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  • Writer's pictureSarah Pence

Military Mondays: The Move-In Kit I Didn't Know I Needed.

For military families, a PCS involves so much more than the average move. We all know the basics - the seemingly never-ending list of documentation you will need at every step [Pro tip: make several copies of these because it is a literal act congress to get them!], a first aid kit, medications, cleaning supplies, snacks, and clothing that you may need during your transition period. But, what about the things you'll need when you get to your new home? Below is a list of things I've learned (some of them the hard way) that are essential for those first few days/weeks in the new place while you await your HHG shipment!

Inflatable sofa bed or mattress. No one wants to spend days/weeks packing and hours on a plane or in a car, only to arrive at your new place to sleep on the floor. Do yourself and your back a favor and make sure to have one of these for when you arrive at your new duty station. Don't forget the pump!

Bed linens. It seems like a no-brainer, but I can assure you many people get so caught up in packing all the things that they forget to leave a set aside for their arrival.

Shower curtain liner. Don't waste precious cash on anything fancy (you'll want that for when you have had a chance to settle in and decide how you want the new digs to look). Grab a simple white shower curtain liner (I recommend one with magnetic weights in the bottom because having the shower curtain stick to you when you're exhausted and trying to shower off the day is the worst!).

Towels. Again, it seems like a no-brainer, but in the hustle and bustle of packing madness, these often-times get packed. Ask me how I know... 🤦‍♀️

Electronic accessories bag (I use a toiletries bag that I bought cheap from Amazon and it works perfectly) and a USB power strip. Those days of waiting for your HHG to arrive can be so boring. Make sure you have the necessary cords and accessories to settle in for a movie on your tablet or laptop (especially if you've got kids to entertain!).

Tool kit. I tell everyone, with any move, to de-clutter and purge everything you don't love or know won't work in your next place. So, when you arrive and you've got time on your hands, shopping for things you know you will need (also a great way to familiarize yourself with the new area) is great. But...that amazing deal on a dining table you found at the PX? Yeah. It's going to need to be assembled.

Night lights. I cannot tell you how many times I have smashed my toes or scraped my shoulder on the door jam trying to navigate my way through the new house to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Walmart sells multi-packs of simple white night lights and they are the best! Your toes will thank you!

Curtains or roller blinds. Now, you're probably thinking "why is she telling me to buy curtains before my furniture arrives and I decide how I want to decorate?!". Hear me out. This is important. Why? Because not all homes will have blinds installed and at some point, you will need to change your clothes. If you'd like to meet your new neighbors, fully clothed, you may want to seriously consider this one. Keep it simple and cheap. You don't need to go overboard. Just grab a set of white/neutral curtains and a cheap tension rod if there isn't existing hardware at the house or a roller shade for your bedroom. Your local dollar store will likely have something like this so you don't break the bank! No need to buy them for the entire house, but your neighbors will thank you for this one 😉

My final piece of move-in kit advice and I cannot stress this enough, is to make this kit and set it aside FIRST. Before you even begin to pack, grab these items, and put them in a container and set it aside. This way it's already there and ready for you when the packing is done!

Happy PCS Season, ya'll! May your travels be safe, your days be productive, and your families enjoy the adventure! ❤️


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