Surviving a Short-Notice PCS Move

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

In the military, sometimes a Permanent Change of Station or PCS move happens quickly and orders to move to a new location can leave you scrambling.

When you have to make a fast move, the whirlwind of activity can leave you feeling a little dazed and wondering if you’re forgetting anything. So, here are some tips for a short-notice PCS move.

Prioritize Your To-Do List

From contacting schools to changing addresses with the Post Office or collecting medical records, there is a lot to do when moving. Find out if there are specific dates or requirements for turning in gear or check out procedures with the unit. Create a prioritized list of most urgent and time-sensitive to things that could wait until after the move. Changing a driver’s license isn’t urgent because most states give at least 30 days post-move. But, changing your address with the Post Office and anywhere you get deliveries from (like an Amazon or a magazine subscription) is important to do before moving.

Speed Declutter

You don’t have time to sort through small boxes of trinkets, so be really careful not to get caught in the little things. Start by immediately throwing out any trash. Move on to large items you can donate or get rid of (furniture, small appliances or large toys). As you declutter, you can also box up the items you know you are keeping. When sorting through books or movies, for example, make quick decisions and have a box to donate and a box to pack so you are getting both jobs done at the same time.

Work in Bursts

It is important to take mental breaks so you don’t burn out. Work for a few hours and then take a complete break to get lunch or do something different for an hour. When you have days or weeks of a fast-paced move, you want to stay focused. Your brain can only focus for so long before it gets tired. By taking those breaks,  your work time is more efficient.

Expect a PPM Move

When you do it yourself, moving is called a PPM (personally procured move) by the military. With a short notice of days or just a few weeks, you likely won’t have a chance to get moving support for companies working with the military. You can certainly check the options, but be prepared for a DIY (do it yourself) move. But this can be a great money saver, because the military will pay you 95% of what they would typically pay a moving company. You can get an estimate for your PPM here. You also get a lot more control when you are packing your own items.

Mark Your Boxes

One of the most overwhelming parts of a move is unpacking what you need when you need it. Grab a sharpie and label your boxes either: IMMEDIATE, SECONDARY or STORAGE. Add the room the box will go in when you arrive to make it easy to take everything to the right rooms and prioritize what gets unpacked first.

Whatever you do, don’t get lost in the details, keep your labeling fast and easy to understand. All important documents, like the marriage certificate, passports or birth certificates, should be kept in one box and personally carried by you (not packed in the truck).

Plan for Time with the Truck

Of course, you need to plan for time to rent and pack the truck, but don’t forget about weighing the truck in order to get reimbursement for a DIY move. If you are moving on your own (PPM), you will have to go to a local weighing station before and after the truck is loaded to record how much you are moving.

Pay Attention to Final Details

If you are selling a home you own off-base, your realtor will be able to tell you what cleaning and staging will increase the likelihood of a sale. If you live on-base, you will want to patch up and repaint spots, like nail holes, to avoid any final charges. Cleaning and sweeping the floors will likely be one of the last things you do to make sure the space looks as good as possible for inspection (on-base) or showings (off-base).

Pre-Moving Tips: List Your Excess Items Online

If you’ve recently sold your house or are preparing to list your residence, now may be the perfect time to cut down on clutter. That way, you can remove excess items from your home and earn extra cash before you move into a new residence.

Of course, selling excess items may prove to be difficult, particularly for those with limited time and resources at their disposal. But individuals who use the web to their advantage should have no trouble selling excess items.

What does it take to effectively promote a wide range of items online to prospective buyers? Here are three tips to help you do just that.

1. Take Excellent Photos

Regardless of whether you’re looking to sell an old tennis racquet or a rarely used refrigerator, it is important to take outstanding photos of your items. This will enable potential buyers to get a look at what an item has to offer and decide if it is right for them.

Before you photograph an item, clean this item thoroughly. By doing so, you can ensure the item will look pristine before you post photographs of it online.

Furthermore, take pictures of an item from multiple angles. And be sure there is sufficient lighting when you capture photographs, as this will allow you to showcase the true beauty of any item, at any time.

2. Provide Relevant Information

When it comes to selling excess items online, it pays to be honest. If you provide accurate, relevant information about an item to prospective buyers, you can increase the likelihood of connecting with the right audience.

Also, don’t forget to include an engaging headline in your item description. This will help your item listing stand out from others, thereby improving your chances of stirring up substantial interest from dozens of potential buyers.

3. Respond to Buyer Concerns and Questions Immediately

An alert online seller usually is a profitable one. As such, if a buyer has a concern or question about an item listing, it is important to respond as quickly as possible to boost your chances of getting the best possible results.

For example, if you publish an item listing on Craigslist and a potential buyer sends you an email, you should try to respond within the first few hours. This will allow you to connect with the buyer and reduce the risk that the buyer will become impatient and look elsewhere for the same item.

