Service members are typically transient, spending a few years in one location before packing up to head to a new installation. Moving can be an exciting time, but every decision is linked directly to time, effort and, of course, money.
Here are some moving tips that can help maximize your budget and your sanity:
Preparing for Move
Decide on using Military movers or if you will move yourself in a DITY move (specific tips for DITY moves)
Hiring a moving company six weeks in advance will allow you time to search a company’s service history as well as costs. This will be plenty of time to be flexible and negotiate if hidden costs pop up or another company has a better offer.
Be sure to collect any deposits prior to moving to ensure you get the deposit and do not have to deal with postage or long distance phone calls.
Get a floor plan of your future home or take measurements and scale it down to paper. That way, you can try to fit the furniture you have into the plan. If it doesn’t fit, you can get rid of it and avoid moving costs.
Be sure to plan your meals to clean out your freezer and pantry. Frozen foods cannot be shipped, so eat those first. Remember that canned foods are heavy.
Pre-Packing Clean Out
Clothes weigh a lot and result in shipping costs. Go through your wardrobe and determine what you will and won’t wear. Avoid the “I might still want this” syndrome and save yourself some space and money.
Garage sales can generate some useful pocket change. If you have kids, let them help and sell the toys they’ve grown out of with the incentive of some profit. Sell your own “toys” that are collecting dust in the garage or attic, including CDs and other items that can become bulky in numbers. Used movie and CD stores may purchase them as well.
For the clothes that don’t make your cut and what’s left over from the garage sale, make donations and keep the receipts. You may just get a tax break.
Avoid damaging mishaps. Be wary of things like packing aerosol cans that can explode. Throw away or use up hair spray, shaving creams and household cleaners that would be easy to replace. It’s better than risk ruining the entire shipment.
Do not pack flammable items like paint, bleach, lighter fluid, and combustible cleaning fluids. Remember to empty the fuel from lawn mowers, lamps and other yard equipment.
Adrienne May is a military spouse. Her husband is an Army soldier and now is serving in the Army National Guard. Together they have three children from preschool to pre-teen. Adrienne has a Bachelors Degree in Sociology & Non-Profit Management, and is actively involved in family readiness and disaster preparedness on the state level. She spends her free time advocating for military family programs, homecoming transition programs and adequate veterans benefits.
Military Family Central is your community for you to talk, share, relate, help and be helped by other military families and the tips and advice you'll find here.
Adrienne May maintains Military Family Central for Veterans United Home Loans, the nation's leading VA-approved lender. As a mom of three, from toddler to teenager, and wife to a National Guard solider, Adrienne has built up a massive library of resources, tips, articles and contributors for military families of all shapes, sizes and branches!