PCS Planning: Getting Organized


We’ve known we’re moving to Italy for about three months. The first two months were filled with excitement and pinch-me-I-can’t-believe-this-is-really-happening moments. It was easy to walk around with our heads in the clouds in a dream-like state, imagining what our life would be like at the end of the year. But last month it finally hit me like a ton of bricks.

In six months, we’re moving to Italy. Moving. To. Another. Country. At first, the thought of transplanting ourselves in another country didn’t faze me. During my college years, I studied abroad in England for 10 months. I had a great time and love saying I lived there, but what I know now is that I just visited Great Britain for an extended time. I lived out of two gigantic suitcases in a room the size of a bathroom and left everything else at home. This time, we’re packing up and moving everything.

It's funny, I thought planning our wedding last year was stressful, but nothing compares to moving overseas. My to-do list only continues to grow—so much so that my list is now a PCS notebook filled with random stuff we need to do and fabulous tips from people who have done this before.

While we wait for those ever-important official documents to come in, we're going full-steam ahead with plans. My husband has to cross train for his new job for six weeks, across the country. He'll be in Arizona, which is close to home (New Mexico), so I can visit family, friends, and my husband while he’s there, but there's one small glitch...we have a house to sell here in Georgia. Everyone we’ve talked to says the house should have been on the market about two months ago, so we’re quickly getting down to business over here.

Right now, our focus is on getting our house spic-and-span, so we can find it some new owners. I'd be lying if I said I'm not completely stressed and overwhelmed by the thought of leaving. For one, I love our house and I'm completely attached to it—then again, who wouldn't love a double oven, a whirlpool bathtub to relax in all the time, ample yard space for your dog or kids to run around, and a walk-in closet? (Am I selling this to you yet? Are you moving to middle Georgia and want to buy our house? Get in touch with me; let's talk!) And second, the thought of moving all of our stuff and into TLF (temporary living facility on base) or into an apartment just annoys me. (Moving out just to move again? That's so much extra work!) There are so many unknowns when it comes to selling a house that it makes it very difficult to plan things accordingly.

I know moving is inevitable, but making "garage sale," "storage," and "take-with-us" piles is so depressing, especially when our "garage sale" pile is filling up an entire room. We're hoping to sell the majority of our appliances, since the voltage is different in Italy. In the long run, it'll just be easier to buy new clocks, coffee makers, and curling irons out there. I know it’s all just "stuff" and our material things really don't matter, but still, it's difficult storing, selling, or leaving our things behind.

I know I'm being completely selfish and a baby about this. We’re so fortunate to be moving to such an amazing place, and people move overseas all the time. But dang-it, it's hard!

So there you have it, thoughts from a somewhat-newlywed experiencing her first PCS. Expect more whining and venting in the future, but also know that I do love traveling and experiencing new places, so this phase isn't permanent. I recently heard about a Department of Defense service called "Plan My Move" that helps with moves—whether it's your first of fifteenth PCS—so I'm going to try it out and report back on what I think of it.

How do you deal with moving? Do you jump in headfirst and start crossing things off your list or do you take it slow and steady?

photo by: bark

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