About a week ago we sent our first shipment of goods on their way across the globe to meet us in England. For those of you not versed in military PCS speak, these were our unaccompanied goods, 700 lbs of things (not furniture or anything large) that we could send ahead to meet us when we get there.
I did a fair amount of reading before we started packing our unaccompanied goods and there are several helpful blogs out there to help you figure out the things you should take, things you can’t take, etc. They all listed similar things, kitchen supplies, clothes, military items and uniforms for your spouse, toys for the kids, other things for children, etc. You’ll notice these lists all had a big emphasis on two major categories that in no way apply to us, active duty military assemblage and anything to do with small ones.
So a week before they came to pack and pick up our goods, I started setting aside items these lists in mind, packing only what applied to us. At the end of the first night… we had a whopping…150 of out 700 lbs set aside. At that point I decided to pack anything and everything I could think of that would be useful over there while we essentially “camp” in our new house waiting for the bulk of the household goods to arrive, anywhere between 6 and 12 weeks after we do. I wanted to use every bit of our allowance so we can be as comfortable as possible during these first few trying weeks. By the day the packers arrived to pack and take our things, our list of items looked pretty different from those I read about.
For any civilian couples without kids moving aboard with the government, here’s a sample of what we were able to fill out 700 lbs with.
- Kitchen supplies
- Plates, bowls, cups, coffee mugs, and (all of our) silverware
- A few pots and pans
- Accessories such as a cheese grater, cutting boards, pot holders, etc.
- Cooking knives
- Mason jars because we love making overnight oats
- A shower curtain
- Towels (bath, hand, and wash cloths)
- Blankets, a duvet cover and duvet, and sheets (because even if we have a rental bed from the base, I want my own sheets for the first few weeks.)
- A laundry basket and clothes hamper because there will still be laundry, even if there are no other household goods.
- I wasn’t terribly picky here. I just grabbed clothes I thought I would wear more readily over there (and it was a ton… probably two or three boxes of clothes for me and at least a couple for him)
- Boots, and shoes I could live without here for 6 weeks but would also want first over there. (Again…a ton of shoes)
- Undergarments, pajamas, leggings and lounge wear.
- Work clothes for the husband because even though he doesn’t need uniforms, he will need to dress up and go into an office.
- A TON of coats. I don’t necessarily think I will need these upon arrival in England in mid-May, but they do weigh a ton and I have a severe attachment to my vintage coats, so I sent the ones I could part with, knowing I would see them sooner than if I sent them with household goods.
- A tv (the blogs I ready said no TVs over 19 in but we called and verified that our 32 in TV would be send-able. I was super excited about this since we don’t really have a 19 in TV anymore.) We also sent ahead a DVD player and our entire DVD collection to watch while we wait for internet and Netflix, Hulu, etc.
- Board games (Tim and I love games, so we sent two-person games that might fill any weekend nights that we’re lonely and bored without friends, or things to do.
- A record player and a ton of swing records
- Garage supplies
- A basic set of tools that might prove useful in setting up the new house.
- Sleeping bags and camp chairs in case we have zero furniture at any point.
- Household goods
- Because we still had some weight allowance, we sent some photos, a rug, and other decor items that might start to make the house a home.
While it took us hours each night for the week leading up to packing day, the actual amount of time the packers were at our house was short. In just over two hours, they packed all our items, wrote our name and info on the boxes and loaded them onto the truck. After a quick round of paperwork, our stuff was off on its way to our new home!