Settling Down Quickly After a PCS

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The last box has been unloaded into your new home.  Here are a few tips to make unpacking more efficiently:

  • Clean before you start— before you begin digging into boxes, give your new home a good cleaning. It is much, much easier to do this first.
  • Set up sleeping quarters — set up beds and dress with clean linens. Having a bed to collapse into at the end of move-in day is priority #1. Once you have set up the beds, unpack your clothes.
  • Move in to the bathroom – installing the shower curtain, hanging the towels and filling the medicine cabinet will make it start to feel like home.
  • Tackle the kitchen – eventually you have to eat something besides pizza and takeout, right? Besides kitchenware takes up a major share of the boxes.
  • Living Room – place the furniture and unpack your pictures but wait to set up the television. The temptation it offers can turn a desired rest into an unneeded termination of activity for the day.



Buy a map and start exploring. Or just get on a bus and let yourself be driven around. The sooner you begin to explore your new hometown, the sooner you’ll establish a comfort level in your surroundings, and the more positive your experience is going to be. Make particular note of the “important” landmarks like the nearest grocery store, the pharmacy, the gas station, the library, the supercenter that carries your necessary household cleaning items, and of course, the coffee house, movie theater and mall. Be a tourist and take pictures.



Perhaps many of your settling-in required arrangements have been made – schools have been selected, the house or apartment is set up — but that doesn’t quite make your new surroundings home. People are what make the place you live into a home, and relationships with friends, neighbors, teachers and even grocery store owners can help that happen.

  • Do you have relatives or acquaintances in the area you can call?
  • Walk your dog every morning in a park crowded with pet owners instead of along lonely streets.
  • Community service and volunteerism may be one of the best ways to create meaningful new ties. Find opportunities through local community centers, churches, or schools.
  • Join a club. Try salsa dancing, rock climbing, or chess, you name it!
  • Call someone new. If you have a friend who knows someone in your new town, call them. Take them to coffee and ask them to tell you about the place.


Try Something New

This is a great time to start something totally new. Always wanted to take a cooking class? Go for it! Take advantage of the new adventures and possibilities. You’ll meet friends with common interests along the way. And don’t forget the kids. If they wanted to sign up for lessons in anything from karate to violin but the timing wasn’t good before, now it is. Sign them up!

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About Commander in Chief At home

Erin is a military spouse and, sometimes temporarily single mom to 4 boys. She's a parenting coach, writer, teacher, special needs (Autism) mom, and much more.
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