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Blog: MILITARY PCS

5 Tips for Making Military Friends in a New Town

Making friends can be tough, especially when constantly on the move. Fortunately you are moving among many other military spouses who understand moving to a new place and starting fresh! Here are 5 powerful ways to diminish that loneliness and build a network of military friends in your new town!

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1. Volunteer

Why not help yourself while helping others? Getting out of the house and assisting your new community will allow you to gain access to information about upcoming events and ultimately lead you towards getting to know other people. Check out your community service building to find a particular place or project that sparks your interest and hop on board!

2. Create a Meet up Event

Perhaps you’re a book lover? Or maybe you’re extremely talented in the arts? Have you considered creating connections by simply engaging in the activities you love? Try setting up a local book club or even a painting class! If you’re having trouble finding interested people, try joining a site like meetup.com, where you can find people near you with similar interests.

3. Join Facebook Groups

Ditch the fan pages for a while and browse through some of the private group recommendations. When you find one that seems like you can fit right in with, send an invite to join the group. Once you’re accepted, introduce yourself on the dashboard, interact on previous posts, and maybe even become acquainted with someone in your area! Either way, you’ll have someone new to talk to, even if it’s not face to face.

4. Set Up a Play Group

If you’re out and about with your little one and happen to notice another parent with a child about the same age as yours, try striking up a conversation to see what the chances are of setting up a playdate. With luck, you might just hit it off with the parent and can bond over similar interests while the kids play. This is the perfect way to ensure that both of you experience the joys of friendship.

5. Use Your Connections

Take advantage of your surroundings and daily encounters. The neighbor you bump into every morning could be a potential best friend. While working out at the gym take a look at the boards and see if anyone is seeking a gym buddy. Have an at-home business? Observe your business connections to see who you share interests with and invite them out for coffee. Maybe your spouse knows of someone who is in the same position you are friend-wise. Opening your eyes to the daily opportunities you have to make friends will increase your chances of creating solid friendships.

Don’t let the friendships of others discourage you, let them inspire you! Take action and put yourself out there. Don’t dwell on what you might have missed out on, but take it into your own hands to create something new and everlasting in your new town!

Ready to get started looking for housing in San Diego? Our Relobase Realtors are happy to assist you!

(Article originally appeared on Relobase.com)

16 Organizational Strategies for Military Families

The phrase “military relocation” is simply a part of military life. Military families typically move ten times more frequently than civilian families. Because military families have to move often, it make sense for them to use portable storage and organizational strategies for their belongings. Take a look at our list of 16 functional and transportable ideas for home storage and organization!

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Storage Solutions for Kitchen Items

-Portable kitchen pantries come in a wide range of options and are ideal for military families on the move. Consider how easy it is to store canned goods that you can take with you when it’s time to relocate when you have a portable pantry!

-Why not store silverware in plastic, lidded containers instead of the usual way of tossing flatware into kitchen drawers? You could also store silverware in a regular flatware box.

-Use rolling kitchen carts that include baskets for storage.

Storing Toys

-Stacking baskets work very well for toy storage. These can be color coordinated as an added layer or categorization.

-Plastic crates can hold toys and be easily transported from one home to the next one.

-Larger wicker baskets with lids can also be used for storing toys. What’s more, you can also use them in your living rooms or bedrooms as they’re useful for storing various types of items such as blankets!

Clothing Storage Ideas

-Adjustable garment racks can be an effective way to store and transport clothing when you have to move to a new house.

-Use heavy duty cardboard dressers to store clothing items, such as tops, pants, underwear and other types of smaller clothing. They’re also great for storing linens, towels and other bedding, as well as bathroom belongings.

-Many have discovered the convenience of using hanging shoe sorters for storing and moving their shoes when it’s time to move on to a new location.

Storing Small Items

-Invest in several sizes of Ziploc bags for storing smaller items.

-A plastic storage cabinet with many containers is commonly used for storing screws, nuts, bolts and other tiny hardware items. You can also use these to organize jewelry, sewing things, office supplies, school supplies, and others odds and ends your family needs.

-Ottomans are not only designed for resting feet. They also work exceptionally well for storing items, such as magazines, craft supplies or just about anything you need near you when relaxing in your living room.

Other Storage Ideas

-If you have a considerable amount of craft items, a good storage solution is to use peg boards. They are especially suited for storing and transporting sewing items and needlework items, such as embroidery floss.

-Consider what things you need to take with you and which ones that you can store, especially when your new home doesn’t have a lot of square footage.

