Military life is spent on the move.
Service members are typically transient, spending a few years in one location before packing up to head to a new installation. Moving can be an exciting time, but every decision is linked directly to time, effort and, of course, money.
Here are some moving tips that can help maximize your budget and your sanity:
Preparing for Move
- Hiring a moving company six weeks in advance will allow you time to search a company’s service history as well as costs. This will be plenty of time to be flexible and negotiate if hidden costs pop up or another company has a better offer.
- Be sure to collect any deposits prior to moving to ensure you get the deposit and do not have to deal with postage or long distance phone calls.
- Get a floor plan of your future home or take measurements and scale it down to paper. That way, you can try to fit the furniture you have into the plan. If it doesn’t fit, you can get rid of it and avoid moving costs.
- Be sure to plan your meals to clean out your freezer and pantry. Frozen foods cannot be shipped, so eat those first. Canned foods are heavy.
Pre-Packing Clean Out
- Clothes weigh a lot and result in shipping costs. Go through your wardrobe and determine what you will and won’t wear. Avoid the “I might still want this” syndrome and save yourself some space and money.
- Garage sales can generate some useful pocket change. If you have kids, let them help and sell the toys they’ve grown out of with the incentive of some profit. Sell your own “toys” that are collecting dust in the garage or attic, including CDs and other items that can become bulky in numbers. Used movie and CD stores may purchase them as well.
- For the clothes that don’t make your cut and what’s left over from the garage sale, make donations and keep the receipts. You may just get a tax break.
- Avoid any damaging mishaps by not packing aerosol cans that can explode. Throw away or use up hair spray, shaving creams and household cleaners that would be easy to replace. It’s better than risk ruining the entire shipment.
- Do not pack flammable items like paint, bleach, lighter fluid, and combustible cleaning fluids. Remember to empty the fuel from lawn mowers, lamps and other yard equipment.