When you first receive orders, it can be so overwhelming. You’re telling me our family has to move cross-country in four months? No matter how many times you’ved PCS’d, it doesn’t get easier. But through every move, take your lessons learned and you’ll feel more confident for next time.
My family is about to PCS for the fourth time and I’m right in the thick of it. And funny how it works out, but my husband is almost always underway in the weeks leading up to our move. So if you’re like me and you’re flying solo for most of this, you’ve come to the right place. My best advice is to start these “to do’s” two months before your pack-out.
Here are my four best tips to prepare for pack-out:
I tackle this slowly, room-by-room. Do you need that air conditioning unit in your new house? Can you eliminate some kid toys? How about all the clothes you haven’t worn in two years? As much as I hate moving, I’m grateful for the opportunity to clear clutter. I’ve had great luck selling furniture and bigger items on Facebook Marketplace, and multiple trips to Goodwill for clothing and other miscellaneous items. I’ve hired companies like College Hunks for large junk removals, as well. Even better if you can research your area for non-profits or homeless shelters, such as Habitat for Humanity or The Arc.
Tackle Deep Clean Areas (Slowly)
You might be hiring someone to help with a move-out clean. But if you’re not, try to prevent more work for yourself by slowly cleaning tough areas in advance. I’m talking the oven, refrigerator, shower doors and bathtubs. To make it less stressful, I tackle just one or two areas each week. Then ideally after pack and move out, you’re just doing a simple maintenance clean. I wish I did this all the time, but I’m not a miracle worker. 🙂
Inspect Your Pantry
I joke it’s like Chopped: PCS Edition. In the months leading up to your move, be sure to go through your pantry and freezer. Do an inventory of your food and assess how you can use it up before you go. Do you still have a 5lb of old fashioned oats? Six cans of garbanzo beans? How about your spice cabinet? Spices have expiration dates and lose flavor over time. This actually helps us save money as we try to use everything up. Bonus if you can be motivated enough to bake goodies for your road trip. Again, I’m not a hero.
Define Your “Do Not Pack” Zone
You’ll hear the horror stories, but as long as you declare a “Do Not Pack Zone” and communicate this to your packers, it shouldn’t be a problem. I usually designate a large closet and place a sign on the outside so it’s never even opened. These items are for you to take on your PCS, such as suitcases, clothing, toliteries, air mattress, important documents (i.e. passports, power of attorney, etc.), laptops. Try to think ahead and slowly assess what you need.
How do you prepare your house for pack out? Comment below and tell us! For more PCS resources, click here.