The heat is on and no, I’m not referring to the summer temperatures. In just under two months, I will be moving (again). This move will consist of transporting 2 dogs, 2 cats, 1 husband, 10-13 chickens, 3 horses, and 3 children under the age of 7. So, what steps am I taking to maintain sanity and prepare myself? First off, one thing we did differently this time is we rented a storage unit so we had a place to pack and store belongings as we begin to purge and pack our things. My motto the whole time is when in doubt…throw it out! This has always served me well in the past.
Second, we start to talk about changes with our children early. The moving every 2-3 years isn’t easy on anyone, but I think having an open dialogue with your children helps to ease the stress that can sometimes accompany a move. We have started by showing them pictures and getting them excited about the different opportunities at their new schools and in the surrounding areas. I also utilize different resources. Sesame Street has several great apps and games for kids who are moving or facing deployments. These are available at https://sesamestreetformilitaryfamilies.org. I also really enjoy utilizing Slumberkins for discussing tough emotions. They have a lot of resources on their site, https://slumberkins.com, and also offer a military discount. I think by regulating your own feelings and emotions about the changes a move brings we can really help our children deal with difficult situations.
Third, plan your route. We like to find fun stops along the way to break up the long drives. This is helpful for our pets as well as our kids. If you’re doing a PPM or Personally Procured Move, I also recommend reserving your moving truck in as far as advance as possible. Hopefully, this step will save you some money and allow you to iron out other details as you plan. I also like to utilize Facebook marketplace and spouse’s groups for my local base to acquire boxes. I was shocked to see that a quality wardrobe box can run upwards of $20 at the store. Finding these from another family will definitely save you money and hopefully cut down on waste.
Fourth, prep your pets. I am having a hauler take my horses so we are able to use our horse trailer to move our belongings. Before I leave this location, I will ensure that everyone is up to date on shots, medications, and health records are in hand. This will make it easy to board my pets if any issues arise on the road. I also make sure I always pack pet food and medications so that they are easily accessible. I also stop by http://www.militarypetpcs.com. They have information for OCONUS and CONUS moves. There are also great giveaways and sweepstakes. There is also a great community of fellow military members just like you and me! They share their experiences and provide helpful tips and tricks for all types of moves. Hopefully taking the time to take these steps will ensure that everyone is prepared and set up for success during our move.