Thursday, July 28, 2016

Move Hacks, Baby!

Let's start this entry off with some little bitty life hacks for you military gals out there. Lesson one from my trial and errors: 

1. Stay on top of your medical appointments: 

Seriously. This one is super important if you know an OCONUS move is coming! Dental cleanings, ladybit appointments (a forgotten pap smear held up our med. screening a week, not good when you only have 30 days to get everything sorted), check ups for kidos, post-baby check ups for new mamas and all of the vaccinations for everyone in the family; yes even you! Booster shoots are still a thing past your teens. Trust me. I could not raise my arms for a few days after my hepatitis updates, yellow fever and Japanese Encephalitis Immunizations. Ouch. But I would rather have sore arms for a few days then have my brain swell. I'll take a hard pass on that one. Thanks. 

2. Keep receipts of big purchases, start taking pictures and cataloging of all your stuff you think you might want to keep: 

The worst thing that can happen on an overseas move is the stuff that you think is living safely in a storage facility in America while you are overseas is actually floating around god knows where and no one can find it when you move back. I have seen people lose things from family heirloom jewelry to couches. How can you lose a couch? Or a king sized bed!? But it has happened. The best thing that can happen is the moving company finds your stuff and delivers it to you after you move to your next duty station, and the worst is that your stuff is gone-girl-gone. Having receipts is the best thing for claims against the moving company, and pictures are the next priceless things you can have if you get your stuff back it is in a very different condition then when it left you. When your dining room table gets delivered with unfixable scratches or a chipped corner, it is nice to have a picture that backs you up when you say "It did not look like that when it left my possession." Check your bank and emails for records of your purchases if you no longer have paper copies. I loose my paper ones all the time, but they can be found in e-form. 

3. Start going through your crap.

You know what I am talking about. The junk drawers. That forgotten closet of winter coats and stray kids' shoes. Those bins in your attic that you see once a year when you pull down christmas decorations and say to yourself, "Is that mine or the person who lived here before me?" Start now. Open one box or drawer a week, two if you're feeling feisty and start tossing the things you absolutely will not miss. There is nothing worse then trying to organize a pack and dealing with one thousand pens, two year old papers, and 20 lightbulbs that fit light fixtures in your home from two moves ago. This just happened to me in the junk drawer in my laundry room. I found 6 light bulbs to the track lighting that was in our Norfolk home. We have been on Florida for three years now. We don't have track lighting. Its time to toss those little suckers. I'd rather deal with them now, then during the stress of the pack. 
Clothing: You know the old closet trick of 'if you haven't worn it in a year, throw it out or if it still has life, donate it,' do a soft run-through now. The obvious clean out. You know what I'm talking about, the things that you know don't fit or are so old they are starting to look a little dated. Keep up with the occasional run throughs and soon you will only have pieces you love and use. It makes the packing process so much easier when you don't have to debate keeping or tossing something when everything in your closet is stuff that fits, that you use, and know you want to take with you. 

4. Take the good stuff to Mom and Dad's house: 

Anything that would absolutely devastate you if it got lost and you know you will not use overseas: Grandma's antique teacup collection, your wedding dress, things like that. Im not saying leave all of the mementoes behind, take a few teacups, just not all 30. I am making my first goody run back to Texas in the next couple of weeks so that the family can love on the babe and I can drop off things to stay in safe keeping for the next few years. My wedding dress will stay, the bulk of my record collection (the weight adds up quickly), my great-grandmother's antique crystal and silver that I will not use overseas but would kill a mover for for if they broke or lost it. See if your parents, aunts, uncles, siblings, grandparents, etc. would be the custodians of your most prized possessions that you will not be taking with you. Better with them then in a storage container. 

Phew, that was more then I thought it would be. Let know if you have some other tips to include in the next update. What are the moving hacks that you swear by? What has saved you the most time and sanity during a move? Happy Wednesday Everyone!