Making a military PCS can throw your life into upheaval. You’re forced to uproot your family, spouses have to change jobs and kids change schools, and you’re thrown into a completely new and foreign city at the drop of a hat.

It can be stressful to say the least.

Fortunately, we at the Claus Team have helped dozens of families make PCS moves over the years, and we’ve picked on a few tips that can make the process easier, less stressful and more affordable on the whole.

Are you and your family preparing to make a PCS move in the near future? Here are some hacks that can help:

  1. Label “first day” boxes. These should contain everything you’ll need for the first day upon move-in: clothes, toiletries, paper plates, cleaning supplies, a hammer, nails, etc. You’re not going to want to dig through boxes and bags to find things that day, so put these must-have items in a separate box, away from the rest of your items. You may even want to take it in the car with you.
  2. Color code by room. Use colored duct tape or markers to label your boxes, giving each room in your new house its own color. This will make unloading and unpacking much easier.
  3. Load your moving truck by room. Remember, the items you load up last will come out of the truck first. Try not to put items here that will clog up your hallways or walking space as you bring in the rest of your furniture and belongings.
  4. Photograph the back of your electronics, so you know where all the plugs and wires go when you set them up in your new place.
  5. Consider renting furniture. Moving your furniture is a hassle. It’s heavy and dangerous, and it often gets scuffed up in the process – even when you call in the pros. If you want to avoid this awful hassle every few years, consider renting your big-ticket furniture instead.
  6. Keep all your move-related receipts in a folder or envelope. You’ll needs these to file for reimbursement later on.
  7. Turn packing into a goodbye party. Enlist the help of your neighbors and friends, and bid them a fond farewell all in one.
  8. Ask about military discounts every step of the way. Ask your new landlord, your movers, your realtor, the pizza place you order from on moving day, and everyone else you encounter. It’s worth it.
  9. Bring pets and kids separately. Could you have your mom or in-laws take the dog and kiddos on move-in weekend, and then head back and get them in a few days? They won’t be much help on moving day anyway; in fact, they may make the process more stressful!
  10. Don’t pay for boxes. Stop by local grocery and convenience stores on recycling pick-up day and scour for their discards.
  11. Pool your resources. PCS moves are common in the military community, and chances are you know someone who just went through one. See if they have any moving supplies you can use. Even small things like a dolly, packing tape or bubble wrap can save you cash.
  12. Feed and tip your movers. Remember, your belongings are in their hands. Treat them well, and they’ll do the same for your stuff.
  13. Take several trips. You’ll probably need to take a trip down to your new city to scope out your new house, school and job, so why not take a few boxes with you when you do? This will allow you to rent a smaller moving truck and hire out movers for fewer hours, both of which will save you money.
  14. Clean house before you pack. There’s no point in packing, moving and unpacking clothes you don’t wear, expired food or toys your kids never play with. In fact, it’s a waste of time and money, so before you even begin to pack up your house, do some spring cleaning first. Donate what you can to local shelters, and trash the rest.
  15. Start on day one. It might sound crazy to start prepping the very day you get news of your PCS, but it really can help things. Even if you just pack a box or make a shortlist of moving companies, that’s one less thing you have to do when it’s crunch time.

We know how stressful a military PCS can be, so let us take some of the burden off your shoulders. Contact The Claus Team today, and we’ll help make your PCS to the San Antonio area a breeze.

(c) featured image from positiveaba.org