Purge or Pack? Organizing Your Home Around a PCS

Christa Curtis on PCS With Military.com

Preparing for and unpacking from a military Permanent Change of Station (PCS) is an exercise in patience and wherewithal and a test of organizational skills. Many military members and families also use it as an opportunity to see, sort and organize everything they own. After all, who doesn’t love a good PCS purge?

But the process also can be incredibly overwhelming. In this episode, Navy spouse and home organizational expert and consultant Christa Curtis, owner of Permanent Change of Storing, joins us to discuss her best tips and tricks for getting your home ready for and recovered from a military move.

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The following is an edited transcript of this episode of PCS with Military.com.

Amy Bushatz 0:00

Creating a great military move has a lot of important pieces and a lot of moving parts. There's the official stuff like working with the military on your orders. There's the contracted and physical stuff like working with the assigned movers or dealing with packing and moving yourself and then being reimbursed. And then there's the practical stuff, like figuring out your housing and making sure your belongings themselves aren't driving you crazy. Well, every military move is slightly different, you can always be sure of one thing. The more organized you are when it comes to your actual belongings, the easier they will be to pack and unpack. And that's why we have home organization in storage expert Christa Curtis with us today. A Navy spouse coming to us from her OCONUS duty station Christa's business, Permanent Change of Storage, helps military families and others tackle home organizational challenges, including before and after a PCS. And today, she's gonna give us her best tips and tricks for creating a move that isn't going to drive you absolutely bananas, at least as far as keeping yourself organized is concerned. Christa, welcome to PCS with Military.com.

Christa Curtis 1:11

Thank you so much for having me, Amy.

Amy Bushatz 1:13

So before we get rolling, you have to tell us how many times have you moved with and without the military.

Christa Curtis 1:19

Okay, so I moved once when I was a baby, and once in high school, both kind of in the same tri-city area. And then after or actually slightly before I graduated high school I moved out. And throughout college, I moved a total of 10 times. But again, all kind of all within the state of California and most of them all within this San Diego area where I was going to school. And then just in the military, then from the time after we first moved into our apartment in San Diego, all the way to now where we're getting ready to move to South Korea from Stuttgart, Germany, we are on our eighth move. So I think that's funny.

Amy Bushatz 2:03

That's a lot of moves. You know what I figure at some point, just stop counting. So Christa, it gives us a little bit of background on how it was you came to be a home organization ninja?

Christa Curtis 2:16

Well, it started off with after our second move, we first moved from San Diego to Virginia Beach. But we were only there for six months, and we had very little belongings. But we had a little bit more with a one year old moving to Japan. That was the second move. And I had picked up this book called The Organized Mom. I was a new mom, I like being organized, I've always kind of been an organized person. So I was like, alright, let me kind of combine these two new roles, I have to move around a little bit and being a mom and see how much I can simplify this because I really just, I have a lot going on. And I found this lifestyle is going to be any kind of a little bit less stressful for me, I think starting with organization would be the best. And I'm that book by Stacey Crew. Um, it was she's a delightful person. By the way, I have to say that in case she ever hears this, her method that she has that in her book was just so 100% foolproof and made so much sense to me that I just had to take it and run with it. And like I did my whole house, it was her method. And I have since like over the years, like really tweaked it a little bit to work with the military lifestyle. And that's how I came up with my system that I teach my clients and I, again, like it's just kind of trial and error through all the different moves and what has worked and what hasn't worked in figuring it out. And yes, but I think for probably the past, well, the past two years, I've had my company and then 10 years before that I've been just kind of helping out friends here and there. And that definitely helped out my mom and some other relatives just kind of get stuff in order a little bit better around their homes. And that's always just brought me so much joy to go into some mess and like Yeah.

Amy Bushatz 4:06

So what I hear you saying is like you had an interest in home organization, experimented on yourself and the few friends and sort of uncovered a talent for it that you now are using to help everybody.

Christa Curtis 4:18

Yeah, absolutely as many people as I can for sure.

Amy Bushatz 4:21

Awesome. Okay, so what are your favorite home organizational tools for military families? Maybe specific to a PCS? You know if like, that's a thing.