-Before you move, do as much decluttering as possible. Make a daily routine of going through all the rooms of your house, selecting those items that you want to donate or discard.

-Buy only what you need to feed your family for a few months. In other words, don’t invest in huge boxes of staples such a rice or pasta. This not only saves room in your kitchen cupboards but lessens the clear out during a PCS.

Ready to get started looking for housing in San Diego? Our Relobase Realtors are happy to assist you!

(Article originally appeared on Relobase.com)

5 Items to Keep With You During a PCS

While the moving company can take care of most things, there are a number of items we recommend military families keep close at hand while PCSing.

Those who’ve experienced a PCS move know that while moving companies can accomplish a great deal, they do operate off the instructions of the military family. If there are particular items or boxes you don’t want on the truck, be sure to let the movers know upon their arrival.

Bearing all this in mind, what belongs in the car and under your care during the trip to the new duty station?

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Important Documents

Invest in both an accordion file and a lock box. Essential documents, both civilian and military, should be kept in the car and under your supervision at all times. Social Security Cards, birth certificates, financial records, Divorce Decrees, Marriage Licenses, deeds and certificates of ownership, copies of car registrations and proof of insurance, adoption records and any documents that may be specific to the individual circumstances of your family.

Military Uniforms and Civilian Clothes

As an active duty service member, ensure one serviceable uniform of each type required within the first month at the new duty station is kept easily available. While many PCS moves go smoothly, it’s always a possibility that the household goods following a military family may be delayed or lost. Most cars have ample room to transport clothing. Ensure the necessary uniforms ride in the vehicle along with enough civilian clothing for at lease one week. Housing isn’t always ready when families arrive and military families are no strangers to hotel rooms.

Managing Medications During PCS

Realizing a specific medication has run out during the PCS process could end up involving last-second phone calls to your doctor or pharmacy. Sometimes unusual or high demand medications aren’t immediately available. Make sure you have enough of your medications to cover the PCS period. The National Military Family Association notes that TRICARE recently enacted a new prescription transfer policy. This can help you transfer your prescription from one military pharmacy to another.

Sentimental Items

Any and all items with strong sentimental value should ride along in the car. Photographs, personal mementos, and heirlooms are irreplaceable. Either place them in a lock box along with the essential documents or in their own traveling container. The number of sentimental items you have may be surprising. Ensure their travel boxes or containers are portable so they don’t have to be left in the car during overnight stays.

Transporting Pets

In the case of an overseas PCS the Department of Defense allows up to two pets per family to travel on Air Mobility Command flights. During a CONUS PCS and when traveling by car or air, pet transport falls on you. All pet documentation including health and rabies certifications should travel with your essential documents.

For the safety of your pet it’s always a good idea to have them wear an ID collar. We also recommend microchipping your pets just in case they ever slip out unnoticed. Also, if you have to stay in a hotel for a few weeks, it pays to investigate which hotels accept pets to avoid last-minute hassles.

Ready to get started looking for housing in San Diego? Our Relobase Realtors are happy to assist you!

(Article originally appeared on Relobase.com)

16 Things to Take Care of Before Your Next PCS

In many families, summer is the time to relax and catch up with friends and loved ones you may not see during the school year. However, in many military families, summer is also the season of moving. If you are PCSing, are all the bits and pieces covered? Here 16 things you shouldn’t forget when preparing for your PCS.

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Details for the Little People

Here are the small bits that you need to take care of to ensure your children have the smoothest transition possible.

  1. Make sure you have a copy of their school records to register them at the new base.
  2. Make copies of all transcripts in case something gets lost in the move.
  3. Make sure you have all medical records to present to your next family doctor, whether on base or off.
  4. If the children are involved in sports, research the same sport on your new base. Find out if there are registration deadlines you need to meet before you arrive and check the age requirements as some may change.
  5. Collect mailing addresses as well as electronic contact information for your children’s friends and their families. Moving is a difficult process for your child. Make sure they understand that while they need to move because your sponsor has orders, they do not need to lose their friendships. No matter if they attend school on base or off, alert their current school if you need to take them out before the final day of classes. This will give them time to take any state required tests as well as give the teachers a chance for a proper goodbye.
  6. Talk to your children and give them a timeline of the coming changes so they have time to take care of all their own small bits and pieces.

