Now that you know that you’re Moving to El Paso, it’s time to get ready for the move! This isn’t a precise list of “exactly how to move” but after 10 PCS moves of my own here’s some PCS wisdom that I’ve picked up along the way. Some of it’s my own, some of it was passed down & shared with me by my Army sisters & mentors. I hope you find it useful in getting ready for you own move.
Ask for personal information on the area so you can decide whether you are going to Buy, Rent or Live on Post. Back in the day, that meant asking every person that you met if they have ever been stationed there. Today, there are social media groups for just about every installation around the world. & asking for different opinions can be overwhelming because there will be a lot of people who love it & a lot of people who hate it. But ask anyway - ask about the things that are important to YOU - Schools, Gyms, Veterinary Services, Parks, Amenities. & take it all with a grain of salt. Statements like “It’s the Best You Will Love It!” Or “It was awful you will hate it.” aren’t really useful if they have no context. I don’t have children in school but I have 3 dogs. If I don’t like a place because it’s not pet friendly and I have bad pet owner experiences that doesn’t mean that it won’t be great for YOU.
Find an Area Expert and ask them for their perspective. This can be your REALTOR®, a friend/mentor who has lived there, anyone who will give you their unbiased opinion on the things that are important to you.
Check your current lease & figure out what the process is to move out. How much notice do you need to give? What repairs do you need to make, do you have to have the carpets professionally cleaned? How far in advance do you need to cancel utilities?
Call your Auto insurance agent & get a quote for the new state or area that you are moving to. Find out about transferring any renters insurance policies.
Talk to the kids schools & let them know that you are moving & find out what you need to transfer the kids school records. Get their contact information.
Medical Records & Dental Records - Talk to any of your health care providers and let them know you are moving. Get copies of any records that you might need and get their contact information for your new providers. If anyone has Orthodontics/Braces - Ask about the process of transferring and see if they have any recommendations for a provider in the new area. You might also want to start calling providers in the new area to see if they are accepting transfer patients, I understand that it is sometimes difficult to find a provider who will accept patients with orthodontia.
Get your Vet records for your 4 legged family members. Check and see if there are different Vaccination requirements for your area.
Moving Time -
The Packers are scheduled - let the Great Pack Out Begin!
Label or Number the Rooms: We use numbers & colored masking tape for each room. Each Bedroom gets a Number - because boxes marked “Bedroom” don’t tell me WHICH bedroom it belongs in. Each of the kids knew what # their room was & we taped a piece of paper to the door on pack out day. For other rooms like the living, dining, kitchen, garage, basement, etc. we use colored masking tape… just a small piece. This is helpful for Open Concept rooms that blend together - if the items are more “dining” then den - they get a different color of tape. While the packers are packing the boxes - we go through and put a piece of tape on all of the closed up boxes. Our packers generally leave the boxes in the room that they were packed in, so at the end of the packing day - I check the rooms and make sure I didn’t miss any boxes. I’ve also found that if you tell the lead packer about your system - they are generally helpful… they don’t always understand my system - but they don’t mind it either. The numbers and Tape colors make it easier on the other end when the packers are carrying the boxes into the new house asking you where the box goes & shouting numbers.
Put your items with “Special Instructions” in a prominent place in the room with instructions, on a sticky note or piece of paper. I do this with my Kitchen Aide EVERY SINGLE MOVE. During the initial walk through with the lead packer - I point it out to them. I tell them it must be packed upright, do not lay it on it’s side (Redundant, I know) I put all of the attachments with it that I want packed with it. I’m not talking about just your “High Value Items”, I’m talking about your “Special Items”, things that you might want them to pay extra attention to.
Walkthrough with the Lead Packer - Before they get started, walk through with the lead packer. Point out all of the things that you did, explain your system to them, & ask them questions - how many packers will there be? What time will they take a lunch break, (if you are providing lunch, WHICH YOU DO NOT HAVE TO DO - this is helpful) I bought water bottles so I showed them where they were in the fridge. What time will they be leaving? I have found that they are really willing to work with me and even take the time to point out things that I may not have noticed or to show me where/how they were packing something.
Your “Moving Box” - We carry a “Moving Box” with us & it has the things that we need to tide us over until the movers come with all of our stuff. & by “Box” I mean the trunk of my car, the bed of his truck, the under storage wheel well thingy where I think a spare tire goes….and every nook and cranny that I can find. Sometimes it included the space under my kids feet & they had explicit instructions of how to exit the vehicle without crushing things.
Here’s what I hand/car carry:
a. A Complete Bathroom - Shower Curtain, Rod, Rings, floor mats, towels, plunger, scrubber & toilet Paper.
b. Kitchen Must Haves - Plates, bowls, Forks, Spoons, knives, Spatula/cooking utensils, Chefs knife. a Large Frying Pan, A Large Saucepan, Oven Mitts, Paper towels
c. Kitchen Appliances - These are the small appliances that I hand carry… I like food, I like to cook, & fast food gets old REAL fast when you are in-between homes… Air Fryer, Pressure Cooker ( my pressure cooker subs for a crock pot & rice cooker) Coffee Maker.
d. Regional Food Items that you can’t get once you leave - I get Big Red Soda every time I leave Texas. If you are moving to El Paso from an area that has a Trader Joes & you have favorite products - be warned - WE DO NOT HAVE TRADER JOES… or an IKEA.
e. Small hand tools - the size wrench you will need to put the legs on your dining table, a screw driver & a hammer. We also carry small nails, Hercules hooks, and extra batteries.
f. An Apple TV box & remote - these are small enough to fit in a glove box. My husband also likes to hand carry the remotes to the TV’s & gaming systems.
5. Now Take all of the things that you put in your Moving Box and put them in your car and move your car(s) out of the driveway.
And the last thing that we always carry with us - a family picture. The thing that makes where ever we are, feel like home. If we are in lodging for an extended period - the picture sits on the dresser. & it’s the first thing that we carry into our new home.
Good Luck with your Pack out - if you have any questions about moving to El Paso - please don’t hesitate to call me. 915-408-5612