Christa Curtis 4:31

Yeah, um, I definitely love plastic storage bins, the big ones, not just the little ones. Little ones are good, but I love the big ones where I can just toss a bunch of stuff in from any given room. And then you know, when we like to color code when we're moving so if I put a peep sticker on all of my daughter's bins and I know those are all going to go in hers. Um, and speaking of like labels and color coding, I really love our friend C.C. Gallagher has the Stressless PCS Kit, which is superb for inventory, and for really just helping, like simplify, what are the containers and boxes go where when your movers are taking them in and out of each space, they helps them label it helps you understand what needs to go in each room and hopefully really simplifies the process for you. I know sometimes boxes get moved to the wrong room, and the movers just drop them anywhere sometimes. But it really helps for you to be able to see that color and go, Oh, no, this actually goes in the baby's room versus the master bathroom. So that really helps simplify that. And then I am a planner person, I really, really, really love planners. And so like whenever I'm moving, I always have my PCS binder or big envelope with every single scrap of paper that we probably need in the next few weeks over the course of the move in that folder, like all in one place. And in there, I also keep a calendar, that just kind of helps me really help know when I'm going to be pre packing each room, you know, figuring out when we're going to be moving into the next place, and then kind of even plan out a little bit how I'm going to unpack just prioritize a little bit. Because like, it's nice to think that you're going to get unpacked in like three or four days and get it all settled and everything. But if you don't have like a plan going into that about what you're prioritizing. I hear all the time, the hardest thing about getting organized is knowing where to start. And if you don't even have like a bit of a plan to go with the idea of what you're prioritizing. That's going to be your biggest roadblock to even getting started is knowing what your priority is.

Amy Bushatz 6:40

I love that you mentioned the binder, we have a separate episode with Megan Harless who has a really effective binder system that she recommends and talks to us all of our viewers. So guys, don't forget to check out these other PCS With Military.com episodes for information with people like or rather from people like Megan, because there are really two parts to home organization PCS, right. There's like before the move, and then there's after the move. So I know plenty of people who let the movers pack everything and then they use unpacking as a chance to purge because they're just seeing everything then instead of, you know, doing it the other way around. What do you recommend and why?

Christa Curtis 7:21

So I would argue that there's actually a third option. People ask me all the time like Christa, do you just love when you're getting ready to move and you get to purge like everything does that just give you so much happiness, like to just get rid of everything I was like, I actually do a purge about every three to four months. Yeah, and it's this little trick that I have. And I teach it to my clients. It's called seasonal switches. So I kind of line it up with, you know, summer, spring, winter, fall, but also a little bit with holidays and going back to school and summer starting. You know, you have that thing on the calendar that allows you to kind of base it on the seasons. But if you think about it, like we were planning on moving this, this time in May. So everything that we had used last summer swim gear, anything that we would play outside with a lot more in the sunshine and stuff like that, because here in Germany, we're not having a whole lot of sunshine, um, anything that we like, the kids toys that they play with outdoors and that kind of thing. I could easily get rid of a lot of that back in August 2020, when they were going back to school, and they weren't going to be using it. Bikes they had outgrown any kind of summer clothes and stuff like that I wanted to get rid of it then, rather than holding on to it until, what, six, four weeks before the movers were coming and realizing, oh, we're not going to use any of this because they've outgrown it. And then I have to get rid of it then. So I again, like I kind of do that. And like when we're talking about the holidays, like I packed up extra well for the holidays. And I did an inventory then of what we have. So that way I didn't have to think about going back into those boxes. When the movers come and doing it then if I had purged everything and know what I have in there, and no one I'm taking with me already, then I don't have to really go back into those boxes later. So it's kind of an ongoing process. Yeah.

Amy Bushatz 9:23

Yeah, that's okay. So I'm again, I'm thinking of my episode with Megan where she talks about having an inventory of her whole house. And I thought I thought, you know, that's super overwhelming sounding. But if you're purging everything seasonally like that, or going through your things seasonally and making sure you know, you know what you have and all that stuff. The inventory is not quite as a daunting task. Man, that's such a good idea. What a good pro tip. Okay, so let's get down that's involved here. What are the biggest organizational mistakes you see military families make?

