4 Easy Ways to Adjust to Your New Duty Station


Summer -- the season of watermelon, lounging at the pool and reading all the books you want. Or, if you are a military family, it might include a PCS. This means it's time to find all the resources to make pack-out easier. Services like transportation companies, professional packers and movers, and clearing or storage companies might top the list.

However, there's another, often overlooked area of moving that should definitely be on your radar: settling in.

While the priority of relocation is taking care of the logistical details promptly, it's also important to plan for how you and your family will adjust and begin to feel "at home" in your new city. Here are some helpful suggestions, along with specific relocation resources you might not have considered in making your transition.

Offload Your Extra Weight

Self-help author Gretchen Rubin coined the phrase, "Outer order, inner calm." If you are prepping for, in the middle of or have just lived through a PCS, it's highly likely you are in need of some calm. As you are getting your boxes unpacked and all of your household goods sorted through, use this as an opportunity (if you haven't done so during pack-up) to be discerning about the items you own that no longer serve you. Consider donating them or selling larger, more valuable items to recover some of the investment you made. Sales or swapping websites are a great way to let go of the burden of the extra items you don't want to hang on to any longer.

Get Organized and Set Some Priorities

During a relocation, it can sometimes feel like you don't have a lot of extra mental space for all of the needs competing for your time, attention and energy. You meet a new neighbor and quickly forget her name. You hear someone recommend a good dentist or hairstylist and try to remember for a later date. Instead of letting all of those thoughts and tasks run rampant, find a new-to-you app to help get you organized.

Sites like Wunderlist and Trello can help you to categorize big projects into smaller, more digestible tasks. Start some helpful lists to help you remember the whos, whats, whens and wheres of your new place. Housing it all in one place will simplify the information gathering. And if managing another app sounds harrowing, there's always the old standby of a pen and dedicated notebook for list-making. Don't forget about Move Easy from Millie to help you make that to-do list and find much needed resources all in one place.

Be a Hometown Tourist

As you move past the packing paper and cardboard boxes, it is time to dive in and be a local. There's nothing like visiting popular and off-the-beaten-path local attractions, as well as all of the best restaurants and entertainment options your city has to offer. Use your favorite search engine to find local blogs -- these individuals spend their time sharing their opinions -- and usually without being paid for their opinion, which means they are completely honest. Just look out for paid ads, as they might skew their shared thoughts.

Other great resources to help guide your research are sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor and local blogs that give residents the inside scoop on upcoming events. The sooner you can get out and start learning the lay of the land and finding your favorite hot spots, the sooner this new place will begin to feel like home and not just the place you moved to.

Get Connected Where It Counts

Now it is time to get connected in the community through all the ways you can. Whether you plan to find a job or dedicate yourself to meaningful volunteer work, getting connected through sites like LinkedIn, Indeed, professional service and alumni organizations, or your local Chamber of Commerce can fast-track your involvement. Getting plugged into meaningful communities both inside and outside of your military circles is often the difference between surviving and thriving at a new duty station.

This article originally appeared on the Millie Journal.

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