I have always looked forward to summer. I think as a child it comes naturally, you have no school, no homework; you get to take vacations and play. The time of enjoying a traditional "no school" summer has long since passed for me (unfortunately work does not give you the summers off), but I cannot help feel more joyous in June, July and August! Make your summer move more enjoyable by taking some time to prepare!
To avoid delays and stress begin organizing for your PCS as soon as possible. Begin by sorting through your belongings (purge! You can do it!). Ensure you separate all liquids, chemicals, candles, batteries, light bulbs even explosives (fireworks!) from your normal belongings as the military movers will not pack these items (and you don't want to mistakenly have them pack then either. Shoe polish all over your nice linens, no thank you).
Do not forget to go through the kitchen. The military movers will move unopened packages and canned items, but I would recommend donating the items you have left because you cannot guarantee your boxes and belongings will be transported or kept in a temperature controlled environment. Additional bonus: you will be completing an act of kindness!
INVENTORY what is left. You will be so thankful to have photos, videos or just written documentation of all of your belongings if something happens during your move. Having an inventory is also great in case of a natural disaster or fire that affects your home.
While you are completing your home inventory, begin to organize and separate your belongings. Place all of the items you would like packed with particular care in one area (include High value items here as well, they will be specially labeled). This is also a good place to gently stack all of the items you had hanging in your home.
Remember you need to take everything off the walls in order for the movers to pack it! When the packers arrived I explained that everything in our dining room was fragile and meant a great deal to me and kindly asked that they take extra care with these items. I cannot promise this technique will always work, but nothing from that table was broken!
You will also need to designate your spouse's "work" items (books, gear, and extra uniforms). These items are sometimes counted separately and will not count against your weight limit!
Next, choose a designated are or room in the house where you will store items that you do NOT want the movers to pack. This should include all of you most valuable personal (non replaceable) items, important documents and items you will need in transition (air mattresses, clothing, paper plates, etc) in another room that will not be packed by the movers.
Summer is the busiest time for PCSing and you do not want to take ANY chances with your household items! If you take time to thoroughly organize your belongings before the movers arrive, you will avoid many of the horror stories you hear about PCSing! Good luck!
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