PCS Chronicles #2 | Moving at High Speed, Low Drag

By Melissa Renahan, Military Spouse and Writer

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Army spouse Jenny Morgan, who recently PCS’d, found herself ready to decrease the number of boxes that the movers were piling up once she saw a chair that she’d forgotten was sitting in the garage come out.

“We bought it but never found a way to make it work, so we just stuck it out there,” she explained. “Now two years later, its back and I still don’t need it.”

In our Housing First! series, we addressed resources and criteria for selecting housing. Now that you’ve got the housing process down, start looking around at all the STUFF you have accumulated. Perhaps much of your stuff is still in boxes from the last PCS. All that stuff can weigh you down and become a financial, physical and mental burden. Spring is here, moving is near and it’s time to purge.

More High Speed, Low Drag

Less stuff =¬† move faster, feel lighter, save money. What goes with you, what gets donated / sold OR heaven forbid, what goes into storage? If you see a lot of storage companies around military installations, it’s because it’s a huge market. You don’t have to be their next customer.

  • Save money – Having too much stuff can put you over your weight limits for the movers and cost you out of pocket. (est $200)
  • Save money – Reducing your load = less / no storage fees. (one year $780 for a 5×10)
  • Make money – If you sell some of your unneeded stuff, you could fund your PCS without having to dip into savings or use credit cards and pay interest. (est. $250)

That’s an estimated $1,000 savings!

AHRN - DoD Housing Referral Resource - Search now!Yes, the government pays for your move, but with BAH reduction, are you going to have to downsize? Will all of your stuff fit in your next place (going from house to condo?)? There‚Äôs so much for you to think about, sometimes it doesn‚Äôt occur that you won‚Äôt need your lawn mower or outdoor furniture in your next location because you‚Äôre moving to an apartment or base housing. What about the gaming system collecting dust that your kid hasn‚Äôt played with in a year, the old clothes, the golf clubs that you keep telling yourself you’re going to get back to “this year!”

Special Considerations
If you are moving overseas or downsizing or simply moving into a different floor plan of home, how will your furniture fit? Perhaps you have a big overstuffed couch that you love lounging on, but some doorways in Germany homes won‚Äôt fit your couch or maybe that sectional won’t fit in your new layout. Ugh, what are you going to do with that second car? All of these items, and probably more, are things that can be cleaned out and sold to someone else who may actually have a legitimate use for them. So, you feel lighter, have less to worry about and you put some cash in your pocket while helping someone else!

‚ÄúWhen my husband and I moved the last time, we paid for the movers to move all of the junk that we had stored up over the years. When we got to the new place, we sold a lot of our stuff and made over $500! But we paid to move that old stuff that had been boxed up, so it was money wasted on the movers and all the energy it took to lug it with us and get rid of it later — I really wished we had been more organized ahead of time!‚Äù Facebook Fan

Not only does decluttering your home provide mental, physical and financial benefits, unwittingly you (and your significant other) might also feel more empowered in a situation where you don’t have a lot of power.

A Little Organization Goes a Long Way….
So, the moral of the story is, don’t pay for being over your weight limits, don’t pay for storage you don’t need and help fund your PCS with some cash! All it takes is being a little more organized on the front end. Start early and spend a few hours going through each room letting go of unneeded items.

SargesList provides the perfect place for you to streamline your possessions or unload things that won’t be needed or that won’t fit into your new home BEFORE your PCS and keep it in the family by donating or selling to other military members/families. Need help getting organized? Hire some help! Use the National Association of Professional Organizers website organizer search to find a professional near you.

In your PCS history, what have you been hanging on to or what are some things that surprised you that you couldn’t take at the last minute? Ever wish you would have been more organized? Share your story!

Best of luck during your next PCS,

List of Unauthorized Items

More Moving Tips

Weight Allowances

Got a flat panel tv or a front loader?

What about your vehicles?

Know your military entitlements!

First PCS?

PCS Chronicles #6 | PCS and Careers for Military Spouses
PCS Chronicles #5 | Your Wheels (POV) and Your PCS
PCS Chronicles #4 | PPM or JPPSO, which one will you choose in your next move?
PCS Chronicles #3 | Pets and Your PCS
PCS Chronicles #1 | Housing First!

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