Details for the Big People

  1. Before moving, research the steps in registering your car in the new state.
  2. Update your voter registration.
  3. If you are a young parent, reach out to others at your new base. Having friends waiting for you will make the transition easier.
  4. If you live off base, contact all current utility providers including TV and internet and give them your leave date. If you are going to live off bae at your new location, call for hook up appointments as soon as possible.
  5. If you’re still going to school, transfer college credits or look into taking online courses at your current school.
  6. Fill out the appropriate forms with the post office to make sure your mail follows you. As you change your address, also contact any credit card and subscription companies.
  7. Update your banking information.
  8. Make time for you during the move. It is a very important to take time for yourself so that you do not get stressed or burned out from the process.
  9. Ask for help! This is an often overlooked step that can make a huge difference in the process.
  10. Arrange for work in your new town. Try to get as many phone interviews as possible in before arriving. If you have a new job to look forward to, this can negate a lot of stress. This goes for all members of the family who are working on or off base.

These are just a few of the small bits and pieces to consider before your next PCS. Research, plan, and prepare to ensure the transition is smooth for everyone!

Ready to get started looking for housing in San Diego? Our Relobase Realtors are happy to assist you!

(Article originally appeared on Relobase.com)

6 Moving Tips For Military Service Members

As a member of the military, you understand that moves are part of the lifestyle. Whether you have kids or not, you don’t have time to dwell endlessly on the military relocation process. Instead, you want to get it over with so you can get on with your life in your new home!

Here are 6 moving tips for busy people that can make that process suck a little less!

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#1 – Make Sure Your Emergency Binder is Easy to Find and Packed Where It Will Travel With You

This binder should contain all the critical information: access to bank accounts, social security numbers, birth certificates, and everything you’ll need to set up utilities, enroll the kids in school, and transfer your information to new medical providers. Keep this binder up and out of the chaos so that even if it takes you a while to get settled into your new home, you have the papers you really need on hand.

#2 – Let the Kids Help Pack Their Rooms

Allow the little ones to pack either a bag or a couple of boxes each, depending on available space, that will travel with you instead of the moving truck. You might not know all of the items that are utterly precious to your child so let them participate in the process to avoid tears later!

#3 – Pack By Room

This seems like a no-brainer, but it can be tempting to fill boxes as you walk through the house, shoving everything that will fit into them. While there will probably be some boxes that are packed this way at the end of the packing process, make unpacking easier by separating boxes by the rooms they go in and labeling them accordingly. This will make the unpacking process much easier when you get to your new home.

#4 – Use the Move as an Opportunity to Clean Out Clutter

Chances are you’ve accumulated plenty of stuff even if you’ve only been at your current location for a few years. From old electronics that have been upgraded to all the papers that kids come home with, clutter adds up fast. Go ahead and get rid of anything that you won’t be using at your new home.

#5 – Be Prepared For the Movers

If you’re using military movers to help pack and transport your possessions, make sure that you’re prepared for their visit. Military movers are known for their efficiency, not necessarily for their care and attention to detail. Veterans of military moves have experienced plenty of surprises when they reach the other end, from trash that’s packed up in the can instead of being taken out to items that weren’t packed as securely as they should have been. Pack up precious or easily breakable items yourself to ensure that they’re protected properly.

#6 – Pack Bags or Boxes That Will Get You Through a Week or So Even If Your Items Don’t Arrive on Time

This is particularly important for long moves or if you’ve been warned that your possessions are going to take a while to get to you. Pack up enough clothes to last a week or so, add a sleeping bad, pillows, or favorite blankets, and be prepared to wait for your items to arrive if necessary.

Packing for a move is stressful no matter how you do it. Over the course of your military service, you’ll likely hone it down to a fine routine, developing techniques that work for you. Staying organized and taking it one step at a time will get you through this move and all the others in front of you!

Ready to get started looking for housing in San Diego? Our Relobase Realtors are happy to assist you!

(Article originally appeared on Relobase.com)

PCSing With Kids? 5 Free Apps Designed For Military Kids

A PCS is hard. Packing up, moving across the country, meeting brand new people in a brand new place isn’t easy, no matter what the age. However, PCSing as a kid has its own special challenges. Leaving behind classmates, neighborhood friends, familiar parks and towns, to start over in a strange place can create anxiety. We have pulled together what we consider 5 of the best apps to download for your kids. These apps are geared towards helping your littles better understand and thrive in the military lifestyle. Here are 5 free apps designed to help military kids during this process and beyond!

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Sesame Street’s Big Moving Adventure – Geared for younger children, ages 2-5, this app helps frame moving as a grand adventure, rather than something to be feared. Through customizing a Muppet character experiencing a move, they learn what to expect as they help their Muppet pack, prepare and organize a room in a fun, interactive game. This app can help shed some light on the moving experience and make it fun and exciting.

