By Julie Provost, National Guard Spouse

The day has come. The movers will be heading to your house or apartment. Military moving means everything you own will be packed up and sent on its way to your new duty station. This is one big step in the PCS process, but one that can cause a lot of anxiety and stress. You don’t know these movers or if they will treat your stuff correctly. You don’t even know how long everything will take.

Avoid Pack Out Stress during military moving

Here are some ways to avoid pack out stress and have a better experience.

Find a place for your kids

If you have children, try to find a place for them to go when the packers and movers come. This isn’t something you have to do. Kids are allowed to be there, but it will be easier for you if they are not. Some children will have a very hard time seeing all of their belongings being packed up. They might not understand that they will see their favorite toys again. You also don’t want your kids to get in the mover’s way. If you do have to have your kids with you, find a room that the movers can pack out first and have the kids hang out in there. Bring some toys and snacks to keep them entertained.

Bring a book

If you don’t have to worry about watching your kids, you are going to want to bring a book or something else to keep you busy. While you want to be there to keep an eye on the movers and make sure they do not pack your trash, packing everything up can take a while. You can find a place to sit and watch while they get everything done. Just staring at them with nothing else to do will get old fast.

Take photos before the Pack Out

Before the movers come, take pictures of all of your belongings. Make sure you have proof that you not only own them but what condition they were in before the movers came. You want to be able to cover yourselves if anything goes missing or gets broken. It is always best to have a photo backup in case this happens to you.

Buy lunch

Buying your movers snacks and lunch would be a good idea. Plan to provide water and another type of drink. Also, bring cookies and crackers for them to munch on. Then around lunch time ask if they would like anything and if they say yes, run and get a few pizzas. Some movers want to do their own lunch, but others would love to have something provided for them. Treating your movers kindly is always a good idea.

Military Moving and Your Valuables

If there is something treasured by you and could not easily be replaced, plan to take it with you if you can. Don’t leave it for the movers to take. If you are driving to your next duty station, put it in your car before the movers come. That way they can’t accidentally pack the items with everything else. If you are going overseas, you will be a bit more limited to what you can take versus what they will have to pack. If this is the case and you don’t think you need the item while you are overseas, see if you can leave it with someone in the states while you are gone.

A little bit of planning will make your pack out experience easier, and you can make your way on to the next step of your PCS. And don’t forget to leave a moving company review on Each review helps other military families through the relocation process.

Julie Provost is a freelance blogger with over 20,000 page views a month on her blog Soldier’s Wife, Crazy Life. She enjoys life in Tennessee with her husband, a National Guard soldier and their three boys. Julie enjoys blogging, reading, photography and a good cup of coffee.