How to move with the military in 54 easy steps

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For those of you with a military move on the horizon, here’s 54 quick and easy steps to get you on your way.

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  1. Listen to spouse spend 1-11 months talking with certainty about things the Chain of Command or Career Manager have told him regarding his posting.
  2. Resign yourself that a move this year is likely. Start half-ass ‘decluttering’. Plan for a garage sale you won’t have time to ever put on.
  3. Come up with smart ass response to the questions “where are you moving?” and “when are you moving?” before they drive you insane.
  4. Realize you never did put back the baseboards you took when you put in the floors. Hastily put them on. Realize your walls need painting first. Paint all the walls. Realize you probably only need 6 hours sleep a night.
  5. Start to panic early March – Mid April when no Posting Message has been received.
  6. Listen to spouse spend 1-6 weeks talking with certainty about things the Chain of Command or Career Manager have told him regarding the ‘for sure coming any day now’ message.
  7. Say goodbye to spouse for deployment/course/exercise.
  8. Receive posting message next day. For entirely different location than discussed.
  9. Register with Brookfield. Get lulled into a false sense of hope that it was not that hard to log in online.
  10. Contact Realtor. Find Power of Attorney at the bottom of a drawer. Find a price point somewhere between “I need this to sell quickly” and “I need to afford to buy a house when I sell this“.
  11. List the house.
  12. Meet with Brookfield. Check off everything you want them to tell you about like you know how this is going to play out somehow. Spend the next week tracking down income letters, vehicle registration and your first born child’s first lock of hair.
  13. Teach children to hover over the floors and eat over the sink. Keep house immaculate all the time in case of showings. Realize you probably only need 5 hours sleep a night.
  14. Meet with Brookfield. Convince them you’ve already spoken to the agent and yes, in fact, they do have your spouse’s signed permission to speak with you. Argue that the entire meeting and forget why you went in the first place.
  15. Start wiping the dust with your hand before you leave the house for a showing. Care slightly less about the floors.
  16. Send message to spouse via email/text message/courier pigeon wherein you list how many days at the spa you will be taking on his arrival home.
  17. Ask for transfer papers from your kid’s school. Let them know you have no idea what school they will be attending, or even for sure if you’ll be gone by September. Laugh like you don’t want to claw out your ears every time someone asks.
  18. Meet with Realtor again. Weigh options of how long you can keep up the listing vs how much you’re willing to drop the price. Buy wine on the way home.
  19. Start to wonder if you’re ever moving. Throw comforter over clothes on the bed for the next showing. Decide who cares? They’re not buying the f’n bed.
  20. Receive an offer on the house! It sucks. Send message to spouse.
  21. Get no response from spouse. Counter offer. Go back and forth 3 times and decide you’d rather live in your minivan than do this again. Accept final offer.
  22. Realize this offer means you have to move out in 4 weeks.
  23. Call Brookfield. Ask for HHT flight for the exact time spouse has available to attend with you. If, in fact, he can at all. Have them decide to book it in 24hours.
  24. Arrange childcare, pet care, pack AND contact Realtor at the new location in the next 12 hours. Realize you probably only need 4 hours sleep a night.
  25. Arrive house hunting. See 12 houses a day for 2 days. Try desperately to remember each house based on descriptions like ‘smelly’ and ‘weird flowerpot’.
  26. Put in offer on house. Book inspection. Register the kids for school. Call insurance, utilities, credit cards, maybe even your mother in law and give them change of address. Lay on top of the sheets at the hotel and dream of magical moving fairies that do all the work for you. Realize your spouse has one. It’s you. 
  27. Travel back on the redeye and come to terms with the fact that you have 3 weeks to move. Realize you probably don’t need sleep at all.
  28. Book flight for dog. Make yourself crazy by letting the internet guilt you into thinking your dog should get to travel by luxury coach. Drop him off at airport anyways but feel bad about it.
