Advice for a 1st move?

Kelly - posted on 02/08/2009 ( 8 moms have responded )




My husband has been through several military moves, but this is my first one. I have two boys, 3 1/2 and 2. We are moving from Georgia to Kentucky. Does anyone have tips or advice for making the move as smooth as possible?


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[deleted account]

Take pictures of all your stuff before the movers get there because something will get broken. Also make sure that anything you don't want packed is put away. Put it all in one closet and tape a big sign on the door that says "keep out, do not pack."

We just moved and they packed the legs to our kitchen table in my husband's footlocker that was in our detached garage. We finally found those, but we had to go get some 2x2 boards to hold up our bed because they were nowhere to be found. I finally found them about 2 weeks after we got our stuff. They were in the dresser from our spare bedroom. They have to pack everything, so if you will end up unwrapping things like receipts and paperclips too.

Lisa - posted on 02/15/2009




I'm not trying to be mean, but I wish I would've had that move...My husbands first duty station was and still is Germany...that was crazy...considering i've never been on a plane son is 2 1/2 now, but he was 1 1/2 when we moved...Baby gates, I couldn't live without them...

[deleted account]

Some advice I've gotten from more seasoned wives, along with my experience:  Label your bedroom doors with  #1, #2, #3  and the movers will label your boxes accordingly.  That helps to keep individual BR's organized.  Per advice, I only allow packers to be in one room at a time.  They have to work together, and it's easier to keep an eye on them.  Don't bother pre-packing anything.  If you have things in storage tubs, they are suppose to take everything out and repack it.  Request to have your couches wrapped....not all packers will do it.  I agree with the crate-on-site request.  Do not sign ANY inventory paperwork until everything is packed, if they say they'll "be back tomorrow" let them know you'll sign your paperwork when they finish.  This will reassure they come back and finish their job.  Also, I have heard of people "tipping" the moving van driver's.  I have never personally done so, but I have had a packer pretend to be our moving van driver in search for a tip.  Sometimes the packers are seedy, regardless, it is custom and kind to feed them.  I also like to pack a phone, a smaller TV with one Dish receiver and a laptop or computer.  Traveling CONUS we've gone without our household items for over 5 weeks before...that's a long time without internet of TV service, depending on your provider.  For the kids, DVD's and  most favorite toys.  And for when the kids are older, if you're moving in mid-summer, pack all the school clothes.  Like I said, We've gone several weeks without our items and I've been very thankful to at least have school clothes on hand.  Best wishes for enjoying your new home!  :-)

Traci - posted on 02/09/2009




Buy a file oragnizer and file any important paperwork in that and hand carry it with you. Most recent LES, Orders, Birth Certificates, Marriage certificate, and ect.

Hand carry medical records. If you are at a military facility, normally you just bring in the PCS orders and fill out a paper and they will hand over all medical records for you and your children. This way you do not have to wait for the next duty station medical facility to request them and hopefully not lose them in the mail while doing so.

Take pictures of all of your major items (TVs, computers, laptops, dvd players, home theaters, framed art, and ect.) before getting packed up and write down serial numbers and product information.

Make sure to put a forwarding address or put your mail on hold during the move. Do this a week before you head out. The post office will hold mail up to 30 days and once you find a place you can submit a new change of address form at the post office so you mail will be forwarded.

For kids, we highly suggest dual dvd player for the vehicle. It works wonders and keeps them somewhat occupied. Our girls defiantly enjoyed it for our trip from GA to CA. Pack up some toys, books, and snacks. Anything easy to grab and hand to the kids in the back seat.

Have a safe move!

Adf0905 - posted on 02/09/2009




My dad was in for 20 years, so my mom gave me two pieces of advice when it came to moves. Have you things crated on site! TMO won't offer it to you; you have to request it. Your things will be crated later on anyways, but this way you actually see your things go in to the crate, and you know nothing is missing and being stolen. And take care of your movers! I remember my parents ALWAYS fed the movers at least lunch, if not dinner as well (depending on how long they were there for.) And we always had drinks for them.

And you'll want to pack an overnight box and keep it in the car with you. Put things in it that you'll need for the first few days until you can put in some major progress unpacking boxes. Things like the kids favorite toys, towels, blankets, shower curtains, etc.

Sami - posted on 02/09/2009




I have been through several moves in that past 13 years... Some with a child & more moves with one.  I was on my own at the time but to make it easier for you & the kids just make it fun for them. Like Jacquelin mentioned, make scrapebooks of the old house, friends etc. I made a book for my daughter so she could get everyone's name and address before she left.  I gave her a camera so she could take pictures of everything she wanted to remember. 


As far as easier for you, just make sure you are on the packers! Follow them and question them for the things that you are not too sure about. Make sure you take good pictures of your electronics etc. I put everything in an access database house inventory. I just downloaded the pictures to the computer and added the serial number make and model and for the things that I had reciepts on I scanned those in as well, along with any warrenties that I had for them...  I also made an inventory on the computer of all of my DVD, CD's etc... 


Well good luck with your move!!!

[deleted account]

Military onesource has to be the best way to make it smooth. If you call them they will help you with everything. Just relax and remember you will survive. I have moved numerous time back and forth from overseas and it is all in what you stress about or don't stress about. Good luck


Jacquelin - posted on 02/09/2009




Hi Kelly - I've been through 11 moves and I'm still trying to find ways to make it go smoothly. Here's some things I'd recommend. Many bases have free child care provided by on base home daycare providers to help you have some free durring the moving process. I believe you can get a form to do this either from your CDC or it may be family support center. Also when it comes to the move and also for insurace purposes I would take an invetory of all you electronics, dvd/cds, any expensive items. Makes sure to note their make/model and serial numbers. Also take pictures or video of each room to help you remember what you had in the event that something is damaged or goes missing. Make sure to your invetory, pictures and any other important paperwork with you. Do not let the movers pack it. Also follow the movers everywhere when they are packing. Speak up if you don't like what they are doing. Make sure they write down every little thing they pack and you verify that it is on their invetory before you sign it. Also make sure that you show them that your electronic items are working and that they note it on their invetory before they pack them up. As for moving with kiddos. Pack up some favorite toys, lots of snack and having a portable dvd player always helps. We like to get online and show our girls where we are moving to help them feel a little less nervous about moving. Also making a little scrapbook with pictures of their old home, friends, etc. is always nice for them to have some memories. Oh also when it comes to packing it helps to have all the items that you do not want the movers to pack and all the items that they are not allow to pack (candels, cleaning products, many toiletries, some food items) set to the side so the packing process goes faster. We tried to have all the stuff we want to take with us either packed in our vehicles before the movers even get there. Also anything you move even if it's just luggage, toys, ect you can claim it as a partial DITY move. You need to go to a weigh station and weigh your vehicle when they are empty and you will get a ticket with the weight on it. Then you go back and weigh it when they are full up. Then you can get paid for hauling all the stuff yourself. You need to let TMO know that your are going to do a partial dity when you set up the move. They'll make you guesstimate how many pounds you think you will be moving. Ok well I hope this helps and doesn't confuse you :-) Moving really isn't that bad, just be prepared is my best advice. Good luck with your first move, it's gets easier the more you do it. I hope you enjoy Kentucky.

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