Every 2 to 3 years, a military family is likely to receive a notification that they'll need to move. That's one of the hardest and/or most exciting parts of a life of service.
Whether you look at military moves as a positive or a negative thing, once orders come down, moves need to happen and you'll have to start getting logistical pieces in order.
So then, how can you best manage your military move? Where should you start?
In this post, we go over a handful of military moving tips in hopes of giving you the education you need to make the most out of your move and to make sure your move doesn't take the most out of you!
1. Stay Positive
A little bit of positivity goes a long way when you're moving. What's better is that positivity is infectious and will make it so your partner and other family members can maintain a great attitude as well.
Remember, most people don't get to see too much outside of where they grow up. As a military family, you get to see several parts of the country and in some cases the world!
Count your blessings and manage your move with your chin up.
2. Put Together Your Important Documents
Items like birth certificates and social security cards love getting lost during moves. That's why one of the most important military moving tips we can give you is to pick up a binder and slot all of your important documents into it.
That binder should be large, brightly colored, and should always be kept in a place where you can easily find it.
3. Get Rid of Things in Advance
When you know orders to move are coming down, start making a conscious effort to lighten your home's load.
Don't buy large items. Throw garage boxes away that haven't been opened in years. Donate clothing that you don't wear anymore.
The less you have in your house come "crunch time" (a couple of weeks before moving day) the easier your relocation will be.
4. Plan on a Fresh Start
One of the best things about moving is that feeling you feel stepping into a fresh house. Don't sully that feeling by bringing all of your previous home's baggage with you.
As we mentioned in our last point, throw out those old boxes. If you didn't need them in your last house, you won't need them in your new one. You'll also want to get all of your laundry cleaned, curtains washed and makeover anything else you can think of to prepare them for their new space.
5. Have a First-Day Box
You probably won't get all of your boxes moved to your new place and unpacked in the same day.
How then are you planning on living in your house between when you step into it and when all of your stuff comes out of boxes? A solution to that is to have a "first-day" box.
A first-day box is a big box that your family puts all of their absolute essentials into so you can get a jump start on living while unpacking is being tackled. Basics like utensils, plates, bedding, and other must-haves should all be in there and should travel in your personal vehicle during your move, not your moving truck.
6. Get Granular When Organizing
Don't be the military family that just empties their drawers into boxes. Instead, use some of your training to systematize how you pack so things don't get lost and unpacking becomes a breeze.
We love using large zip lock bags to keep smaller items together during moves. We also like labeling boxes "kitchen", "bathroom", etc. to make it simple to unpack things room by room.
7. Don't Move Liquids
A lot of moving companies won't touch liquids when moving due to accident potential. In some cases, the moving of certain liquids is prohibited through military regulations.
All of that to say you should plan on tossing your liquids and buying new ones at your new place.
A great way to put yourself in a good liquid position is to not top up on things like vanilla or shampoo in the last 5-8 weeks leading up to your move. Instead, conserve what you have so you'll be left with just enough to see yourself through.
8. Make Plans to the Get Kids Out of the House
Whether you're using this link to carefully browse potential military real estate opportunities or you're managing other aspects of your relocation, tasks related to moving are always made easier without distractions. Consequently, our recommendation is to find a place to stick your kids when tackling hard to manage logistical activities.
Dropping kids off with relatives or arranging play dates with other families on base are great ways to achieve that end!
9. Always Double-Check Your Home
No matter how well you plan your move, the possibility of leaving something behind always exists. That's why you must check every nook and cranny of your empty house before leaving it behind.
No closet, drawer, or cabinet should go unchecked.
10. Help Should Be Called Upon When Needed
No rule says you need to do everything yourself. If you need assistance relocating, call on your base's transportation resources office and request assistance.
They'll be glad to help get you on your way!
We Hope Our Military Moving Tips Makes Relocating Easier
No matter how you slice it, moving every 2 to 3 years can be tricky. We hope that our military moving tips make things easier for you and your family.
Should you need additional guidance on moving or other facets of real estate, we welcome you to browse more of the content on our blog!