With PCS season upon us and today actually being the FIRST of many pack out days for us I thought today was a good day to share my thoughts with you....

I try really hard not to stress over moves, the more we move the easier this gets.  I don't start 'prepacking' weeks early; I only do so a few days early.  I make sure the kids are out of the house.  I oversee the movers.  I have them wrap my antiques. Ziplock bags are my friend. I have ask movers to repack things.  I don't let them bump my furniture into the walls!  I tell them (in a nice way) the way I like things packed and labeled!  I have asked movers to leave my house. I ask them nicely NOT TO DUMP drawers or toy bins into boxes.  I expect things NOT to be perfect when I arrive to my destination.  I also expect to find the remote to my TV in the box labeled Christmas (if I did not ATTACH the remote to the TV - which I ALWAYS do now), and my bedside lamp in the box marked garage.  I've learned after 11 Army moves that these things just happen.  I've also learned that having a good bottle of wine on hand always helps at the end of a pack day!

When I ask my military sister wives  (haha...you like that don't you?!) what they always do when PCSing I got some GREAT advice!  See what they have to say -  

Be ready for the date to change! ~ Jenna  Good advice from my sweet friend Jenna! I've heard of this happening MANY times, it hasn't necessarily happened to me, but I have friends that their entire PCS got changed, date, location and all! 
Hide the stuff you don't want them to pack!!! ~ Monica  Again, more solid advice!  The stories we hear! The worst that has ever happened to me is that our soap ~ an open bar of soap was packed, along with everything else in the shower.  Why anyone would toss a used bar of soap in a box is beyond me.  I know many people who have had their garbage, dog food, baby formula and PASSPORTS packed.  Make sure you separated your things people!  Oh and watch your pets, I have heard of a cat being packed as well!    Can you imagine unpacking that box?  "Oh, that's where Sponge Bob went!"
Avoid good-byes.  ~ Liz  This is something us Military Wives do well.  We choose to say see you later, if we even stop by to see you off at all.  It's just too hard sometimes.
Be prepared to lose money.  ~ Beverly  This is a given. Although the military gives you a moving allowance, it is NEVER enough (especially once you have kids!). 
Remember to make it an adventure!  ~ Kelly  This is GREAT advice!  Don't want to move to a destination the military is sending you?  SUCK IT UP....call the chamber of commerce and ask if they have a list of "top things to do" in the area.  Make it fun!  If you can't find something to do, MAKE something to do! 
Take a deep breath ~ Tracy  (AND have a glass of wine.)
Make sure you reserve on post lodging the day you find out you are moving! ~ Shayna  Because if you are moving in peak moving season and you don't make a reservation go ahead and take your tent with you because you will be camping!
Pack your underwear yourself!  ~ Lisa  Bahahaha!!
Have plenty of wine on hand!  ~ Pam  Pam IS a girl after my own heart!
Expect the unexpected! ~ Carey-Leigh And then some!
Feed the movers well and let them know you will tip generously if/when they do a good job. ~ Lori Just like a kids, rewards work wonders!
Empty your trash! ~ Lori Because if you don't, you just might see it in your new house!  
Ziplock all the magnets from the fridge, Polly pockets, pens and pencils. ~ Tori  I also ziplock all my curtain hardware and tiebacks, silverware, really anything that belongs together that could get lost or misplaced!
Prepare yourself for lost or damaged household goods.  ~ Michelle  And if it doesn't happen consider yourself blessed.
Disassemble your own furniture, bag up the screws, nuts/bolts and allen wrenches and pack those along with your screw drivers, pliers, drills and bits in a Green Bay Packer tool box and put it in your trunk so that you have everything you need to assemble it at the end. Movers are absolutely worthless at this. ~ LeAnn  I don't know about the Green Bay Packer tool box, but everything else seems right on. 
Send your kids off to visit family ~ Charlotte  If only it were that easy....  :o)
Know what your furniture looked like before it left...take photos and really read the bill of lading (lost stuff because of that!) & never let them fully unpack unless you want them to see al your "unmentionables!" ~ Roxanne  I tell them seeing my unmentionables IS their tip!  Haha!
Don't be afraid to ask the movers to take note of a few things. I have some unusual, fragile art pieces that I can’t'/don’t want to replace. I asked our last guys "I know this looks like a silly ____ but it is SO important to me. Please wrap this up really well for me?" smillllleeee! It is worth it.. Very few losses in all of our moves. Never filed a claim. ~ Tracy  Kindness typically wins in the end!
Count all your kids! ~ Diane I thought we lost something on the last move!
Save every TV remote, taping it to the TV doesn't count, it will be gone by the time your HHG arrive. ~ Rachel
Hey Rachel, maybe we have some of your remotes ~ tonight as we were going through them we found 2 extra!
Ask your packers to make box #1 your hardware box. Put all hardware, screws (labeled of course), remotes, etc... in this one box. The German's do that on this side of the pond, but the American's don't. Put those "do not pack" items in the trunk of your car. Because just putting them in a room with a SIGN that says "do not pack" isn't always good enough. ~ Heidi 
I would say take a little mini-vacation right before the movers come, just to see a favorite sight, and take lots of pictures. Make sure you download them & send to a family member/friend before you get on the plane with the camera. And either label your camera with your email address and a note about a hefty reward, or bring a camera you don't mind losing on the plane...  ~ From my SMARTASS friend Kim.
  SO what if I did this ONCE.  :o)  Bite me.
Realize it is going to be crazy for a little while, but in the end it will be fine. ~ Tim AMEN.  It will all be worth it when you wake up from that moving hangover in a few short weeks!
Have lots of cold beer...shot of "Jack" and know when to stay clear of "Household 6". ~ Randi  Rand-i (as I lovingly call him) is correct!  He just needs to add - have plenty of wine on hand to serve to Household 6
DO NOT feed the packers pizza! and prepare yourself for those 10 pounds that we always gain! HA! ~ Wanda  Really?  I always feed them pizza. 
Go visit someone and let your husband do it.... ~ Suzy  And I do believe this is the best piece of advice any of my friends had to offer!

