Summer Survival and PCS Tips Jun. 2014 - Page 24

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Sort It Out

As early as six months pre-move may

seem now, it's just about the right time

to take stock of your household goods. Baby clothes that you know you won't need to hang on to? Bikes that have been too small for foo long? Clothes that you've been hanging on to "just in case" you might need them again - and it's been years? Get rid of them. Now's a good time to throw a massive yard sale. Cull your best vases, nicknacks, and coffee mugs, and let go of the rest.

Trust us. You don't want to go over your alloted weight. You will be grateful for fewer boxes to unpack and break down on the other side, too. When in doubt, toss it out!

Find It Online

There are so many resources online to

help you find moving and packing tips,

weight and box calculators, and more. Here are a few of our favorites:

USAA: https://www.usaa.com/inet/pages/advice_permanent_change_station_main

Military.com: http://www.military.com/money/pcs-dity-move/tips-for-pcs-move.html

AHRN: http://blog.ahrn.com/category/military-member/pcs-tips-and-tricks/

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Get the Kids Involved

In the months and weeks building up to

your family's move, set aside some time

to talk to your kiddos about the upcoming events - upheaval, really - that will soon occur. For children with developmental disabilities or delays, a PCS social story will help put this move into a format that will increase their understanding.

Other activities to help prepare your child include involving them in the trip planning process. Bring out the maps and travel guides. Work together to plan your route, ask your child's opinion on a couple of points of interest to visit, if possible. Give options in the form of forced choices: "Do you want your teddy bear to sit with you or do you want to hold your doll?" Or, "Should we visit the Grand Canyon or the Petrified Forest?" Whatever you can come up with to offer your child the chance to have control over some part of this very scary, challenging situation that they are now faced with.

Help your child box up special toys and stuffies.

Create a plan to help your child say good-bye to the area: go to favorite spots one more time, take a photo, and create a farewell photo album. Take photos of your child and his or her friends; include those in the farewell album. Likewise, pictures of their school, teachers, therapists, and any special person in your child's life.

Ask friends to be pen pals. Consider picking up small souvenirs or postcards along the journey to send back to those friends.

Remember, this is a life-changing transition for your child. It's going to take time, patience, and understanding to help them through the pre-move, physical move, and post-move periods.

It'll be tough at times, but you can do this. Your child will adapt and overcome. He or she will make new friends, and so will you!

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