It was with a certain amount of panic that I realized on Monday that WE ARE MOVING THIS MONTH. Bill went to Transportation yesterday and, officially, the packers will be here in NINETEEN days.
For you non-military types, let me assure you that this is not nearly as big a deal as if we were doing it all by ourselves. I have no boxes to pack, really. Nothing to arrange, really. They come, they pack, they move. (Anybody want to provide the Latin for that?)
I thought I would chronicle the steps to a PCS move for those in the military, and also for non-military families too. This will be our 5th military move in less than 5 years, and we've gotten pretty good at it. May as well share the knowledge, right?
As I said, Bill went to Transportation and made the arrangements for the move. We always do what is called a "partial DITY" or do-it-yourself move. You have to tell them before you move that you want to do this. Then you have to weigh your vehicles at some point (empty). Many truck stops offer scales for a low fee (perhaps $5) and some military installations have scales for free. If you have a hitch, you can rent a trailer to haul stuff, or you can just load your cars to the gills. Even if all you put in your car is your clothes for a few days, it's worth the money. They pay you for the weight you move, so you'll have to weigh the vehicles again after loading them up (children don't usually count as household goods, FYI).
Goal for this week: weigh vehicles.
Next, I picked a spot in my house where I can put things I do not want the movers to pack. Things like: the dog, our clothes and toiletries, sleeping bags, snack food for the drive, valuable paperwork, the laptop, other valuables. I picked the master bathroom because it is big enough to hold all that stuff, yet the amount of things to pack out of there is very small.
Goal for this week: declutter this bathroom and relocate any items in there I want them to pack to the other bathroom.
The packers will box up anything that is not nailed down. I now need to put things where they belong so that when I open a box it makes sense. Right now, on my desk, the pile includes a video, some books, a cookbook, some toys, my camera, coupons, CDs, bills, the lid to the container for Fritz's Latin flashcards, kids' artwork, and reference material that belongs to a friend. My life would be much easier if all of these things were put away properly BEFORE the move. I am resigned to some amount of decluttering AFTER the move, but things, especially things that belongs to local friends, should be put away first.
Goal for this week: put things already slated for "give-away" in the car for drop off at the thrift store tomorrow night. And drop them off, too. Make a list of give-away items for a friend who may need them.
Since it's Wednesday, I think that's quite enough work for this week. Stay tuned for more tips on moving your household goods 900 miles in less than three weeks.