Updated February 16, 2021
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Sometimes the most challenging part of PCS season is the waiting. And sometimes, the waiting can be long while the PCS orders are short.
A short-notice move can be stressful, but it doesn't have to be! Read below for last-minute moving tips for quick PCS orders to make your move a little easier, from downsizing your items to researching your new home.
Last-Minute Moving Tips for PCS Orders
Declutter Your Things
Last-minute moving can be just what you need to force yourself into decluttering your home. Moving quickly means no time to dwell on whether or not you want to keep items. Dedicate a weekend to cleaning out your home, from mismatched mugs in the kitchen to toys your children no longer play with. You can always buy new items if you absolutely need them in your new home. And in those moments where it's hard to part with some items, remember that fewer things mean less packing and unpacking!
With whatever you decide not to bring along, plan a yard sale or donate your items to a local shelter.
Get Your Paperwork in Order
Changing your address can require a lot of changes to your paperwork. From credit cards and electric bills to schools and doctors' offices, you will have to make a change of address updates to keep your files accurate. If any transfers are happening, a phone call can help you get the process done properly and quickly. It is also wise to collect both physical and digital copies of your paperwork in the event of documents getting misplaced. This way, you will be double protected, and extra prepared to pick up life in your new home.
Keeping your orders on hand will help facilitate any transfers being made and any services you need to cancel.
Have All Hands on Deck
Learning how to move quickly means learning how to accept the help of others. Being in a rush makes it hard to tackle every moving task on your own, whether it's your move-out deep cleaning, or packing your boxes. Quick turnarounds leave little room for budgeted options, but you will appreciate the weight off your shoulders during the stress that short-notice moving can bring. Outside of movers, enlist your family to do everything they can in the small window of time you have, such as packing their belongings or doing some surface cleaning.
Hire a cleaner, repairman, and movers that will give you peace of mind that not everything has to be on your plate.
Organize Your Closet
Just like with your home items, last-minute moving requires some quick decisions and downsizing. Go through your closet and identify which items you absolutely need in your wardrobe and which ones you've grown out of both size and style-wise. Research the weather in your new home and see if your clothes work in that climate - for example, you won't need multiple heavy coats if you're being stationed in Yuma. Sell or donate any clothes that aren't making the move. For seasonal items you are keeping, pack your clothes away in labeled boxes or vacuum bags.
Make sure your uniforms and current-season clothes are easily accessible once you arrive in your new location!
Throw a Going Away Party
No matter how much time you have for your move, it's important to have a proper sendoff with the ones you love. Parties allow you to take a break from the stress of moving while connecting with people who have helped make your military housing feel like home. Throw a going-away party to say goodbye to the military and civilian friends you've made in your current home. Host a barbecue, potluck, dinner party to celebrate old times, and the memories had in your home.
This is also a great time to see if any of your friends want some items you aren't taking along!
Getting short-notice moving orders can be a whirlwind, but these tips and following a PCS move checklist will make your PCS move a breeze. Declutter, hire professionals, stay organized, and relax! Being part of the military can force you to learn how to move quickly, but after some time, PCS season becomes easier as you learn the ropes will make your PCS move a breeze. Declutter, hire professionals, stay organized, and relax! Being part of the military can force you to learn how to move quickly, but after some time, PCS season becomes easier as you learn the ropes.
Research Your New Home
In your downtime (if you have any at all), it doesn't hurt to start the research process to get yourself acquainted with your new home. Look into what the new weather is like, how the community interacts, what their popular foods are, what to enjoy in the area, and if you are a military spouse, which jobs are available. This part of the move can be fun! Instead of stressing about the quick move turnaround, you can get excited about all the new opportunities that await you in your new home.
Not sure where to start? Check out our regional guide series to learn all you need to know:
- Moving to Southern California
- Moving to the Southwest
- Moving to the Northeast
- Moving to the South (coming soon!)
- Moving to the Midwest (coming soon!)