Christa Curtis 9:58

Well, there's a couple of that really blanket, anybody who's trying to get organized. First of all, everybody thinks it's about the containers. They think it's about like, I don't know, I mentioned, I love bins. But everybody thinks like, Oh, just to get my house organized, I need to go get out some cute bins and get some really great organizational systems that I can buy off the shelf and just plug and play, right. But it doesn't really work like that. If you don't have everything on pack, don't have everything unsorted, don't have everything kind of trimmed down to what you actually want to keep. Yes, maybe it sparks joy, or yes, you just you have such great sentimental attachment to it or anything like that. But once you know what you have, once you're once you've grouped everything and put it in the right place, then you go get the containers because it does not make sense to go get like 18 bins when you're only going to keep like maybe six bins of stuff, and then you've spent all that money, or vice versa. And maybe you special orders six bins, but you actually do need 12 bins or something like that for everything that you want to keep. Um, so that's something that everybody kind of does, um, probably specifically for the military that there's two big issues that we really run into is one thinking you need to keep everything in case you need it. But I have found over my many, many, many moves, that there is nary a place that Amazon Prime can't reach. And, or that somebody else isn't already getting rid of something that I probably need. Because Facebook marketplace has become such a beautiful thing where people put stuff out for free, or really cheap. And you can find what you need when you need it. If you if you hold on to stuff like old baby clothes, or even just kitchen gadgets and stuff like that, that you're thinking of that you might want to use one day, chances are, if you don't have the space for it right now, you can get rid of it. And when you need it, you'll be able to get another one. Easy peasy. And the second one is the goldfish bowl theory. And I don't know if I'm like totally ripping somebody off with this idea. But it's the idea that as you move around, you're going to be in different sized spaces likely. And if you happen to go from a small space to a pretty big space, like we moved from a roughly 1,200 square foot townhouse in Japan to a 3,000 square foot villa in Bahrain a few years ago. And we made the biggest mistake of basically growing to fit the space like and not just our family, but our stuff. So if you kind of built start to fill the space that you're in, but it that's not very helpful, if in two years, you're going to be moving to another space, that's maybe 1,000 square foot less than and that really just kind of doesn't help you with just this idea of you know, just having your your items under control a little bit. I'm not saying you can't, you know, put up your pictures and make the place homey and feel like it's lived in and not, you know, sit in an empty box or anything, if you happen to be in a really big place, but just keep that in mind that you don't overfill the big places, when you get the possibility you're going to go to a smaller place next.

Amy Bushatz 13:14

Yeah, so I okay, so couple things. I want to go back to the boxes thing here in a second. But you know, you're talking about filling the spaces. And I'm thinking of course of something else you referenced earlier, which is our pal, Marie Kondo and her joy. So there's a lot of pros and cons to that, right. But somewhere in there is a balance, where we are not keeping things for the sake of just having things or for the sake of filling that space. We're keeping stuff because it has a meaning to us or has a purpose or just makes us happy like it does it. The thing I really appreciated about that book, and the corresponding show was the like, lack of shaming that went along with it is all of your stuff that somebody else might look at and say, Whoa, what a bunch of junk is actually making you happy, why not have that. But when you are doing what you're saying, which is just growing to fit the space that you're in, you are maybe not sticking true to that sort of core principle, which is that your stuff should serve a purpose. That purpose can be you know, beyond the dimensions of practicality or whatever, like the purpose could simply be that it makes you happy. But if you're not looking at your home in that light, you might be setting yourself up to have a lot of frustration during your next move.

Christa Curtis 14:40

Yeah, absolutely. I agree with you. And I think you know, because people have a lot of things that maybe they do have joy and maybe they do have a purpose, but maybe they don't really fit right now. And even if you're in a big space and you can use the excuse. Well, I have the space might not in a couple of years and like like I said again It's just that's a, that's something really particular to a military family. It's like, um, but if it's not super sentimental, if it's something that you can replace, like, it's not like your grandmother's hand knit blanket or something like that, you know, that those kinds of things are obviously very, very much a treasure, and that's something else. But like, you know, your -- oh, gosh, I can't even think of like a good example of something that I wouldn't get rid of.

