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OIT 5 reasons military families need a strategic cleaning plan article

5 Reasons Military Families Need A Strategic Cleaning Plan

Lauren Tamm

When my husband and I were in our first years of marriage, we were living in a 2 bedroom townhome on the East Coast. It was big enough for just the two of us, and even after our family grew when our son was born, it still felt like enough space.

We were up for a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) about a year ago and the opportunity to move to Japan arose. I told my husband we had to go now.  We had to volunteer for Japan. The weight limits are strict, it was the perfect opportunity to PCS to Japan before the years got ahead of us and we continued to accumulate more and more stuff.

So we cleaned and purged. We put a good amount of our possessions in storage, and then we cleaned and purged even more.

And you know what happened? When we moved to Japan, we still had too much stuff and way more weight than we realized.

Whether you are stateside or overseas, here are 5 reasons why military families need a strategic cleaning plan:

Less Stress During PCS Moves

This is a unique thing about military life, isn’t it? You have to be careful about how much you accumulate and how much you decide to keep and maintain. Too much stuff can cause increased stress and frustration during PCS moves. The more you clean out, downsize and organize your possessions, the smoother a PCS move will go.

It will also be easier to keep your things organized during packing and eliminate the need for purging large volumes of stuff right before you move. Plus, when you arrive at your new duty station it will be easier to find things, unpack items and get settled quickly after moving.

Less Risk of Damage When Moving

When you have fewer possessions, there is less to get damaged. We are very cautious about investing money in any high-value items, knowing the risk of damage in future moves. When you are cleaning out your home, consider what high-value items you could sell to recoup value.

It Saves Money

When you keep a clean, organized home and minimize your possessions, it offers more time to take good care of the things you do have. When you find things easier, you are less likely to replace it with a duplicate item by running off to the store to buy something you cannot find. Plus, when your home is clean, there is less desire to escape to somewhere else and spend money.

Unforeseen Future Housing Accommodations

It’s hard to know what the size of your future duty station home will look like. It can also vary drastically if you will live on-base or off-base. Base housing accommodations are not always consistent with the size of an off-base home many of us are familiar with.

In addition, if you move overseas, some of the homes are very small compared to conventional American homes. Keeping your home clean and organized can help make the transition from a big home to a smaller home easier and less stressful.

It’s Easier to Entertain

In military life, frequent moving causes you to seek out new friends on a regular basis. One of my favorite ways to make friends is by hosting a dinner party. When you maintain a clean and organized home, it’s easy to invite people over on the fly, and it saves you from feeling embarrassed anytime new people visit your home. It also makes you home more inviting for faraway friends and family to visit.

Cleaning up your home this spring and getting organized doesn’t have to be a lot of work, and the benefits are well worth the effort. A strategic cleaning plan can help military families experience less stress before and after moving in addition to saving money in the long run. Surprisingly enough, a strategic cleaning plan creates a home that is inviting to friends and family. A win-win for everyone.

Lauren Tamm is a mother, military spouse, freelance writer, and coffee lover. When she isn’t busy chasing a toddler around the house, she loves to blog about practical parenting, enjoying motherhood and navigating military life.