This continues and concludes the “Tips for a Successful DITY Military Move” series. You can check out Part I: The Preparation and Part II: The Move. Today’s post will be on the aftereffect of our move: from the moving-in day to about four months post-move.
- We moved in on Monday. We did ask to see our apartment before signing final paperwork. It was a lot nicer than we expected!
- We then proceeded to unload our Uhaul by ourselves. This took hours. We both agree that this was the biggest mistake we made – not hiring help to unload. Fortunately, we moved in during the day, so the apartment complex wasn’t busy yet.
- We then dropped off our Uhaul at the designated place indicated on our Uhaul reservation. This is another mistake we made. We dropped off the Uhaul with the owner and left. We did not wait to watch them inspect the Uhaul. We were very cranky and hungry. All we could think about was dropping it off before our deadline, getting dinner, then sleeping. A long story short, the person tried charging us extra for various items regarding the Uhaul. Fortunately, we had documentation that refuted all these claims and we were able to get that squared away with no extra charges to us. That all could have been avoided had we just stayed and waited for them to inspect the Uhaul.
- The next day, we had the internet provider install the modem/router and get our Wifi set up. I had this appointment scheduled about a week in advance.
- We then rested for an entire week. We had a roof over our heads, a mattress to sleep on, and Wifi. That’s all we need and we were EXHAUSTED. We pretty much slept, ate, and slept some more for a full week. We opened the boxes we needed and that was it. We didn’t unpack for an entire week.
- Once we had the motivation and energy, we spent a few days unpacking, setting up, and decorating our new home. We actually pulled a few all-nighters working on this. We had the energy at that point and the momentum. We did hang a few pictures when we were delirious, so now they are kind of crooked if you really look at them. I like it because it reminds me of the fun time we had eating ice cream, listening to music, staying up all night, and making our apartment a home.
One to Two Months Post-Move:
- Ben had quite a bit of time off before he had to report into work so we went on lots of dates and started becoming familiar with our new home.
- I went through all our travel receipts. I scanned into my computer and made copies of each receipt (this was very time-consuming). I then categorized them on a spreadsheet and calculated the itemized and total costs of our move. Ben submitted the receipts for reimbursement to the military. They returned the original receipts to us, but I was grateful to have copies for my own records just in case. The spreadsheet came in handy for our tax return. The expenses from the move were tax deductible. Since I had all the itemized costs readily available, I was easily able to plug those numbers in when it came time to file our taxes.
- As mentioned in the first post of this series, we didn’t realize how drastic auto insurance would increase. We did a Defensive Driving course online to lower our monthly premium.
- Health Insurance: I established a new primary care provider and dental provider in our new town through the military’s health insurance. When Ben in-processed, they took care of all his health insurance needs then.
- We got a puppy! Lieutenant (Louie) the Boston Terrier. Unfortunately, he broke his leg by falling off the bed. It was a very stressful (and expensive) week. But Louie was able to have emergency surgery and was well on his way to healing. Now, he’s a happy, healthy puppy!
- We then were able to draft our new budget. This was still a rough budget, since there were different factors that we anticipated were going to affect it. So we drafted what we expected, knowing we would revisit it in a month or so to finalize it.
- Change address. I changed our address using the spreadsheet I mentioned in Part I.
- Finding our community. Ben had been doing research on churches that we wanted to check out before we moved. We tried the first church on his list – because he knew some people there already – and we fell in love. We actually never went to check out any other churches. We both had a peace about this church and now we call it home. Ben taught me this “lingering” technique. Instead of bolting out of church when they dismiss the service, Ben and I would linger. Granted, it’s a lot easier to linger when you have someone to linger with. We would grab coffee at the cafe and just linger. This is how we met people. After each service, we introduced ourselves to people and ended up getting to know a lot of the pastors – they seem to notice lingerers. We learned through this that they were trying to get a Young Couples ministry started and we where able to join right away in this process. We had been praying for God to lead us to church were He wanted us and to a ministry that we both could serve in together. So this church and this ministry was an answer to prayer!
Three to Four Months Post-Move:
- We were able to finalize our budget at the three to four month mark.
- I personally feel it took four months for me to feel settled. At this point, our apartment felt like home, we were used to Ben’s work schedule, we found a church community, and all logistics regarding the move were tied up.
I’m sure each move will bring its own set of challenges. We sure experienced some challenges in this move from North Dakota to Texas. Maybe we will avoid these in our next move (only to have a whole different set of challenges then). Either way, we are so grateful for our life here in Texas. Ultimately, this move was such a fun experience because I was able to do it with my best friend.