The brave people who serve in the armed forces put themselves in harm’s way to ensure American freedom. And on top of that service, military families are tasked with moving ten times more frequently than their civilian counterparts.
It’s not uncommon for military families to relocate at least once every 2-3 years and deployments occur with little warning in times of crisis. Those are why our valued community members must be prepared to pack everything and go on short notice. Americans owe our committed military personnel a debt of gratitude, and we hope these tips help your family transition a little easier.
1. Compile a Moving Portfolio
One of the organizational steps families can take is to bring all of their essential documents into one file. These typically include copies of birth certificates, social security cards, mortgage papers, bank statements, lease agreements, vehicle registration, insurance records, and your orders. Compiling copies of these items and placing them in a single binder with clear protective sleeves keeps them safe and organized.
2. Keep Belongings to a Minimum
One of the frustrations military families sometimes experience stems from accumulating more niceties than you can carry. After a couple of years in one place, people start to relax and allow their roots to grow. Unfortunately, military families have to make the additional sacrifice of relocating. Amassing non-essential products results in excess packing, moving, and sometimes having to purge items that cost you good money. It may be better to stick to necessities until the soldier in your family completes their duty.
3. Identify Military Moving Resources
A wide range of resources remain in place for service members who receive orders for a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) and Outside of Continental United States (OCONUS) move. Some moving companies offer special services for the military that include assistance with federal travel regulations, organizing every detail of your move, and complying with GSA Tender of Service guidelines.
A helpful online resource is the Military One Source which provides information about wide-reaching challenges unique to military life.
4. Identify Unaccompanied Belongings for Transportation
Although many PCS moves task families with packing and loading items for a lower-48 move, some deployments are more complicated. Getting OCONUS orders means some things will travel with you, and others may follow. It may be in your best interest to identify essentials and non-essentials in advance. Having a list of items you plan to have shipped can simplify the packing process and reduce the stress associated with last-minute decisions.
5. Discuss the Possibility of Moving With Children
Youngsters often prove resilient once they arrive in a new community and school. But the unknown tends to make people of all ages feel unsettled. That’s why it’s essential to talk about the differences between military and civilian life openly. Children generally feel a sense of pride that parents do their part to keep the country secure. One of the critical items does involve standing a post wherever and whenever necessary. Youngsters who grow up in military families sometimes look back fondly on the opportunity to experience different parts of the country and world. Consider highlighting a sense of adventure.
Members of military families do not have to take on all the tasks of moving to a new base when the time arrives. As experienced moving professionals, we offer support to reduce your workload and help you relax. If you are a military family tasked with relocating, contact us today. We thank you for your service.