Moving is a constant part of the military life. On average, a military family moves every 3 years. While the military will move your belongings, especially in overseas situations, when the move is stateside, many families choose to either move all or part of their belongings themselves.
With so many moves under their belts, service members, and especially their spouses, have become experts at moving. Between experience and tips from friends, they quickly learn the best way to pack and move with minimal effort and damage.
With more moves that I care to count, here are some moving tips from a military wife.
Tip #1 – Keep Original Boxes
For large, important, and expensive items, like TV’s and computers, keep the original boxes. This ensures the items will fit perfectly in their boxes . Make sure to keep the Styrofoam packing material as well.
Tip #2 – Clear The Clutter
Go through the house and make piles for trash/donate/sell. Try having a yard sale or selling larger items like furniture, especially if you’re moving into a smaller place. It will free up space and put a little extra money in your pocket. Anything that can’t be sold can then be donated.
Tip #3 – Moving Boxes
Boxes are easy to come by if you know where to look. Ask at any grocery or big box store for any extra boxes they have. Craigslist is also a good option. If you’re still in need of boxes, they can be purchased from U-Haul.
Tip #4 – Packing Material
It’s not always necessary to buy packing material. Anything soft can be used – towels, sheets, pillows, etc. Wrap dishes in t-shirts and slide stemware in socks. This may not work for everything, but it will save money and space.
Tip #5 – Furniture
In the moving process, knobs and handles on furniture can get lost. They can also scratch other furniture while in the truck. Turn all the knobs and handles around so they are inside the doors or cabinets.
Tip #6 – Label
Label every box and be specific when labeling. Instead of just saying clothes, be specific about what they are, for example Dad’s sweaters or Michael’s t-shirts. For quick reference, use colored or patterned packing tape on the boxes. This will tell you at a quick glance what room the box belongs in.
Tip #7 – Liquids & Food
Most movers won’t take any liquid items. If you plan to take them yourself, keep them together. Ensure all the lids are tight and put them in Ziploc or plastic bags in case of leaks. The same goes for food. Depending on the distance, it may not be wise to take refrigerated items, but any pantry items are fine. It can get expensive to buy everything new again, so take what you can.
Tip #8 – The Essentials
Keep what you consider essentials out for the trip. Kitchen items, towels and a set of clean sheets – whatever you might need in the days leading up to the move and right when you get to the new place. Pack it all in a box that is accessible during your move.
Tip #9 – Budget
Moving always costs more than you expect. Make sure you have the funds to successfully complete the move, including gas, lodging, food, and any additional expenses that may come up.
The military life does truly allow you to see the world, while dragging everything you own behind you in the process. Moving is always stressful, but with planning and tips from the experienced, the process will be that much smoother.
Do you have any tips you’d like to share? Comment them down below!