PCSing is a complicated task with a lot of moving parts (so to speak). They say that moving is one of life’s most stressful events, and I can attest that it ranks right up there with speaking in front of an auditorium full of people.
But if you plan carefully you can reduce some of the stress. Follow these tips -- especially if you're moving yourself through a full DITY -- and you’ll be on good footing to make your move as smooth as it can be.
Get organized. Keep everything related to your move in one place, from the names and numbers of your movers to a list of everything you need to do, such as shutting off utilities and transferring cable service.
Weed out your stuff. Now’s the time to toss all that bric-a-brac that you’ve been meaning to get rid of. There’s no point keeping anything you don’t find worth moving from place to place. A pared-down set of possessions will make the move easier.
Collect boxes ahead of time. Even if you're letting the military move you, you'll still probably want to pack a few things in your car (like that fragile, priceless heirloom crystal) or maybe even haul a small trailer. Get your supplies ready before it’s actually go-time. You can find great free boxes at liquor stores and groceries; just make sure they’re sturdy and the right size.
Wrap carefully. Breakage is a big risk of moving, so make sure to wrap those fragile items carefully. Bubble wrap might be necessary for the most breakable stuff, but a lot of your items can be wrapped in your own linens, towels, and clothes.
Put everything in a box. One of the best ways to make a move easier is to put absolutely everything that can fit in a box into a box. Avoid topless boxes with things popping out or trash bags full of clothing. Needless to say, they don’t stack well.
Don’t overfill. One of the biggest mistakes people make is to pack their boxes too heavy. Books are a frequent offender in this regard. Make sure you can lift each box with only moderate effort. Be especially careful not to overfill boxes of breakable items like dishes.
Label every box. Not knowing what’s in each box will make unpacking and setting up your new house a real headache. At the very least indicate which room each box is for. But it can help to go one step further and label each box with exactly what is inside.
Pack a need-it-now bag. There’s nothing worse than settling in for your first night in your new place and realizing you have no idea where your sheets, pajamas, and toothbrushes are. Or waking up in the morning to find you have no cookware at hand to make breakfast. Pack a bag or box of everything you’re going to need right away.
Get a babysitter. The last thing you need on moving day is little children underfoot, so get a babysitter for the day to keep them safely occupied elsewhere. This can be said for pets as well; consider boarding them or leaving them with a pet sitter.
Do you have any other essential moving tips to add?
Jessica Johnson is a Marketing Director at Extra Space Storage, a national self storage company with over 900 self storage facilities in 34 states. Find more tips on moving and storage on Storage Blog.