Amy Bushatz 15:33

So I'm wondering on that, think of like it, you're obviously on the well practiced end of this? And really, what do people, like when you're working with your clients who are not so good at this yet, are you anti or pro-storage facility? Like, are you okay with people having, you know, endless things that don't fit in their current fishbowl, but I do have sentimental value. In a storage facility?

Christa Curtis 16:06

Well, again, I'm speaking specifically to tailor to the military community, um, I would not, I would try very hard not to pay for anything that the military is not paying for. So like, when we go overseas, they give us a non temporary storage, which is that long term storage that you can put in some of your excess stuff to make sure you stick. And you do still have to stay within your weight allowance. So it is, you know, stuff that you want to keep that you should put in there, not just everything. And like we're going through that right now trying to decide what we're going to put in storage. And it's like, this has to be stuff that I will use later. Like, it can't, it can't be a maybe can't be, I will definitely not be able to get this again kind of thing.

Amy Bushatz 16:52

Often you hear from people who store stuff when they come back stateside, that they forgot they had this. And they're shocked that they kept it and they're sort of laughing at themselves for thinking they would miss this thing that they've now forgotten about and is going straight into some sort of garage sale.

Christa Curtis 17:15

Yes, those are those 15, 20 boxes that we've either shuffled around or put into storage and then you retire and everything all sudden, like eight cabinets show up at your house. And it's like, what is all this stuff?

Amy Bushatz 17:29

Yeah, yeah, I like to do like the confessional shots on these podcast episodes. Okay, so here's something funny I have. We don't move very much anymore. My husband's down in the National Guard. We have a box or two of things under our stairs that I have not purged. Okay? And the reason I have not purged them is my husband considers them important. And they're like, framed, whatever, okay, that we will never ever, ever, ever hang because I hate that. But he is really convinced that we should keep this forever. Oh, he's also convinced we should hang this stuff. We have arguments about that. And I'm like, No, if we're gonna keep this thing it goes away. So I'm, like, I'm newly inspired now to address to have a real conversation about this stuff. Because if it mattered to me, it would be hung.

Christa Curtis 18:25


Amy Bushatz 18:28

I, I just want people to know that I'm not crazy. And it really is awful, that we all have things, disagreements like that. We are all really good. Okay, one more confession. And now and dovetailing into the subject of containers. My biggest problem is that I think that like I do what you said I put out all of my stuff and I'm like, Oh, you know, this is the container system we need and I go and buy the container system that is on sale. Awesome. And I come home and I do my my business with the containers. Okay, fast forward six months we have a new collection of whatever that goes with my kids or whatever. And I go and I think hey, I must have containers for this and I go and I buy whatever containers on sale and inevitably it does not match in any way the containers that I previously bought and now we have the container hodgepodge closet where nothing stacks well and it doesn’t make sense. Okay, like it's all various and sundry sizes that don't really, you know, the topple over because of this problem. Okay, so my question is surely one I'm not the only person who does that and to how do you well keep in mind only getting what you need right now, like you said earlier, create a system that is not going to resolve in my present chaos.

Christa Curtis 19:48

Oh, good question. Okay. So I mean, obviously, you can stick with shopping at some of the same stores like I love IKEA because I know I will be able to get it anywhere in the world that I go. And then obviously, we have our Base Exchanges and Post Exchanges and stuff like that, that usually carry the same brands. But let's face it, they all change their styles and their exact shapes every couple years. So it's really great. Unless you were to literally get your stuff down to the bare minimum, and then go buy bins for everything all at once, which is a significant investment. I don't necessarily recommend that unless your budget allows for it, and you have the time. But it's one of those things that like you can kind of work with just the different sizes, you just kind of got to, like you said, piece it together. And then my favorite thing, though, is just sticking with the plastic bins with stories, because if you can use the card where you can use the leftover stuff, but it's not going to hold up forever. And it that's is there's more chance of water damage, or even just damages in the moves and stuff like that. And the movers will pack these like they will either put your stuff into the plastic bins for you when you're moving. Or if you have already pre packed it, they just have to check what's inside, make sure nothing that's contraband or whatever they're not supposed to pack or anything is in there, your candles, your batteries, whatever. And they will wrap them up and stick them on the truck for you. So I know that's like people have had different experiences with that. But in my experience, they always take my bins. So it's not been a problem for me. And I guess, ultimately, if you're sticking with just a good size, then for these different things you like you're first of all, you're right, you're not alone, you're in good company, I have been from all over the world, from all different kinds of brands and stuff like that. And just as long as they're not broken, they're still good. And you can kind of just piece together. Like, yeah, if that's what kind of what we have to do, right when we're moving around and like trying to figure out like, new doctors, new grocery stores, new whatever, you have to kind of piece together because you're not always going to get the same thing in each place.

