Moving is never easy for a family, and for military families, who move every couple of years, the process can be an overwhelming process faced far too often. However, there are a few ways that the military can make moving easier. In general, the military tries to offer great resources to make moving affordable and convenient, but there are a few other ways in which a military family can make sure everyone is comfortable with their upcoming move:
Prior to the Move
To make the move easier, such as hiring a moving company, the military provides several resources, including Move.mil. These resources are highly beneficial and offer great insight, but there are a few more personal tips that can make actual preparation and the initial transition easier. A few tips include:
- Talking About it
Moving can be hard for the whole family, but it is particularly hard on kiddos. Their familiar friends, school, neighborhood, and home provide comfort and security, and the thought of leaving it all behind can bring about great anxiety. Prior to the move, discuss it with your children and explain why you are moving. Also be sure to open up the floor for any questions or concerns they may have.
- Finding a Real Estate Agent
Although the military provides the Automated Housing Referral Network and sites like Zillow and Realtor can provide you with great insight, no one will be more beneficial than a real estate agent. This person will be able to better cater to your specific needs, and will be better able to take the burden of looking for a home off your shoulders.
- Vacationing to Prospective New City
If feasible, consider visiting your new city prior to the move. This will allow you to tour neighborhoods and get a feel for the area, and will allow your kids to get more familiar prior to the transition. However, if you can’t visit the city prior to the move, get online. Using sites like Google Earth or Maps, you and your kids can explore their new city in a fun and interactive way.
- Connecting with Social Media
Perhaps the greatest benefit of social media is the connectivity it provides. Prior to moving, reach out to other military families in the area you will be moving to through Facebook or other military oriented social sites. Not only will you get insider information about neighborhoods and schools, but you’ll be able to make a few friends before you even arrive.
After the Move
While physically moving may seem like the hardest part of the moving process, transitioning in to a new community is actually the hardest. Once you arrive in your new location, be sure to do the following to make life seem more comfortable and normal for yourself and your family:
- Reclaim Your Routine
To help children, and you and your spouse, integrate into your new community with better ease, try to establish a routine as quickly as possible. If your kids were involved in sports in your old community, see if you can’t sign them up. If you volunteered or attended a weekly Bunko game, try to get involved with that quickly as well. These actions will not only provide a stronger sense of security, but they will also help you and your family establish community bonds quicker.
- Find a Military Support Organization
Military support organizations can quickly provide a support network for any military family. To find one in your area, simply Google your location or look them up at your base. You’ll be able to find plenty of activities to become involved with and your kids will be able to meet other children who have experienced similar moves.
- Stay Connected with Old Friends
Just because you and your family are now hundreds or thousands of miles away from your previous city doesn’t mean you can’t stay connected with the friends you have left behind. Even though you are miles away, old friends provide a great amount of support and are vital parts of your family’s life. Be sure to keep in touch with friends through email, Facebook, or even Skype.
While moving is always intimidating, it is unfortunately often a requirement for military families. By simply being unafraid to seek out community involvement opportunities and reaching out to support groups, however, you can make the process easier. In addition to the above tips, be sure to check out sites such as Military Youth on the Move for additional tips on making the transition for kids easier.
Maya Szydlowski is the community manager for Veterans United Home Loans, the top news source for the military community and leader in VA loans.