3. Think about scaling back

The process of deciding what to sell and keep, from the house itself to everything in it, can be daunting. Every duty station overseas has a limit to the weight of household goods and unaccompanied baggage.

It takes up to eight weeks for household goods to be delivered while unaccompanied baggage arrives in three weeks. The unaccompanied baggage is an express shipment meant to transport essential household wares. This shipment might contain pots and pans, your TV, bed sheets and kitchen appliances, plus extra clothes and whatever else you feel you might need immediately.

Large appliances like a refrigerator or dryer can stay in storage provided by the military. If you’re not shipping your car, then you’ll need to decide if you’ll store it or sell it. Household items you can do without can be got rid of by way of a garage sale.

Before storing your furniture at home, see if the new house is furnished. If not, compare the price of buying new furniture with that of shipping or storage.

On moving day, make sure everything is packed and sealed before you sign off on it; this will make any loss claims easier to file, if necessary. Make an inventory, color coding the items so that unpacking is easier.

4. Take “comfort items” you might miss from home

It’s a big move; you don’t want to get to your new home and realize a week into your stay that you can’t find your children’s favorite pancake mix anywhere. For this reason, stock up on all the durable goods you can.

While you’re at it, check that your driver’s license is up to date and that your mailing address is changed to the new one.

5. Do your research

While it won’t alleviate culture shock or homesickness, reading up on your new country can at least give you a sense of familiarity when you’re actually there. Try to learn simple words and phrases of the language spoken there, especially if you’ll have locals as neighbors.



Caylin White is a freelance writer and an avid artist. You can find her work at StockHax, a blog for stock traders and investors that features tips, trading news and investment tactics.

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