Amy Bushatz 21:58

Yeah, so what I hear you saying though, is insert some intentionality here, I that's probably my favorite word in the whole world. But the thing is, is that as you're talking, I'm realizing I'm not just going to the store and getting the not same container because they change sales, I'm going to the store and getting whatever's on sale. Like I'm not even paying attention to start with. So what I need to do is pick a system and stick with it, or I'm going to have the hodgepodge problem, which results me being very frustrated.

Christa Curtis 22:30

I guess, I guess, anything. My favorite features in a bin are the straight or the sides, the better. And then a lid that does have those little latch things that come up on top and actually click it down. So that way you're not dealing with the lid popping up and down.

Amy Bushatz

I love that you've considered best because I'm sitting here like, straight side, huh? Never thought about. Okay, so you've created a business helping people get and stay organized. You know, you know, I'm a big fan of outsourcing. When I'm in over my head, who Okay, so tell us? How do you know when it's time to call in a professional? for some help, because Marie Kondo is not available? How does someone like me know when it's called time to call someone like you?

Christa Curtis

So I haven't, I haven't nailed this down. Like when I was thinking about this question. I don't, I don't know it from the outside perspective of when they No, but what I can tell you is each of my clients has been at a point of overwhelm. Usually when there's just kind of stuff everywhere, the movers kind of just dump stuff out, or they're getting ready to move and like they've been in the same place for a couple years. And they just don't want to take it all with them. Obviously, those are key times before and after the move. Like we had mentioned before, that's usually when people like notice that there's a problem when they are there have to get rid of this stuff before or after. And so that's that's usually when people call me but I also love working with people in any kind of transition. Like if you suddenly need a home office space, hello COVID, or you're having a new baby or your maybe your kids are leaving and you want to kind of like help them take all their stuff with them. Or maybe you're heading into retirement and you are going to be expecting those six or seven shipments to your home like those are the times that I think can really benefit from somebody like me coming in and helping you prioritize helping you really get to the meat of maybe what has stopped you before with either getting organized or staying organized. Because we all have different overwhelming times in our lives and I don't clean my house like because I realized a few years ago that I just I can't do that. But I know I have children that need to stay healthy. And you know, pets that need cleaning up after with all their fur. So I made the decision, like you said, to outsource that. And they know what they're doing, they can come in and take care of it. And my house smells amazing every two weeks. And so for me to be able to be that for somebody, I think, first of all, it's just a huge blessing for me. But I think when people realize that they have just a lot to deal with, and it's not in their wheelhouse, just naturally, and then they find out I'm local, or I can help them virtually. Or they can, you know, pick up a printable or pick up a webinar or workshop from me, then that's something that's, I think, just I'm so glad that I can help them. Yeah.

Amy Bushatz 25:56

But and we were talking earlier, you know, you were, you were saying, we talked about intentionality. And we talked about taking the time to go through your stuff incrementally, to know what's there. And I'm just like, envisioning myself sticking this on the calendar, and not being as constantly overwhelmed when things change, so that, you know, so that I know what it might like, let's use my kid's room as a particular example, because that's just like disaster zone number one, right? And somehow children have this ability to multiply their belongings into like, who is buying them this stuff? And it's just, it's like create recreating itself overnight. Every night. There's new Nerf guns in there. I don't even know how this is happening.

Christa Curtis 26:42

It's an exponential multiplicity.

