When your household goods and you arrive at your new duty station on different schedules, these are the things you’re going to want to have on hand!
Ah, so you made it to your new destination, which signifies the end of a PCS, right? Wrong. Before you let out a sigh of relief, you still need all of your stuff — your household goods (HHG) — to meet you at your new place. We’ve moved a time or two, and for every new place we go, we always have to wait for our HHG to arrive. Instead of twiddling our thumbs and waiting, because who knows how long it may take, we’ve been proactive and bring a few things along with us to tide us over while we wait.
Here are a few essentials that you need while you wait for your HHG to arrive:
I’m not talking about bringing your entire kitchen with you when you move, but if you have room for a few things, bring them. If you’re moving during the fall/winter, a crock pot can save a lot of stress when it comes to meals while you wait for all of your things to arrive. Yes, it’s big and bulky, but you can store things inside (like a good knife, a spaghetti spoon, etc.). Even if you’re in a temporary living facility or an extended-stay hotel, a good saute pan, a great (sharpened) knife, a flexible cutting board/mat, or some of your favorite cooking gadgets/utensils will not go unused. I like bringing our little Ninja, manual food processor, or food chopper with us too.
A place to sleep
Hopefully you already made arrangements for a place to stay while you wait for your HHG to arrive. Whether you’re staying on base in a TLF, at an extended-stay hotel, an AirBnb, or even your new house/apartment, just don’t forget about having a roof over your head. And on that note, if you’re staying in a new place before your things arrive, make sure you have an actual place to sleep. Borrow an air mattress, ask friends for a pack ‘n play, or get in touch with your new base, and see if they have anything like a loan closet to borrow some things while you wait.
Hit the Dollar Store
Once you get settled at your new place, you’ll quickly realize what you’re missing until your stuff gets there. Make a list of things you need, and see how many of them you can get at the dollar store. Why spend the big bucks when you have your stuff coming? Stock up on paper plates and disposable cups, baking sheets and food containers; pick up some toys for the kids, and if you’re really itching to make your new place look like home, they even have (fake) flowers available (hey, they’re only a dollar).
Depending on when you PCS and where you’re going, keep the weather in mind. If you’re traveling during a season change, or moving OCONUS, you may need to bring some extra clothes with you. Nervous that they’ll take up way too much space? Grab yourself some space-saver bags, stuff them full, and don’t open them until you need them.
Bedding, Towels, Etc.
Now that you have some space-saver bags, pack a set of bedding and some towels in there (and possibly a shower curtain if you’re not going to be staying at a hotel). You don’t want to end up without those things for your first night in a new place. And even if your HHG magically arrives right when you need it to, at least now you’ll know exactly where your essential things are packed.
Things for the Kids
If you’re PCSing with kids, keep in mind that an empty room and pulling things in and out of the suitcase will only entertain them for so long. If you can be sneaky about it, set some of their toys aside a few weeks before you move out, and then bring them out while you wait for your HHG – they’ll be like brand new toys for them. On the flip side, pick up a few new surprises for the new place. Don’t forget a place for them to sleep and any comfort items they love.
Sense of Humor, Wine, and a Movie
Things will go wrong. Living in close quarters, without your belongings and with people you really truly cared about before you moved, can definitely get the better of you. Don’t let it. Make sure you pack your sense of humor. And while you’re out and about, pick up a bottle of wine and a Redbox movie. Enjoy the downtime you have before your HHG gets there, because that’s when the real fun begins!
Jessica is the voice behind Jessica Lynn Writes, a lifestyle blog, and a recent transplant to San Diego by way of New Mexico, Georgia, and Italy (and back again). She’s a work-at-home mom who chases around her two little girls (3 and 1 years old) by day, she’s a blogger at naptime (or any other free time she can squeeze into her busy day), and she’s a Pampered Chef lady by night. Even with her hands full, this Air Force wife loves exploring her new surroundings every chance she can, tasting the delicious good eats that California has to offer, and spending time outside once the sun starts setting. You can follow her on Facebook, see what she’s up to on Instagram, and keep up with her musings on her blog at Jessica Lynn Writes.