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Moving & Packing Tips For Military Families

Military Uniform with Canadian Flag

Moving can be an overwhelming process for anyone. For military families in particular, there are even more things that need to be handled while moving to your new home. Planning your move as soon as possible will keep you ahead of the game and relieve a lot of stress on the actual day of the move.

If you are being deployed half way around the world, consider renting a self storage unit to generate income, save money and take comfort knowing your belongings are safe and secure.


One of the best moving tips is to declutter first. As part of a military family, it is a good idea to regularly purge items as you will most likely be moving fairly regularly. Try to make a point of gathering up unused items every few months to sell or donate.

If you come across any boxes that have not been unpacked since your last move, seriously consider getting rid of them. Anything that is packed up and hasn’t been used in the last 2-3 years can most likely be thrown away. You don’t want to waste your time moving boxes from one home to the next that never get unpacked.


Once you receive new orders and need to move, don’t put things off and wait until the last minute. Start shopping around for movers immediately. The sooner you book your move, the more likely you will get a better rate and get your preferred moving date. If there is going to be a gap from when you’re moving out until you are moving into your new place, you should also consider booking a hotel near your new base as soon as possible.


There are countless resources for military families during a move. There are moving allowances, resources to help you settle into your new city and even child care resources. Make sure to talk to your base about these resources.


During the move, you’ll want to keep important documents safe and on hand. Create a moving (PCS – Permanent Change of Station) binder. Fill the binder with all of your important documents. Some of the things that you should include are your new orders, medical records, important licenses and certificates, ID’s and travel documents.


In any move, you want to take an inventory of all of your things. The easiest and quickest way to do this is by taking photos or videos of everything. In the unfortunate event that something gets lost or damaged along the way, this will make filing a claim much easier.

Your camera can also come in handy when it comes to your electronics. Take a picture of things such as the back of your TV before you unhook everything. This way, you won’t have to remember how everything goes together and which cord goes with which device.


Once you have your move planned and everything scheduled, you can focus on packing up your home. If you are taking on the job yourself, make sure to pack up properly.

Use small boxes for your heavier items and put your lighter items in larger boxes.

One of the best things to utilize while packing up your home is plastic zipper bags. Instead of throwing the contents of your junk drawer into empty spaces in your boxes, save yourself some time by dumping these items into giant zipper bags. When you get to your new place, unpacking will be much smoother than trying to find all of these little things.

Zipper bags are also great for the hardware from furniture that will be taken apart. These can be taped to the piece of furniture they belong to or you can also label all of them and put all of them in a separate box.

Label all boxes with the room they will be going too and a brief list of the contents inside. Colourful tape or markers can help identify where the boxes go at a quick glance.


There are some items that you are going to need to access during the move so pack a box or bag to keep in your car so you can access them when needed. Some of the items you should consider keeping with you are valuable or sentimental items, your moving binder, medication, phone chargers and snacks.


Even if you plan your move perfectly, there will likely be some unexpected costs that will arise. You may end up spending more on gas, packing supplies or household items that are needed immediately. Eliminate some of the stress by saving early and be prepared for extra costs that may come up.


One of the nice things about moving is that you get a fresh start. It is much nicer to move into your new home with everything clean. A few weeks before you move, start washing curtains, sheets, blankets, etc. Designate an area of your home to put all of these newly cleaned items until it’s time to pack them up.


When the move is finally over and you have arrived at your new home, try to only unpack one box at a time. If you start opening multiple boxes and only unpack a few things from each box, your home will end up being filled with half-unpacked boxes everywhere. Unpacking one box at a time then breaking it down will result in a less cluttered home and prevent added stress of having no room to walk around.


As you are completing your unpacking, you may discover that you don’t have enough room for everything. Self Storage is a great option for all of your less frequently used items. Such as seasonal items, family heirlooms, or anything that you are simply undecided about whether or not you want to keep yet.

Riel Park RV & Self Storage offers a 10% discount to all military members. We offer short-term or long-term rentals, unheated drive-up access and climate-controlled indoor units.  Our fully paved, fenced facility with cameras, and regular security patrols will make you feel safe and secure while storing with us.

Riel Park RV & Self Storage is minutes from downtown St. Albert servicing Edmonton Garrison and surrounding communities.  Give one of our storage rental experts a call or reserve a unit online.

Affordable St Albert Storage You Can Trust

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