Amy Bushatz 26:44

Yes, rabbits. Okay, so I go in there, and I'm like, Oh, my God, and then I leave, okay. And every now and then my head explodes. And I go in there with a trash bag. Well, they're not home, right. And that's a very high stress activity that no one likes that, you know. So then the flip side of that is, this morning, I look at my son who is eight and he is wearing I kid you not jammy pants that are almost to his knees. I don't even know when this happened. Because the last time I looked at him, and these Jammie pants, they were not to his knees. Um, but clearly, we need to go through his clothes and take out the things that are too short. All of these are organizational issues, that if I put on my calendar every three months and take care of business, I would not be sitting here being like, I have to do this, I don't want to do this, this is going to be a nightmare. Everyone's gonna fight about it, we're gonna have to have, you know, I'm gonna have to sneak in there in the nighttime and take his favorite sweatshirt, it would just be something that the whole family expected. Um, so like, I hear you, I hear you talking about that. And I hear again, this overarching theme of being intentional about what you have and why you have it will save you organizational headaches when you move and unpack?

Christa Curtis 28:01


Amy Bushatz 28:06

We did not talk Christa and I talked about some of these questions ahead of time. I did not ask you about this. But I really feel like you're you're prepared to talk to us, when you you've moved so many times. So when you unpack what is your system? Like what do you recommend to people to stay organized? From the moment all that stuff comes in their house? What do you do? You talked about bins color coded?

Christa Curtis 28:31

I mean, obviously, that starts before the move itself is I pre-pack like we talked about the seasonal switches. And through that last year before we're expecting to move I've like already kind of done an inventory. So a lot of it is prepwork -- prep, prep, prep, prep, prep up to a year ahead of time. I mean, you know, I know not everybody knows when, when and where they're going at any given point. So if you only have a few months, you can still start by getting rid of stuff and making sure everything's in the right space, making sure you have all the pieces to those board games and stuff like that. And then I always have the movers unpack, I know that that's like a really 50/50 split decision on military families. They just don't trust people to like go through their stuff or they don't want a big mess but if you pre pack by either bagging up like all the stuffed animals and bagging up all the clothes and putting all of the little toy pieces in little plastic baggies, wrapping all of your kitchen utensils into a Ziploc bag. Like you can still put it back in the drawer and the movers will come and take the bag and put it in the box for you. But then when they come and dump that box out, you're not looking at piles of stuff, you're looking at bags of stuff. So they can still take all the boxes in the paper with them. And you don't have to deal with cutting all that stuff open and shipping all these heavy stuff around. You just have this one bag that you have to go through and get it done. The last time that we moved when we moved here I had everything pre packed before the movers came. And except for my office, my office was the last place I got where I was going to get to. And I just ran out of time. And I would say that every other room in this house was unpacked, and at least mostly organized within three days. And then my office took a little bit longer because there was there was just piles of stuff in the corner. But that was okay, because I didn't need to get right to work to wait. Again, what's my priority?

Amy Bushatz 30:30

So I really, like quickly I hear, I hear you talking. And I'm envisioning myself spending days on end pre-packing doing somebody else's job for them, which is preemptively driving me insane. But then I also am like, okay, on the other end, I will have this all unpacked and put away, which will drive me less insane saying later. And so I guess it's a question of which insane are you okay, with?

Christa Curtis 30:59

Yeah, I mean, and everybody, some people are okay with them just coming in and putting all their stuff in boxes and coming back, and then unpacking it all and doing doing all the organization then. But that's how, like, we ended up one time with our grill brush in with our Christmas decorations. We couldn't find the grill brush for six months. And then we found it with the tree skirt. When we got the Christmas decorations out. We were like, Oh, great. Yeah, that's the that's the best place for that. So again, just this idea of like when you know where everything is, and it's all in the right place, and you've given it a good home, and you've kind of just set it apart from everything else. Like it makes it really easy for the movers, first of all, to come in and pack it for you, but then also for them to come and just set it out for you. And you can easily put it away when you're ready instead of having to look at piles of stuff. So again, yeah, you're right in terms of like, it takes a little bit of time, it takes a little bit of work. And yes, you're kind of doing someone else's job for them. But when you think about how much you will just feel so much better when you can get unpacked really fast. On the other end, oh my gosh, I can't tell you like, especially with being in a new place. Your kids are going to a new school, your spouse is dealing with a new job. Like I I don't want to add to that with them. Everybody having to come home into a giant pile on this. And that's why I think I don't know if this is the key to success, because there are people who can get unpacked in under a week without having the movers do it for them. Those are crazy people that I don't know how they do that. But this is this is this been the best way for me? And and I know other people who do it like this, and it has worked out really well for them as well.

