How to Prep for a Rescheduled PCS Move
The stresses of upcoming spring and summer PCS moves were substantially multiplied by recent stop movement directives from top military leaders. Although the decisions were made with the health and wellness of military families at the forefront, the worries stemming from the unknown timelines haven’t diminished.
In effort to prepare for a rescheduled move (because we will all eventually get back to the demands of military life) and to help quiet the worry, it's best to focus on the things we can control and ready our homes to be taken over by stacks of boxes and the sight of a moving truck in front of the house.
Whether the move will occur within just weeks or several months out, take a look at these PCS checklists to fill some of the time at home. Plus, there’s a good chance you have school-aged kids who could use some boredom busters right about now!
Home buyer or seller? Get some helpful info in our post, Should You Buy or Sell a House During the Coronavirus Pandemic?
How to Prep for a Rescheduled PCS Move
If Your Move is Weeks to Months Away
As of now, military moves are on hold and will most likely be rescheduled with a quick turnaround, leaving a shortened prep time. Take the stress off yourself and family and conquer these tasks while waiting on “Go.”
Exterior House Maintenance
Before the heat settles in, spend time cleaning and fixing the exterior of your home. If you are military renters, you’re likely responsible for regular upkeep such as lawn mowing and weeding. If you plan to rent out your home to another military family, make a list of items that should be managed before turning the property over—tasks such as gutter cleaning and powering washing. Leaving the tenants with a clean slate to maintain is a solid landlord practice and encourages further care by the renters.
Don’t forget to clean outdoor furniture and the grill. You don’t want to pack a family of mice in your shipment! Start with a solid scrub and as the move date approaches, touch up as needed.
Becoming Your Own Property Manager helps prepare first time landlords.
Collect, Sort, Discard
Lighten your load and avoid overweight fees by getting rid of as many items as possible. Depending where you live, garage sales and donations to on base thrift stores may or may not be available while social distancing. Keep this in mind as you begin to sort items to sell, donate, or throw away. Alternatives include various animal and homeless shelters who might accept donations of linens and clothing as the need increases.
Online for sale outlets are booming right now. From clothing to household goods, there’s a service that will sell your items for a small fee. Check out Poshmark, Mercari, Ebay, and Facebook Marketplace. All are simple to use.
Places to hunt for junk:
- Play and hobby rooms
- Previously unpacked moving boxes
How do you feel about your upcoming new hometown? Have you scouted out the closest amenities? Checked the crime stats in your neighborhood? You’ve probably reached out to a couple of local groups and were added, but since you have extra time, it's a good idea to dial in on details you might have overlooked.
Confirm commute schedules and routes as well as due dates for school and recreational activities.
Save recommendations for services you’ll need quickly: hair stylist, veterinarian and pet care, mechanic, and lawn service.
Source Cleaning Companies
Some military families prefer, or their rental lease may require, a professional cleaning crew perform the final move-out clean. Begin to ask for referrals from friends in the area. It's common for these companies to be prepared for military move-outs and know exactly the kind of deep cleaning that is required, especially if veteran or military spouse owned.
Prepare Your Car
Don’t ignore car maintenance during a critical time such as moving, you’ll certainly need the storage space in addition to the expected transportation. Whether a long distance or short move, visit your mechanic to inspect, correct, and prevent any feasible problem.
It's also a good idea to completely clean out the interior. Road trips are messy, so save yourself trouble after arriving by completely emptying the car of trash and grime. Add packets of cleaning wipes in pockets throughout the car to clean up messes and dirty hands.
If you’re moving with a pet, think about the supplies they’ll need and begin assembling their car ride kit. And finally, if you don't have a road trip specific first aid kit, pick one up. If you currently own one, make sure the heat hasn’t ruined the usability or the products haven't expired.
Scrub Kitchen Appliances
Everyday use dirties each nook and cranny on a stove, microwave, and refrigerator, and a deep clean for each one requires a significant amount of time. As moving day draws near, a quick wipe down is all you need if you’ve done the intense pre-clean.
If Your Move is Imminent, But on Hold or Weeks Away
Life goes on, and some move-out chores like washing the dog and vacuuming the house have to be done closer to the departure date. The good news is that these chores require less time than the previously listed projects.
Vacuum and Clean Rugs
Rugs in a home add comfort and color, but they need care. If it's time for yours to have professional cleaning (it's so nice to unroll fresh rugs in your new home!), allow for several days of drying time and use a dehumidifier if you have one. Otherwise, vacuum thoroughly and if space allows, roll them up and secure with packing tape to keep them closed. This pre-packing saves time when the days are busy and quickly moving toward pack out.
Throw rugs that are found in kitchens and bathrooms require a wash and dry cycle before boxing.
Wall Hangings and Holes
Another time saving pre-pack task is to remove wall decor and place it in a central place for the packers to wrap. With this technique, they’ll be able to eyeball how many picture boxes they need and how much time to plan to pack. If you're a renter, this allows for plenty of time for you to repair and paint nail holes. Before starting, review your lease and confirm with your homeowner. They may prefer a professional to take care of the upkeep.
Depending on your pet’s habits, a bath diminishes stinky cross country car rides. Schedule professional grooming near the day of departure or pack day. Think of it as moving day daycare; for some animals, being away at a familiar groomer is less stressful than a sequestered existence at home while the movers and packers are working.
You may want to hold onto pantry items for as long as possible, but a purge of expired and rejected items is a good start for preparing the pantry for a move. Remove all items and wipe down the shelving systems inside. Don't forget the bit of floor space that should be mopped. Return all of the pantry goods in an organized system for ease of use and organized packing later.
Wash Window Coverings and Household Linens
These are normally decorative, nice to have, but not necessary, items found throughout the house. If machine washable, go ahead and start the loads. After cleaning, pack in bags if possible with a dryer sheet or two, to keep dust and germs off of the fresh laundry.
It's not ideal to sit and wait for an official word to move; in fact, it’s down right stressful. The added time in place, however, does offer the opportunity to plan the best move-out you’ve had to date! Be proactive, create a plan, and begin to cross off these items from your to-do list to be in the best position when the packers finally arrive.