Being a military spouse is hard, but so rewarding. I knew when I started dating my husband that we would be moving wherever the Army told us to move and whenever the Army told us to move. Starting fresh in an unfamiliar area that’s hundreds of miles away from your current home is scary. A million questions pop in your head immediately after your significant other brings home their PCS (Permanent Change of Station) Orders. Where do you start? What neighborhoods are the safest? What real estate companies do I contact? Do we rent or buy? Will I make new friends easily? Will I be able to find a new job quickly?
BREATHE FIRST, PREP SECOND.
Don’t be like me and get stuck in the vicious twister of questions in your head. Take a deep breath and exhale slowly. After your nerves have calmed, you can start prepping yourself for the move. Determine what items need to make it to your next location and what items you can sell or donate. My family always donates several laundry baskets of clothing to Goodwill before a big move. The less we have to pack and haul to our new home, the better!
Once you have gone through clothing, furniture, kitchenware, toiletries, linens, knick knacks, and everything else in your home, you’ll need to start your packing. Hobby Lobby is always my go-to place for boxes. The staff has always been very willing to save boxes to donate to your move. While you are packing, make sure to have an emergency bag packed with a first aid kit, food, and basic tools in case of an issue during your travels. My least favorite part of moving is the next—playing Tetris with your boxes to make them fit in your car. If you’re like me and have a pet, it’s even more challenging. Luckily, our dog, Riley, was happy to be moving to Tennessee. Little did she know the drive would be much longer than the 10-minute commute to the dog park.
REMEMBER THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A PERFECT HOME.
It’s easier said than done to find a new home. List out features that are deal breakers and features that can be compromised. My family always looks for a three-bedroom home with a fenced in backyard. Of course, my husband will tell you that a deal breaker would be if the home doesn’t have a man-cave space, but I think that is something that can that can be compromised. We won’t even consider a home if it doesn’t offer these must-haves.
If you are unable to plan a trip to your new city to hunt for yourself, see if a friend or family member can check out homes in your place. Ask them to take pictures and videos to send to you. I’ve signed leases sight-unseen before and regretted it. Don’t put yourself in that situation because then you will be stuck in a legally-binding contract for at least a year.
Try your hardest not to get frustrated during your hunt. I’ve been there—so frustrated that you just want to scream. Nothing is in your budget. Nothing is big enough. Nothing is good enough. Just like before, take a deep breath and relax. You’ll find one that fits your family’s wants and needs. I promise. Don’t forget that there is no such thing as a perfect home.
ENJOY YOUR NEW ADVENTURE.
Moving to a new place doesn’t have to be difficult or depressing. You’ll make new friends. You’ll find the amazing, hole-in-the-wall restaurants that you’ll take all of your visitors to. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll continue to build your life with your family. Moving is all about what you make it. If you put your anxiety and worry aside, you’ll see that it is a fun adventure.