The summer months typically bring warmer weather, fun activities – and for lots of military families PCS orders. I’ve already said “see you later” to a handful of friends and it will continue in the coming months.
However, I’m sticking around. Our move is inevitable (as I mentioned earlier this month, we’ve been here for more than two years!), but it’s definitely not coming around this PCS season. So, my husband and I have been making the most out of this summer because this could be our last.
In addition, we’ve started thinking about PCSing that way we’re ready when orders hit. I have to admit, it’s hard to think about it, but I encourage you to at least get yourself and your home ready for a move. It will ease the burden for your family when the PCS storm comes rolling in. And (I hate saying this out loud), short orders could always come up too.
Use this summer to get ahead and prep for your impending PCS. We know it will eventually come our way! Here are the top three things on our agenda, while we’re not PCSing this year.
- Seriously clean out your closet and other storage spaces.
It recently became evident that my husband and I have accumulated a ton of stuff over the last couple of years. We ran out of hangers, and there is absolutely no space on our shelves, so we started stacking things on the floor. It might be partly organization and partly overcrowding, but the only way to find out is to take everything out and start over.
Our plan is to go in room for room and evaluate our goods to make sure everything we keep is something useful. As a matter of course, if we haven’t used it at all, it’s okay to go. Purging your goods is also a great opportunity to update your home inventory of items. Having an up-to-date list of belongings will be helpful if goods get damaged or lost during a move.
Motivate another non-PCSing friend to clean out their home to create a joint effort for a yard sale. This is a great way to add funds to your family’s vacation bank. All the items that didn’t get sold could then go to your local thrift shop. My installation has one on post that raises money for dependent scholarships! Whatever you decide to do, it will be going to a good cause.
- Refer back to your duty station bucket list.
When we first arrived at our duty station, my husband and I wrote out a long list of activities unique to the area. After we got everything unpacked, we started checking things off – and then with work and life, the list got lost in our home.
It’s easy to think we have plenty of time to see all the sights. We take things for granted because we do realize we have time to get to all of them knocked off our list. With that said, it’s also easy to forget! It took my husband more than a year to drive 15 miles down the road to see the Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the United States in the National Archives Building. There are a handful of other museums and destinations we have yet to visit.
If you have checked everything off, you can add more to it. We learn about what’s available near us through the years, so it’s possible to be interested in additional things. Keep adding to that list until you are forced to leave. It’s good to keep it handy (we’re probably going to save it on the cloud eventually) because you could get stationed back to the same area!
- Help out a PCSing family.
Whether you see someone coming or going, it’s a great feeling to be helpful to other military families around you. For familiar families like current neighbors, I’m sure you’ve heard through the grapevine who’s moving. A couple of my friends have braved a PPM move, so I helped pack boxes and moving vans already.
It’s easy to spot newbies moving in because of moving trucks rolling in and unloading. I love welcoming those people to the neighborhood and enlist myself for anything they would need. Sometimes, all they want to know is the best pizza joint around…whatever it is, you’re the expert because you’ve spent more time at your location than the new family.
Not PCSing this summer? What are you doing instead?
About the Author:
Rachel Tringali Marston is an Army spouse and daughter to an Air Force retiree. Rachel’s family settled in Texas and that’s where she calls home. Before getting married, she lived in New York City for almost 10 years and considers that her second home. Rachel enjoys learning and exploring the area around her husband’s duty station and is embracing life in the military. In her spare time, she shares her adventures on her personal blog called The Professional Army Wife.