“Hurry up and wait’’ is a common theme in the military, but this moving season, it's so very real.
You may have been sitting on orders for months when finally given the green light to go, or you may have received them just last week. Either way, it's time to bring in some help.
Here are seven military companies whose products and services are guaranteed to make this permanent change of station (PCS) season easier.
1. Temporary Lodging Options
When at least one-third of the military force is moving at once, there is a strain on resources, especially temporary lodging. While hotels on base are helpful and often convenient, they are also not enough. Those with larger families, pets or last-minute orders often need to look elsewhere.
Fortunately, there are great options. One of those is At Ease Rentals, a sort of "Airbnb for military families." CEO and founder Anthony Gantt said that, since military families can't use Airbnb and HomeAway due to federal regulations, they are often stuck. But At Ease provides a service that "connects hosts with homes that meet federal lodging criteria to federal and military travelers during business travel."
The site helps by "aggregating all crash pads, TDY listings, vacation rentals and apartment hotel listings from around the country to make it easier to find all current options that are available to service members and their families," Gantt said. At Ease helps military families stay in a home instead of a cramped hotel room while waiting to close on a house or for on-base housing to become available.
2. Millie Scout
There's little fun to be found moving, especially when you're doing it last minute or on your own, but did you know you can hire someone to help you out with various tasks? Millie Scouts are military spouses who have handled these tasks before, and they are available to help with jobs that range from touring prospective houses for you to checking out the commute from your neighborhood to base. They also can show up on delivery day and help you check boxes off the inventory sheet.
3. Stressless PCS Kit
If you're looking to get a handle on your pre-move organization, start with the Stressless PCS Kit. Created by a military spouse trying to control more of the chaos surrounding her moves, this kit gives you door hangers, color-coded stickers and a central chart -- everything you need to make the move easier -- for you and your movers.
4. Permanent Change of Storing
Navy spouse Christa Curtis, the force behind Permanent Change of Storing, is ready to help your family tackle your organizational and storing needs. She firmly believes "that a permanent change to the way you store your treasured items brings relief before and after your move, as well as any point in time while living in yet another temporary home."
And she's good at it.
Her services include PCS Prep -- where she helps you organize your stuff in a way that makes unpacking easy, assists you in settling into your new home and offers special help for those seasons of life, like when you have a new baby or renovate the kitchen.
Curtis offers a free consultation, and while she is living overseas at the moment, she is launching online services very soon, including virtual organizing, productivity tips and resources.
5. List & File
If you love pretty planners and organizing all the things, you'll love what Army spouse Liz Cook has put together. These beautiful files will take your PCS binder and make it into a work of art. Something you'll be eager to show off to your military spouse friends when they start talking about their PCS to-do lists.
List & File offers eight designs -- all named after military bases -- that give you everything you need to track up to 10 moves. They're preprinted with 40 documents and 12 tabbed dividers. There are also options to customize your files for what you need, whether it's PCS related or day-to-day life.
6. Manifesto Home + Office
Army wife Lauren Weldon May has loved organizing for as long as she can remember. After starting her organizing business in Texas, she's moved it a few times over the last five years, and recently rebranded as Manifesto Home + Office. She's a certified professional organizer and focuses on making the whole home organized and welcoming.
What May really brings to the table, however, is her specialty in organizing paperwork. Yes, all those duplicates and triplicates of orders, leave forms, inventories from PCSes and more. There is hope for them. May is available to help virtually or in the Charlottesville, Virginia, area and has packages that can help you prepare for and recover from a move.
7. PCS Like a Pro Binder Kit
When it comes to PCSing, military spouses know and trust Megan Harless of PCS Like a Pro and Military Spouse Chronicles, and she has put together resources to share her knowledge of the system. Her Binder Kit brings together all of her resources in one package.
Just grab a three-ring binder (Harless uses a 1.5-inch one) and you'll be able to set up your PCS binder in no time. This kit includes her PCS Guide, notebook, binder tabs, a list of the materials you'll need to set up the binder and more than 12 curated pages of checklists, packing lists, contact information and more.
Take advantage of the services and products designed to make your PCS easier. And, if you find something is missing, maybe that's your cue to start your own PCS-related business.
8. Need storage for PCS? MakeSpace handles it all—saving you time and money.
MakeSpace is storage without the struggle. They’ll pick up your stuff, store it, and bring it back when you need it—all for less than the cost of traditional storage.
Open the MakeSpace app to see photos of everything you have stored, and schedule deliveries of some—or all of your stuff with a tap. The first pickup is free for small to medium-sized homes, and active service members get a $100 discount.
Keep Up-to-Date for Your Next PCS
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--Rebecca Alwine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @rebecca_alwine.