FOCUS on the Go! – A multifaceted app, FOCUS on the Go! teaches relaxation techniques to practice when your kids are feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Buddy Bear, a character in the app, has trouble expressing his feelings and sometimes needs a little extra help. This game allows your child to help Buddy express his feelings through finding “feeling” words. They can play games with Buddy, and create their own story in the Comic Creator section (which they can share with family and friends). This app focuses on assisting children to name their emotions, and how to best manage those emotions.

Sesame Street App for Military Families – Rated for children 9 and older, this app is great for the whole family. It addressed topics such as deployment, injuries, grief, reunions, and self-expression. Through the stories of other military families experiencing challenges may be similar to what they’re going through, kids are reassured they are not alone. Guides are available in case you have questions about how to broach certain topics or how to help your child deal with certain issues. The app also connects military families through social media.

Kids In Touch – During deployment remaining connected can be tough. This app helps solve that problem. Kids and their deployed parent can now send texts and pictures back and forth for absolutely free. Though it is never easy being separated from a loved one, with this app, your child and service member can stay as in-touch as possible through the duration of the deployment.

Military Kids Connect – Though not a true app, this website is still a must-have for military kids. They can connect to other kids in their own age range, from 6-8, 9-12, and 13-17. This site allows them to tell their story, read other kids’ stories, play games, and learn how to cope with stress. Not only can they have fun on the site, it can also work as a tool to teach them how best to react to stressful events and to show them how other kids their age have gone through similar experiences. The Youth Resource Guide offers more fun websites for military children. Parent resources include discussion guides to assist sharing various military-related topics with your children.

(Article originally appeared on Relobase.com)

3 Tips for Organizing For Your Next PCS

Whether it’s your first PCS or your eighth, it doesn’t make it less stressful. Even if you’re using military movers, you want to be sure that you can find everything when you reach your new destination–and you know the importance of unpacking and having your household up and running as soon as possible. By preparing an inventory system in the days and weeks leading up to your move, you can help make the entire moving process smoother.

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System 1: A Paper and Folder System

For many traditionalists, this is the easiest way to keep track of your possessions. Make sure to take pictures of expensive furniture, antiques, or other valuable items as you go so that if they’re damaged during the moving process, you’ll have proof of their original condition. Keep copies of pictures in the folder with your lists. While you’re taking inventory, be sure to set aside any items that you would prefer to move yourself to ensure their safety. If you prefer to take inventory, try to organize and label your inventory in a logical way. You can choose to do it by room, by type of item (furniture, jewelry, small appliances), or in another way that makes sense to you. It’s best, however, to label each inventory sheet clearly to make it easier to check off all those important items again when you reach your destination.

PCS time is also an excellent time to sort out all the clutter and other items that you don’t use anymore. Take the time to get rid of possessions that are worn out, never used, or not useful for some other reason. Do you really need two bread machines? What about your extensive cookware collection? Now is the time to get rid of the items you don’t use on a regular basis. Just remember, if you remove it from your home now, you don’t have to unpack it later!

System 2: There’s An App for That

There are plenty of apps that make life easier for military families, but nothing is quite so convenient for a PCS than moving apps. Sortly, for example, is an excellent home inventory system that divides inventory by rooms or by boxes. MoveMatch will store your inventory by rooms or by boxes. MoveMatch will store your inventory by box as well as letting movers know which room those important boxes should go in. Moving Van, on the other hand, doesn’t just make an exact list of each box’s contents. It also lets you search by item so that when you arrive at your new home, you can quickly determine which box has the critical item you’re missing.

The downside to a digital inventory, of course, is that most of these apps don’t allow space for comprehensive pictures of their items. Make sure that you’re taking those pictures. Storing them on your smart phone or flash drive will make them easily accessible when you need them.

System 3: A Little of Both

Some people prefer to use pen and paper for all of their important moving information. Others prefer a digital solution. Here’s the good news: you don’t have to pick just one! You might, for example, keep a paper inventory of your goods, but store pictures of your furniture and other valuables on your smart phone. You could also choose to take a picture or scan in a copy of your paper inventory so that you’ll have a digital backup just in case something happens during the move.

It’s also useful to keep a digital copy of any important papers and other documents. While you’ll need the real paper, paper copies for most important activities–enrolling the kids in school, for example–having that digital copy could come in handy if you need social security numbers, information from a birth certificate, or other information in a hurry and can’t find your emergency binder or folder. A copy of your insurance card will work just as well as the real thing if you happen to need it while you’re on the road!

