Sunday, May 12, 2013

staying organized during a PCS (part 2)




Last week I wrote about one of our tricks to stay organized during a PCS (move for the military), which was a big three-ring binder to hold all our paperwork.  Today I'm sharing another one.  After all, organization is half the battle during a move!

In addition to "Big Blue" (the 3-ring binder) we also have a Steno Pad (our last one was blue so, of course, we named it "Little Blue".  Stupid names, but they worked for us!).  As soon as we find out we're moving, I go buy a new Steno Pad and it stays with me for the next two months.  Here's why:

We document everything.

Seriously.

We document everything.

From the very beginning of our move, we take notes, compile lists, save phone numbers/addresses and more in Little Blue.

This sounds silly, right?  I mean, after all, it's the age of technology!  Of iPhones and tablets and who needs paper anymore?  Well, people in the midst of a move do!  :)

Like with Big Blue, it's about having the information you need all in the same place.  Instead of keeping track of packing lists, calendars, shopping lists, phone numbers and more, I just have to keep track of the Steno Pad.  If you carry a purse regularly, make sure you get one that fits in your purse so you don't lose it!

I can't tell you how many times we've written something down that we are SURE we'll remember, but we faithfully write it down anyway.  And it always ends up that we need it later.  The meme above is silly, but it's our exact philosophy when it comes to the Steno Pad!

Yes, this is a simple piece of advice, but it is so helpful!

Here's an idea of the things we wrote down with our last move:

  • contact information (name, phone number/address) for anyone connected with our move.  This also included any estimates we got from companies so that we could easily compare later on.
    • moving companies
    • truck rental
    • TMO office (the people who handle moves in the military)
    • housing office at new base
    • hotels along the road (including confirmation numbers)
    • Caleb's sponsor at new base
  • packing lists
    • last items to pack at old house (e.g. bath towels, shower curtain, etc)
    • items that travel with us in the car (e.g. cleaning supplies and plants)
    • first items to unpack at new house (e.g. toilet paper, hand towels, soap, paper plates, etc)
  • grocery lists/shopping lists
    • a list of basic necessities to buy at new house (e.g. milk and eggs)
  • meal lists
    • plan basic easy meals like boxed mac and cheese that use basic ingredients so you start emptying your kitchen (especially refrigerated foods)
  • to-do list (multiple copies updated frequently and perhaps organized in the following categories)
    • by date (i.e. a mini calendar to take with you)
    • by necessity (i.e. must be done TODAY)
    • by person responsible
    • by location (e.g. on base errands, new town errands, etc)
  • cleaning lists (trust me, if you live in base housing you'll definitely need a list for this!)
That's just a sampling of the things that we wrote down while we were moving.  Trust me, spending $2 on a Steno Pad will be well worth it!  By the time your move is over, you'll be use to carrying around this notebook and a pen at all times and will be swearing by this method too!  ;)

Staying Organized During a PCS - Part One
Staying Organized During a PCS - Part Three

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