  29. Have last day at work. Conveniently realize that night that you have to finish all the wine in the house.
  30. Clean appliances for the move. Remember you bought half a cow last fall. What were you thinking? Hold a BBQ. Consider you *could* have served your wine there, too. Decide to hang onto what’s left of it, just in case.
  31. Plot your drive across the country. Remember that Ontario is literally the black hole of road trips. Find passports before they are packed. Plan trip through the US.
  32. Sit at the pack day and watch 20 year olds throw your things into boxes like they are paid for speed.
  33. Realize you forgot to prepack those items in your bedside drawer and that’s where the packers are now. Remind yourself where you kept the last of the wine and figure there won’t be a better time than now while you convince yourself you’ll never see the packers again anyways.
  34. Laugh at movers when they look at the piano and say “really?” as though your answer might be “you know what, no, it’s okay, just leave it here.”
  35. Paste smile on face  because it can only be a good sign when they’ve already broken things getting it ON the truck, right?
  36. Watch your husband *not* dismember the movers as they clumsily load his motorcycle on the truck. Say silent prayer it comes off the truck one piece so you are not visiting him in jail when you arrive on location.
  37. Arrive at hotel for your last night in this city. Eat at the restaurant down the road and lament never trying it before now.
  38. Commence driving to location. Approximately 1.5 hours into 7 day drive, yell “I SWEAR IF YOU GUYS CAN’T GET ALONG I WILL LEAVE YOU HERE AND START OVER!”
  39. When you get to the border, have fun explaining to the Border Guard who has questions since when asked where you are from your kids answered “we have no home right now.”
  40. Embrace the journey. This is the best part. Swim in your bikini at hotel pools among people you will never see again. Drink at hotel bars. Stop at everything on the side of the highway that looks interesting. Decide there are no calories in food consumed while moving.
  41. Arrive at your new location. Realize you accidentally let the movers pack half the paperwork you need.
  42. Sit on front step with Bingo sheet of your worldly possessions. Just smile when the movers ask “you sure you want that down/up stairs?”
    Yes. Yes I do.
  43. Stare at those last dozen unchecked boxes and try to remember what you could possibly be missing like there’s a chance have a running tally of everything you own in your head crammed in with useless information like every postal code you’ve ever had.
  44. Watch people unpack your things to ‘any flat surface’ and pretend they are being helpful. Assure them you’ll do the bedroom drawer yourself.
  45. Spend first night in new house. Wake up in the morning and realize you’re actually expected to feed yourself now instead of eat out. Pick up Starbuck.
  46. At least on time scream “WHY DO WE HAVE SO MUCH CRAP?!?!”
  47. Make 37 trips to Home Depot for paint/glue/lightbulbs/curtains/anchors/why don’t they sell wine?
  48. Stare at the last pile of stuff that needs to be put away. Throw it into a box and hide it in the garage. Find it on the next move.
  49. Open claim window for SIRVA. Take photos of broken things and spend 17 hours uploading it so they can give you a numerical value on your daughter’s first Christmas ornament as though you can replace it with the vacuum on Amazon.
  50. Make 1st of 67 trips you’ll make into THIS Brookfield office. Hand over receipts, mileage, signed claim forms and the blood of a virgin goat. Wait 17 weeks for reimbursement as if your Visa has some kind of ‘oh, don’t worry, we’re getting to it‘ clause.
  51. Listen to kids complain of boredom until school starts because they don’t know anyone yet. Child with summer birthday who has no friends to invite somehow ends up with a new PlayStation because guilt.
  52. Wait for first time spouse comes home complaining about new position to give long practiced speech about how it wasn’t YOUR idea in the first place so YOU BETTER SUCK IT THE EFF UP.
  53. Let it grow on you. Make new friends. See new places. Try new things. Let life happen. 
  54. Give it 2 weeks after the SIRVA claim is reconciled. Realize the missing bingo sheet number was your mop. 

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1 Comment


  1. This was incredibly accurate! Bypassed 20 but hope we can check it off soon! Love it!

    Reply

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