And so it begins:
5/8/2012 02:55:32 am

Great tips! We did the move ourselves, it was a huge pain in the a**! I think next move I'd rather sit on my arse (with a glass of wine of course!) and watch the movers do all the work! ;)

5/8/2012 09:20:17 pm

We moved ourselves ONE TIME, and one time ONLY.

5/8/2012 02:56:03 am

Great job on putting that together!!!

5/8/2012 02:58:04 am

This is really neat and helpful but wondering why we shouldn't feed the movers pizza?

5/8/2012 09:21:27 pm

Crystal, I wondered the same thing! Maybe it is because they always get pizza? I'm not sure....

5/8/2012 02:58:29 am

Trish, good luck on the move, what is the destination

5/8/2012 06:37:32 am

why don't you rent a storage space and leave all the unnecessary stuff behind? i have "only" two kids and damn! i'd throw away 90% of their crap (not that i don't have any of my own crap but they're way worse than me!). nothing like throwing a bunch of useless crap way wondering what you could've done with all that money instead. :)

5/8/2012 09:27:10 pm

JT - we actually have 3 pack out dates with 3 different companies....
1- Our goods that are going to Korea by boat that take 6-8 weeks to arrive (we are not allowed to take everything). 2 - our shipment that goes to Korea by air, this is very minimal, things we will need immediately and 3, the storage shipment! More than 1/2 our goods will go into storage.

Oh and you should see the pile going to charities (and friends)! I'm with you - what we 'could have' done with all that money.... :o)

5/12/2012 09:43:26 am

They eat pizza pretty much every day! We always give them something different , since we had them turn down pizza before!! I guess that is our "tip" because I sure don't tip them! We have always had great moves except our storage from when we were in Korea and the move from Hawaii to here was by far the worse and moving company still jacking us around with our claims, 8 months later!

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