If you need help decluttering your house and listing excess items online, your real estate agent may be able to lend a helping hand. This housing market professional understands the complexities of selling a house and moving into a new residence. Therefore, he or she can help you find innovative ways to declutter and streamline the moving process.

Take advantage of the aforementioned pre-moving tips – you’ll be happy you did. Thanks to these tips, anyone can declutter a residence, sell excess items online and earn extra cash at the same time.

How To Downsize Your Home

Whether you’re an empty nester, or just feel that you have too much “stuff” in your house, many people can stand to downsize. If you are planning on moving to a smaller home or if you want to get your family’s amount of “treasures” reduced, it’s not an easy task. We can promise that it will be a worthwhile one! 

Just how can you downsize when you have a houseful of stuff? There’s a few rules of thumb that you should follow in order to keep your downsizing process streamlined and stress-free.

Don’t Try To Do Everything At Once

The more stuff that you have, the more overwhelming your project will be. You may want to be very efficient and try to get everything cleaned out as soon as possible. It’s probably not feasible to get it all done at once. You’ll stress yourself out both physically and emotionally. Think of a realistic time table for you based on how much time you hope to clean over a certain period and how much stuff you actually have. It’s best if you plan to tackle one room and one area at a time.   

If You’re Helping Someone Else, Ask Yes Or No Questions


When you’re in the process of moving or even just getting rid of stuff, the people you’re helping will thank you if you’re direct. Ask yes or no questions about things as the whether it’s being donated, tossed, or saved. This will be especially helpful when working with children and older people.  

Presort Items

You can also expedite the process of cleaning things just by sorting them out. Keep piles of clothing, kitchen items, tools and toys separate. This process works best with items that are numerous like clothing. Once the items are separated, they may be much easier to tackle.               

Know How Much Space You Have

If your goal is to empty out one closet in your home, then you know that space will be unavailable for storage. If you’re moving from an 8 room house to 5 room condo, you may have a bit more purging to do! Just remember that there’s no point in hanging onto things that won’t be used or that have no place to be stored.

Don’t Have An Undecided Pile

Don’t start an undecided pile of stuff. It will just end up back in your pool of things that will need to be cleaned out at a later time. Make sure that you make a clear decision on what you’re doing with each item in the process of sorting. One exception to this rule is paperwork. If you need to sort through a lot of it, place it in a box to go through at another time, preferably once the rest of the house is settled. 

If you focus on sorting and seeing what your most used items are, downsizing should be a less overwhelming task. Once you clean, you can focus on more important things like moving!

Preparing Your Family for Moving Day

Moving can be fun, stressful, or both. If you and your family are moving soon, your mind might be racing with all of the preparations you need to make before the big day.

The best course of action is to start organizing and planning now so that you can rest easy the night before your move knowing that everything is accounted for.

In this article, we’ll show you how to do just that. We’ll talk about how to get the whole family involved in moving day, what to do with pets, and how to ensure the smoothest move possible so your family can look back on their first day in their new home with fond memories.

Getting organized

There are two key resources that you’ll need to make and refer back to as you prepare for moving day. You’ll need a calendar and a well-organised to-do list.

If you’re prone to depending on your smartphone, then it could be a good idea to add these items to your existing calendars and to-do list apps and sync them with your spouse and children. Most apps have this capability, making it easy to all stay on the same page.

Alternatively, you can use a physical calendar that it hung up in a highly visible area, such as on the refrigerator. Keep your to-do list next to it so you can cross off tasks as they’re accomplished.

On the calendar will be dates like calling your moving company for an appointment, closing on your new home, inspections, and confirming appointments with the movers and real estate agents. You’ll also want to pick a day close to your move to call and set up an appointment for utilities to be installed at your new home.

Getting the family involved

Every team needs a leader. If you’re leading your family through the moving process, it’s your responsibility to keep them in the loop. There may seem like an overwhelming number of tasks to achieve, but your family is there to help. Pick days to have your kids help you make boxes and pack the non-necessities.

You can make moving fun by “camping” inside your home for the last few nights. Since most of your belongings will be in boxes, it’s a fun excuse to set up a tent in the living room and take out the flashlights.

During the last day in your old house, make sure everyone has a survival kit filled with the items they’ll need when arriving at the new house. This includes toothbrushes, medication, phones and chargers, and other essentials.

Moving with pets

Moving can be even scarier for our pets than it is for us. There’s no way to explain to them what’s going on, and they’ll be looking to you for cues that everything is okay.

If you have a friend or relative who can take your pet to their home during the move it will make the moving process much easier–keeping track of a pet while you’re trying to carry boxes is no easy feat.

To ease your pet into their new home, take them to visit before the move if possible. Put some of their favorite toys or their bed and blanket in the new home so they’ll have some comforts for their first impression.

If you follow these tips you’ll be on your way to a fun, and mostly stress-free move into your new home with your family.