When normal people move, they just buy a house, sell their old one, pack up and go. Of course normal people don’t usually pack up and move to a place several thousand miles away that they’ve never been to before. The military citizen has a little more to do when they move. Here it is, day by day:
Day 1. Go to every local agency you’ve ever done business with and get copies of those records (doctors, hospitals, insurance agents, financial planners, etc.)
Day 2. Close or transfer every local account you have (cable, satellite, internet, telephone, gym, subscriptions, banks, etc.)
Day 3. Pack everything you and your family will need to live for the next 30 days.
Day 4. Find a person or kennel both here and there to board your pets while you move and plan their transportation for the move.
Day 5. Move all your traveling gear to billeting (base hotel) or a local hotel room.
Day 6. Spend the day watching the movers pack your household goods and be vigilant! (they may just pack your garbage.)
Day 7. Spend the day watching the movers load everything you own onto a truck which may or may not be seen again. Be sure to tip the packers & movers as this may be the only thing that will insure that you new DVR and Gramma’s silver arrives at its destination.
Day 8. Hire a cleaner to clean your base house (not hiring a cleaner and trying to do it yourself means that the Housing Office will consider your inspection a failure and won’t let you leave this base for your next base. (I’m convinced that housing inspectors get a cut of whatever the cleaners make to insure a passing grade.)
Day 9. Fill out the stacks of paperwork necessary to check out your military records from the base you are leaving.
Day 10. Check out of billeting and submit to another quarters inspection before you can leave.
Day 11. Drive or fly to your next base.
Day 12. See if billeting has room for you. If not, find a local hotel you can afford (preferably one that serves a complimentary breakfast).
Day 13. Fill out the stacks of paperwork necessary to check in to the base you are relocating to.
Day 14. Apply for base housing. If your new base doesn’t have it, find a house to rent (this could take many days).
Day 15. Call the movers to see if your household goods have arrived. If so, arrange a drop-off date. If not, save your money for the thrift stores.
Day 16. Arrange for water, electricity, trash pickup, newspaper delivery, cable and internet services at your new house.
Day 17. Check out of your hotel. Move in to your new house. Set up the beds first as the rest of the unpacking may take a while.
Day 18. Get your family & pets settled in to the new house.
Day 19. Get to know your new neighborhood (and find a grocery store – your family MUST eat!)
Day 20. Spend the next two years unpacking.
Lisa Pietsch is a military wife currently in day #16 of her most recent move.