How to pack for a military move

Military families are no strangers to moving. A PCS move will likely happen to your family as well. Every U.S. soldier changes his residency every 30 to 48 months. That is a lot of traveling for one family. However, a military move is a little bit than an ordinary one. You will need to gather more documents, prepare a good strategy, find reputable long distance moving companies Columbus, and organize your move properly. For this reason, here is how you should organize and pack for a military move 

Pack for a military move – how to make a good plan 

Here is a breakdown of your planning process. 

  • Create a binder – this is where you need to keep all the personal and important documents. These would include visas, passports, insurance, tickets, etc. In addition to this, you can make a checklist as well. It is helpful when you have to gather dozens of papers and documents. 
  • Plan your transportation – you can find airlines that offer military discounts. In addition to this, if you are moving overseas, see if you will ship the car or not. In most cases, the military pays for the shipment.  
  • Health insurance – if you are moving with the entire family, it is extremely important to have valid medical insurance. This is especially important if moving overseas with small kids or with a pregnant spouse.  
  • Rent storage – if you have a “gap” in time between moving out and moving in, then find storage for your items. 
pack for a military move by making a checklist
Make a proper plan for your military move

Housing options 

Since you are moving because of your military obligations, you have several options when it comes to housing. First, you can opt for private military installation housing where you will receive a housing allowance for rent. Then, you can choose government-owned military installation housing. You do not have to pay rent and it is most common when moving overseas. Next, you have single military installation housing.

A service member lives in the barracks or military dormitory. They do not pay rent or receive an allowance. Then, you can rent a home off-installation. This is where you find, rent, and pay for everything by yourself. However, the military needs to protect your interest if they suddenly deploy or transfer you. Then, the military deals with rental termination. Lastly, you can buy a home off-installation. However, only buy the house if you will permanently stay in that area.  

Pack for a military move – how to organize 

Before you start packing, you need to gather packing supplies. First, find the best long distance moving companies. Ask movers for packing supplies if you are short on time. However, if you want to save money, you can find moving boxes for free. See how many you need. Then, visit your local stores and offices. They usually have plenty of cardboard boxes. Make sure that boxes are in good condition. This means without major dents, tears, and other damages. In addition to this, you need to get bubble wrapping, packing peanuts, plastic bins or bags, and tape. It is important to pack your items properly. Otherwise, your items might get damaged. If you pack your items and they get damaged due to poor packing, movers will not be held liable. For this reason, make sure to the proper job or hire professional packers. 

woman folding clothes
Be practical when packing for a military move

Packing for a move with kids 

Since this is the military move, you do not have to bring the entire household with you. In addition to this, it is possible you will not stay in your new city for long. Therefore, you have to be practical. Take a look around your home. Pick the essential items. You can put the rest in the storage unit, sell it, give it to your friends and family or donate it.

However, if you are moving with kids, you have to pack more boxes than usual, especially if this is their first PCS move. For this reason, pack their favorite toys and blankets. If you have a baby, make sure to put their stuff first in the moving truck and send it away. The rest of the items should go in the second truck. Baby items should reach the house at the same time as you. 

More tips when you need to pack for a military move 

If you are moving overseas, first send 1,000 pounds of unaccompanied baggage by air. This shipment should include all the essential items, such as baby things, pet items, etc. This is important since you might wait for the second delivery. Next, make an essential box or bag. Moving is always hectic, especially on the moving day and moving in day. For this reason, it is easy to lose sight of essential items.

Make an essential box. It should include everything you deem important. For example, medications, toiletries, change of clothes, food, chargers, etc. In addition to this, think about unpacking. In order to reduce the stress, properly label your boxes. You can use color-code labels. You will have an easier time unpacking as you will know by the label the contents of the boxes.  

man wearing a backpack
Pack one essential bag to bring it with you

Make traveling fun for your kids 

Lastly, you need to organize and survive the travel as well. You can make the whole experience fun for your kids. First, prepare healthy yet delicious snacks for your kids. Then, you can ask your kids to help you with organizing the upcoming travel. Include some places they want to visit. Book the hotels together. See if those hotels offer some fun activities for kids. In addition to this, let kids choose one toy or two to bring with them.

Lastly, you should try to keep their sleeping schedule. Kids thrive on a routine. If you are traveling across time zones, keeping their sleeping schedule might be challenging. However, try to have their meals and naps at their designated time. Your kids will have an easier time adapting to the entire situation.