips can help to ensure that your 
military move goes as smoothly as possible.
When orders are received, if possible make a trip to the location 
of your future home in order to scope out the area. Make note of 
what is important to you, and if it is possible to rent a home or 
apartment near those things. Researching the area online can be 
helpful as well, but getting a firsthand look at the location can help 
to ensure you move your family to a good and convenient 

Downsize. Keep in mind that everything that you pack up in boxes to move, will eventually need
to be unpacked. This is a perfect opportunity to get rid of items that you no longer use regularly. 
Some efficient ways to do this are to set small goals, such as everyday you pack get rid of 7 items,
donate one garbage bag per week to charity, etc. Donating items to resale stores or selling 
them at yard sales or on craigslist are all great ways to feel like you are not just throwing away items
that other families could find useful. Make it a rule that if the item has not been used or worn 
within the past year, it goes in the donation pile. Small goals can lead to major downsizing
without even realizing it.
Take an inventory. Having all of your items written on list can become extremely helpful in making
sure all of your items get from point A to point B. Even better than a list, is taking pictures 
of all of your belongings.

Create a binder/folder. Having a binder filled with all important documents, birth certificates,
moving information, military orders, etc. can be very useful. Instead of having to rummage through 
boxes of paperwork when important documents are requested, everything is kept in the same place.
Be sure to keep out your necessities. When civilians plan moves, they have control over what goes
on which truck to be delivered where they want, when they want. Being in the military, you are 
probably somewhat accustomed to plans changing at the last minute, and in order to be best
prepared it is important to keep the important things easily accessible. The last thing you will want 
to do is go the store for shampoo and toothpaste when you’re moving truck gets delayed.
Take pictures. While your new place is completely empty, take pictures of all rooms and structures.
This will ensure that any damage that is already done to the property is not blamed on you 
when your next move arrives. Military families move, on average, every 2-4 years.
Keeping photo documentation of carpet,windows, cabinets and doors can ensure that when the time comes 
to move again, you won’t be blamed for the previous resident’s carelessness.
Frequently moving can be trying on families and often times can be an emotional life event. When finding
out where your next move will be, try to write down 5 positive things about your new location. Is your new
apartment within walking distance to a pool or park? Are you only a 5 minutes drive from the grocery
or nearest mall?Keeping a positive outlook when planning a military move can make a huge difference
in how smoothly the move will go.