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On average, military families move every two to three years.

In fact, they are two-and-a-half times more likely to move more frequently than civilian families. For service members, Permanent Change of Station (PCS) is a intricate art form that can take many years (and many mistakes) to perfect.

Whether you have yet to move, have moved before, or have many more moves to come – these tips might come in handy to make your PCS experiences a better one.

Before you move, do a family-wide purge. Sort out the clothes your kids have grown out of and find those items that have been collecting dust since your last installation. Sell, donate, leave on the curb for free – it doesn’t matter how you get rid of it but it will make your move easier.

Have a devoted PCS binder. Having all your paperwork in the same place will become a god-send during the actual move.

Establish goals. If you have moved before, you know that it can be hard transitioning to a new place. If possible, set a deadline for when you’d like to be completely unpacked after the move. That can mean 3 days after, 4 days after, or whatever is most realistic for your family. The deadline will motivate you and keep you from leaving boxes untouched.

Know exactly where you pack your picture frames and family decorations. Those personal touches can instantly transform this strange new place into your family’s home.

Be prepared. During the move, things might get damaged or might not fit the way you want them in your new house. Use companies like Overstock that offer military discounts to fill in those gaps and complete your home.

Use color coded tape or paper to mark boxes so that when you arrive at your new destination, you can place matching placemats in each of the rooms. This will make it easier and faster for the movers to place each box in the right spot.

Bonus tip: Check out what VA support might be available to you. Did you know the VA could help you get employment after you move?

For a listing of companies that sell high quality furniture with military discounts, click here. And here.

PCS can be a stressful and burdening transition, but it can also be a time for you and your family to explore and meet new friends.