Monday, May 6, 2013

staying organized during a PCS (part 1)

When you're in the military, moving is just a way of life.  I grew up moving, so I learned a lot of tricks from my parents and I've passed some of those along to my husband (like how to pack a box of dishes so none of them break!).  We moved to our current base about a year ago and this became my eleventh home!  And I'm only 25!

Organization is vital during a PCS (permanent change of station)!  If you're like me, you like to be organized all the time.  But when half your home is packed away in boxes and the other half is in random piles that are supposed to make sense to you, it's kinda nice to have a system to stay organized.

Here's our secret: a three ring binder


We love our's so much that we even named it:  Big Blue (any guesses as to it's color??;)

Moving (especially in the military) means lots of paperwork.  Instead of trying to keep track of all the separate papers, we stick them all in Big Blue and then we just have to remember it!  If you've ever heard of the FLYLady, Big Blue is loosely based on her control journal.

Big Blue has page protectors and it has a couple binder pouches too.  The page protectors hold all the paperwork.  Here are some examples: copies of my husband's orders, copies of our marriage certificate, copies of birth certificate, printout of hotel reservations, maps to our location, copies of driver's licenses, reservation of moving truck, leasing agreement, **birthday/anniversary cards, map of the new base, etc.
**about a month before our move, we buy cards and get them stamped and addressed.  then i put a sticky note on the front with the date it needs to be mailed so we have one less thing to think about during those crazy weeks.

One of the binder pouches hold little things like our passports, stamps, random keys, etc.  The other is where we put all receipts pertaining to our move.  When my husband is in-processing to a new base, he needs those receipts so we make sure that every single one goes directly in Big Blue!  So far, we've never lost one!

Big Blue rides with us in the truck/car which means it's easily accessible at all times and,  at nights, it goes into the hotel with us.  It might seem like overkill to have printouts of everything (maps, hotel reservations, etc) because most of those things can be accessed online these days.  But let's be honest.  Murphy's Law seems especially true during a move.  One time we got to our hotel and their whole computer system was down, but since we had a printout with our confirmation we were able to still get into our room.  The LAST thing you want at the end of a long day of traveling is to have a technology fail.  The maps have come in handy at times when the 3G on our phones wasn't working well (i.e. driving through rural Arkansas).

Anyone else have moving tips to share?? :)


  1. Love FlyLady! Her system keeps our home sane, even though we're not planning a move!

  2. Nikki, I don't know all her ideas, but the ones I DO know sure help! Sometime I need to learn more of her "tricks" because it's such a great way to stay organized!

  3. Good ideas! We do this with a fireproof safe that has file organizers inside. It's good to always keep important papers with you!

  4. Ashley, that's so good! I especially like the idea of putting file organizers inside - can't stand having things unorganized in our house! Caleb's been wanting to get one for a long time to keep all of our "originals" in and we just haven't gotten around to it yet! :/


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