Amy Bushatz 32:45

Yeah, yeah. Well, you're the expert. Okay. So we've talked about before the pcnet, or we've talked about after the PCS, rather, if someone listening to this is getting ready. So it's before the PCS, what are your three things they can do? Right, the second, literally right now to get organized. And I don't mean like pre packing, necessarily, although that would be one thing. But like, the PCS on the brain, how do I start today?

Christa Curtis 33:14

Well, definitely want to start. Depending on you know when that's going to happen for you start with those seasonal switches, especially if you're more than a few months out. And I think we'll we'll have a printable for this for your for your listeners, if they're going to link it to that blog post. And that way, you can just kind of start with whatever season you're in and go from there. You don't have to necessarily go back to summer if you're in the fall when you're listening to this. And and then I would also say because something's something that people kind of get caught up on, especially when they're moving out is they want to sell everything that they think they can get a little bit of value for. And I'm not one to say that it's not worth something or that you couldn't get a good amount of money. But when you're in it, like you're just trying to get rid of stuff and out the door or get it ready to be packed. I would either just donate it now, or wait to sell it when you get to your new destination. If you must, if you have to put it on the truck so that you make sure you get money out of it later. Just put it on the truck and don't worry about trying to sell it beforehand.

Amy Bushatz 34:16

You're seeing my soul, I'm not giving this away. I could make money on this and then it sits in my closet for a bajillion years,

Christa Curtis 34:24

But that's okay but like you're just I don't want you to rush through selling it at the end. And either one not get as much money as you want it for if that's really your goal, or to have to worry about, you know, meeting up with somebody or having buyers fall through on you when you're trying to like schedule around all this other stuff. That's just too much stress. So it's either donate it now, or just stick it out on the curb for free if you have to, or wait to sell it later. Um, and then there's this thing in decluttering and organizational programs called aspirational clutter. And this is something that I think we as military families. Either hold on to, again, we talked about like thinking you can keep it because in case you need it, but this is also like maybe hobby stuff that you thought you would get into like all your scrapbooking stuff, or, I don't know, maybe you got really big on archery for a couple of months or something like that. And then you or you bought a guitar because you thought you were going to take lessons or anything like that. Or maybe you want want to bake a lot. So you have a lot of baking stuff, but you just never do. All of that is aspirational clutter, you have good ideas and good intentions for it. But maybe you haven't touched it since the last duty station. So this would be a good time to just be like You know what, I haven't touched it in two, three years. I can probably let it go. And if I ever really, really really want to get back into it, I can do it later. And then yeah, I also get those 10 or 15 or 20 sealed boxes that are in the garage or your storage room and empty them. Don't let another move go by where the another inventory sticker is slapped on top and sent off to the next place without seeing what's inside.

Amy Bushatz 36:16

Hmm, you've seen my soul, my guilty, guilty cluttered soul.

Christa Curtis 36:20

Because we all do it. You're not alone. We all do it.

Amy Bushatz 36:24

I know I'm really not that bad guys. I promise people are gonna listen to these podcast episodes and be like, Oh my gosh, Amy's house must be a disaster. Because I'll have heard my confession all of my likely to maybe just retitle this Amy's confessions, because they'll have heard this episode where I'm like, I don't know how to organize. And then my talk with Megan about the binder and I talked we have an episode of Maria Reed talking about home design in which I confess that I am very bad at that and so on and so forth. So, so but man such good actionable tips stuff that you can do even if you're not PCS, and even if like me, you're here to stay for a hot second. And if your PCS days are but a fond memory, you can still go out into your home right now and take some of these actionable steps and, and really enjoy the little bit of freedom and peace you get by knowing what you own and that everything has a place. So that's that's so great.

Christa, thank you so much for being on PCS With Military today. I so appreciate your time, tips and tricks.

Christa Curtis 37:36

Thank you. This has been such a great joy.

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PCS Family and Spouse