6980104624_c92ded5200_bDuring our recent move to Washington, my youngest, Graham, kept asking why they were taking his toys and his bicycle. He was beside himself and couldn’t understand why strangers were in his house packing all of his things. When we waved at our goods departing, he sunk his shoulders, cried out and ran inside the house. He laid on the empty floor with his face in his hands. So sad.

How does the military move families from base to base every couple years? If you’re like me, I had no clue. But after joining the Army I quickly learned, and oh boy, how fun it is! Ha! Here is a quick look into what military families go through every time they move bases.

I receive orders of a base transfer and then have to schedule my move. The moving office sends someone to my house to assess how many days it will take to pack everything up and send me on the road. A few days, or weeks go by depending on when the orders were received and then the movers show up. We are told they will arrive between 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM to start the moving, so we are home all day. Still, I wonder how the movers are able to pack 15,000 pounds of house hold goods if by chance they show up at 3:00 PM.

Well, the movers arrive and start packing. I have had one mover show up and it took her several days. Another time four men moved my whole house in a few hours. When they are done, we have literally nothing in our house. So prior to the movers coming, we have to pack a few bags to live out of until our belongings arrive at our new house. I can’t forget to keep them separate from everything else, otherwise there’s nothing to live on for the next few weeks.

The house hold goods are all packed onto a truck, each box and separate house hold item literally numbered and checked off. Every article of clothing to every dish is accounted for. And bada bang, bada boom, our house is empty. We wave to the truck as our lives go down the road, hoping that we see it all safe and sound on the other side. A good cleaning of our house, we sign out of our unit and we say goodbye.

Arriving at our new unit, I sign in. We are assigned a house on post, if available. Otherwise, we have to find a suitable home off post. Once we find a house, we call the movers and ask for our items to be delivered. Sometimes, depending on the busyness of the unit, we may have to wait several days or weeks before we get our goods. Yes, this means living out of our suitcases in an empty house. You’re forced to be easy going. Once we have a delivery scheduled, we get the same 8 hour timeline to expect our things. We then check the sheet, making sure all of our items are present, checking for any damage. If any are, we note the discrepancies and attempt to get refunded. Trust me, this can take months.

After a day of unpacking, we are moved into our new home.

And that is military moving.

Fifth move in six years. Not bad.

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