Part 1 in a 5 Part Moving Series by Laura Gee, Storage and Organization Contributor

I’m a proud military wife and being a military spouse requires you to be many things—one being a champion of moving. I’ve put together a 5 part series on how to help you and your family or business when going through a move. Even though moving is never easy or simple, there are things you can do along the process to make things a touch smoother.

To have a more pleasant move, start preparing the minute you find out you are moving!

When you first find out you are moving, it is okay to have that moment where you panic, scream out of joy, cry out of sadness, or just become completely overwhelmed. After you take those 60 seconds to yourself, it is time to get busy. There is far too much to do to let your emotions overcome you. Once of the best ways I’ve found to overcome many of my issues is to actually become busy and get organized.

On that very first day you should do 3 things: start gathering packing materials, start looking at places to move to, assess what items are going with you on the move and which are staying.

Packing Materials: I suggest you start gathering packing materials right away because you will need many boxes, stacks of packing paper, tape, hand trucks, and much more. You can ask local stores for boxes they are going to recycle. You can email friends and family or post of Facebook that you are gathering packing items. Getting items for free over time trumps purchasing a bunch of new boxes any day. You can start collecting newspapers as well to use as packing paper. You can never have too many boxes or things of paper. The sooner you start getting these items the sooner you can start packing!

Start Looking at New Places: There are many avenues to take when trying to find a new place. You can contact a realtor who can help you find a place if you have something specific in mind or are moving to an area that you are unfamiliar with. Good realtors know the areas that they work in very well and can be a great asset to you in your search. Also, you can go online. There are many great websites that are easy to navigate. You can search by location and add in specifications that you will require in a new home or office. If possible, never rent or purchase a place sight unseen. I’ve known far too many military families who have gotten into terrible places by doing this. Remember, the sooner you lock in on a new place, the sooner you can begin setting up your utilities and finalizing moving plans (but I’ll get into that more tomorrow).

Assess What’s Coming and What’s Staying: Depending on where you are moving and what your current situation is has a great impact on what items will be going to your new home or office with you. If you know that you aren’t going to be taking your living room set with you for whatever reason, try immediately to sell it or give it away (but inform the buyer on the item’s availability date). You don’t want to be stuck have a panic sale where you are selling items way below value because you just need to get rid of them. The sooner you start getting rid of furniture, yard items, and other unwanted items, the easier your packing will be, the more cash you’ll have in your pocket, and the more peace of mind you’ll have. A neighbor of mine found out her husband got orders to Japan and that very day she took pictures of many of her kids’ big toys and things that couldn’t go overseas and started selling them online. She informed people that the items wouldn’t be available for another 3 months, but she got everything sold all the way down to the last pool noodle and got great prices for them.

There are many other things to do, but I think tackling these three things within the first few days of finding out you will be moving will help to ease your stress and put you on the path to a successful move. Tomorrow, I’ll share more about how to plan, set up, and arrange all of the parts to your move. The theory of moving sounds so simple, but the process of it is grueling, complicated, and frustrating! But have no fear, you can concur the moving beast just fine.