Relocating because of military orders can be a daunting experience. Frequent moves, packing up the entire household and adjusting to new communities are a part of the military lifestyle. Yet, there are ways to make a military move less stressful.
Make a Plan
As soon as you receive your orders, start planning. The sooner you know the details of your move, the better you can prepare ahead to avoid stress later.
Rely on Military Resources
Military bases offer several resources, such as the Defense Personal Property System (DPS), to help service members manage and track their move. There are also typically relocation briefings or workshops offered on the base; be sure to attend to gain as much valuable information as possible.
Once you get orders, start decluttering your home. Sell, donate or toss out items you no longer need or use. In addition to making the packing process easier, this can lighten your load and make unpacking at your new location much more manageable.
Ensure you hire an experienced professional who is familiar with military relocations. These skilled professionals can put you in contact with several resources at both your departing and arriving duty stations.
Prepare a Home Inventory
Document all your belongings and take photos or videos of valuable items. An inventory will prove crucial should anything go missing or be damaged during the move.
Pack an Essentials Box
Pack a box with about a week’s worth of essential items. Weather delays, housing issues and other scenarios can extend the time it takes your household belongings to arrive. An essentials box ensures you are good to go.
Use labels, color codes and lists to organize your boxes by room or category. Being organized will make unpacking and setting up your new place easier.
Research your entitlements, such as dislocation allowance, travel reimbursement and storage options, ahead of time. The more you know about what the military offers, the more you can take advantage of and the better you can plan your budget.
Identify and discuss the emotional and mental aspects of moving with the family. Plan a family talk to discuss the move’s details and give every member a chance to discuss any concerns openly.
Check Housing Options
Do not wait until you arrive at the new duty station to explore housing; start the process as soon as you get your orders. Peace of mind that you have a home to go to will help minimize stress. One of the trusted professionals at CalzaCo can help with this step.
Look beyond the chaos and focus on the positives of the move. The opportunity to experience a new place and meet new people is not an experience everyone gets. The more positive you are, the less stressed your children will be.
Military moves are inherently challenging, but with preparation and the right mindset, they can be managed effectively and an incredible experience. Prepare, stay organized and seek support when you need it.