You might have noticed the annual signs. When moving trucks start appearing on military bases and neighborhoods around the world, those trucks signify one chapter closing and another about to begin: PCS season.
If your PCS is right around the corner (both literally and figuratively) or if you’re in an off season and taking a breather this round but looking for ways to actively help someone who is moving, this article is for you.
A Permanent Change of Station (PCS) is a right of passage the majority of military families will experience at least once in their career. While there are tons of posts out there on how to actually have a smooth move, this post is slightly different.
I’m sure we’ve all heard the phrase, “Let me know if I can help you,” more times than we can count. And while people often say it with the best intentions in mind, we also know they hardly ever follow through with their kind offer.
How You Can Help Someone Who is Moving
Here are five practical ways people can actually help someone who is moving. (And if someone forwarded this post to you—thank you for taking the extra step to actually help; it means more than you’ll ever know):
Bring Them Food
Let’s kick things off with one of the easiest ways you can help someone PCSing: food. While everyone loves a home-cooked meal, especially if you’ve been without your kitchen for a hot minute, something as simple as a gift card to a restaurant is super helpful.
Moving can get expensive, and one of those expenses that is having to feed your family while not actually having a kitchen. Eating out and take-away meals add up, so if you have the means to create a meal for someone PCSing, that’s always my number one suggestion.
Other ideas to help feed your friends during a PCS:
- Create a meal train during move-out week and beyond, so the military family moving can rest easy knowing a hot meal is coming their way
- Bring them coffee, especially once their coffee maker is packed away in a box.
- Making dinner for your family? Double it and bring those extras over to them. You’re already making a meal already, so it’s just about doubling those ingredients.
- Put together some freezer meals (if they still have access to a freezer) and loan them a crockpot.
Do Their Laundry
Seriously. Having friends offer to let us use their washers and dryers over the years is something I will never forget. This is extra helpful if the military family moving is headed overseas and had to sell their washer and dryer.
Having to haul clothes to a laundromat or use a hotel’s machines is straight up annoying.
You don’t have to even touch their dirty clothes. My friends would let me into their house. I’d toss our stuff in the washer, turn it on, and was in and out in less than five minutes.
Other times, it was a great excuse to take a break and sit and chat with a friend while the laundry did its thing.
Watch Their Kids
Take Their Stuff
- electronics that they can’t/don’t want to take overseas with them
- perishable stuff in the fridge (in the days just before they move)
- liquids (paint, aerosol, gasoline)
- weather gear or apparel they will not need in their new home
- other things that are restricted from moving or that they simply don’t want anymore
Help with a DITY Move
How do you help someone who is moving?
I’d love to hear your ideas on how you can help a family during a military PCS. Leave your ideas in the comments, and let us know if any of these resonated with you.