Thursday, May 29, 2014

Moving prep for overseas

In October my husband and I got orders to go overseas.  We will not be living on a base so our moving checklist may be different than most over seas checklists, but this is a reminder for me of what hoops we need to jump through if we end up doing all this again sometime in the next 12 years before retirement comes around.

some of the first things we did were:
  • begin sorting stuff. (Move, store, donate)  In the past 7 months I've probably taken at least 10 loads of stuff to the thrift store and I am finding new items all the time.  I just keep a tall dishpack box in the basement and everytime I find something that we don't need I toss it down there.  Once it is full or we decide to donate something really big, I make another trip to the donation center.
Once you receive your orders, (hopefully 6 months out because Visas take a while!)
  • Apply for diplomatic passports (you need them to apply for Visas)
  • Apply to school (there is no DOD school at our new station)
  • Once you have your passports you can then apply for Visas. (These are supposed to take 4 months.  We are still waiting on ours.)
In February we finished doing our OverSeas Screening (OSS).  We had to go to 20 dr. apt. in 2 months time!!!  Here is a list of everything that needed to happen for our OSS:
  • Print out the OSS paperwork for each member of your family
  • If you have children in school there is a page in the paperwork you need to have the school sign to confirm that your children don't need special services requiring an ILP.
  • Take the dental page to your dentist and have them sign off on it saying that you don't have any work that you can't get done before you move.
  • Any adult females need to get a pap-smear done and have the results sent to their primary care manager prior to the OSS appointment.
  • Take your immunization records to the medical records office on base (they had my husband and my Children's already but I had to call my mother and ask her to find my childhood immunization card.)
  • Once you've filled everything out your ready to schedule your appointment.  
  • Your paperwork will need to be dropped off at the health center at least 1 day before your OSS appointment so the staff can review it and the necessary research can be done regarding your new location.
  • At your OSS appointment, the dr. will review everything for you, then tell you if he needs anything else to be done.  (Our Dr. requested that we take our children to see the specialists that they had seen previously to get the go-ahead from them that no medical attention would be necessary for the next 2 years.)  So you may need to continue going to dr. appointments even after you've had your OSS appointment.  
  • Your OSS paperwork then gets turned in and sent off to your new station and they will review it to see if they find your family to be in good health and good candidates for the local living conditions.
  • Next you will get a phone call that your "Orders have been approved."  Once they are approved you are then allowed to go and get all the necessary immunizations required to keep you healthy while overseas.  (the approval process can take a while, ours took 3 months!  We know of 2 other families who did not get approved just last month, so the military is being very thorough on this right now.)
  • There are several different types of pack-outs that will eventually take place.  You need to first discuss them with the moving office, who will then put you in contact with one or more moving companies. (we have 1 company handling our air freight and household goods, and another company handling the storage.)
  • about 2 months out you will have the moving company come over to assess how many boxes to bring and give you an educated guess regarding the weight your shipment will probably and if it will be over the weight allowance.
Different types of shipments
  -air freight/unaccompanied baggage
  • Stuff that will arrive shortly after you do.  (probably a few days to 1 week)
  • since space and weight are limited you will probably want to send 1 table setting per person, a week or 2 worth of clothes (you will be wearing these for 3 months.)  Pillows, baby bed and diapers if needed/not available at your new location, a few toys, a disposable shower curtain, toilet paper, folding chairs, ...
  • the dimensions for the boxes are 41"x28"x25"  they go onto small aircrafts with limited space and small doors.  So that is why you can't take a bunch of furniture or anything.
  -Household goods
  • Stuff that will probably take 3 months to get to you.
  • It will be sent on a barge or large ship across the ocean.  
  • This includes your furniture and other general household goods.

  -Consumable goods

  • If you are being stationed in an area where certain things like personal hygiene items, food or cleaning supplies are expensive or unavailable, and there is no commissary, you may be allowed to bring some of those items with you
  • We have learned that since we will have an APO address we can order most of the things we will need through,,  So we don't have to buy 2 years worth of consumable goods before we leave. Instead we plan to buy 1 large container of each essential thing (diapers, Toilet Paper, tampons...)  enabling us to focus on getting settled in before we have to worry about ordering more stuff and how long it takes for it to arrive.
  • Chances are there are some things that you just won't need, so the military will pay to move and store some of your things.
  • They will go to a storage facility that you will not have access to.  So whatever you put in storage will stay there until you move back into the states.

Oh, and don't forget all the other usual things that go along with a move.  :)

Lots of little things

As we have been getting ready for our move I have been doing a lot of projects

  • Zipper pouches to keep things in our suitcases organized (we'll be living out of our suitcases for 3 months, so they need to be REALLY organized!)  Here is a tutorial I re-watch every time I have to make one.  (I just loving listening to Debbie Shore on youtube.)
    • Wish I had time to make them super cute like these. Oh well maybe next time.


  • Sewing modesty panels in lots of my deep v-shirts(I won't want to wear a cami under them in the humidity I will be living in for the next 2 years.
    • I just find a scrap of fabric, hem the top and string a skinny piece of elastic trough.  (if it is bunchy instead of flat the fit is normally better)  Pin and sew into place.
  • Some things look better with a flat panel, but it takes SO long to sew in a flat panel that looks perfectly lined up and like it was original to the garment, so I'd rather Sew modesty panels that I can switch from one shirt to another.  I think they give a little more dimension, and they don't get saggy and show cleavage or Boob when you bend over.

  • My Hubby's uniform patches for his new uniforms


  • yard work (I think I've been doing at least an hour a day for the last 2 months.)
  • donations to the thrift store and friends
  • Eating all the stuff in the freezer and pantry that we have been avoiding but are too thrifty to just toss out.
  • Organizing my sewing area, SUCH a big project.  What to store, what to get rid of, what to take with me...

Luckily our Health Clearances went through this past week so we are officially authorized to go.  (can you imagine not knowing until a month before an overseas move if you are actually going or not!!!)  Hope to get our flight details soon so we can start making more plans