When you have a clear, comprehensive household inventory, it becomes easier than every to keep up with important items. You’ll be able to easily determine where things have been packed, where they need to be, and whether or not anything is missing. This organization is a critical part of streamlining your PCS for yourself and your family.

Ready to get started looking for housing in San Diego? Our Relobase Realtors are happy to assist you!

(Article originally appeared on Relobase.com)

Relocating to San Diego? See if North or South County Fits Best

In the military and PCSing to San Diego? Congratulations, you just hit the jackpot! Read on for some tips on choosing what part of San Diego to call home.

The location of your assigned installation plays a large role in determining whether Northern or Southern San Diego County is the best option. Regardless of the final choice, all of San Diego County offers innumerable opportunities for fun, beautiful neighborhoods and tight knit communities where there is always plenty to do.

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Military bases in San Diego include:

Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base- Located in Oceanside, North County
Marine Corps Air Station Miramar-Located in Miramar only ten miles north of downtown, offers the advantage of living in both North and South County locations
Naval Base Coronado-Southern coastal, near downtown
Naval Base Point Loma-Southern coastal, near downtown
Naval Base San Diego-Southern coastal, near downtown

Everyone drives in California and San Diego is no exception. As in most cities and suburbs, slow-moving traffic is a reality so driving long distances on well known commuter paths can be time consuming. The choice between North or South County all comes down to the location of your base.

Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base

If assigned to MCB Camp Pendleton, North County is a great option. The base is bordered to the south by the town of Oceanside. Oceanside is the third largest town in the county and offers a fairly busy nightlife coupled with a variety of family friendly activities and areas. If a good craft beer is a must have, there are numerous breweries located in Oceanside that also offer great food. Camp Pendleton can be accessed from Interstate-5 which runs from North to South County.

Cities Near Camp Pendleton:

Oceanside- 2 miles
Vista- 13 miles
San Marcos-20 miles
Fallbrook- 16 miles
Carlsbad- 19 miles
Encinitas- 28 miles
Escondido- 24 miles

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar

Located in Miramar, this base is only ten miles north of downtown San Diego and is still close to the bottom of North County. Enjoy the quiet of North County, or the attractions near downtown including Balboa Park, Old Town and the Famous San Diego Zoo. Enjoy nightlife at the Gaslamp District, which has a variety of trendy shops, clubs and restaurants. The Miramar Base can be accessed off the I-15 at Miramar Way.

Cities Near Miramar:

Some cities to call home that are close to the base include:

Mira Mesa- 4 miles
Scripps Ranch- 5 miles
Rancho Penasquitos- 7 miles
La Jolla/UTC- 10 miles
Poway- 11 miles
Pacific Beach- 12 miles

Naval Bases Coronado, Point Loma and San Diego

The Navy Bases are located in the South Bay area and are all close to the vibrant downtown area. Cities to call home include:

Downtown San Diego
Chula Vista- 10.1 miles to San Diego
Pacific Beach- 8.8 miles to San Diego
Point Loma- 8.7 miles to San Diego

Overall the southern part of the county is more convenient to the Navy bases and the downtown area. There is a diverse selection of the neighborhoods offering convenience and classic beach town living.

Ready to get started looking for housing? Our Relobase Realtors are happy to assist you!

(Article originally appeared on Relobase.com)

6 Reasons to Use Relobase For Your Next PCS

San Diego is home to the nation’s largest concentration of military personnel–nearly 100,000 in total. What you may not know is that more than 45,000 military personnel predictably relocate to or from San Diego every year, like clockwork. In 2015, San Diego’s military population purchased more than 35,000 VA-home loan properties totaling more than $13B sales outstanding. Unfortunately military personnel and their families are given a fragmented network of information, resources and tools to navigate the process.

Relobase is the nation’s first fully comprehensive relocation management tool assisting active duty service members and their families relocate from military installation to installation. With the mobile app, users now easily manage tasks and timelines with confidence and convenience. One of the many challenges service members and families encounter is housing and Relobase is here to assist.

Relobase was designed with you, the military service member, in mind. Here are the 6 Reasons You Should Use Relobase to Plan and Manage Your Next PCS!

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One Stop Shop

Relobase not only automatically helps create and manage your PCS schedule and structure, it even embeds solutions. That means checking off a to do item is just a click away.

Task Management

Just tell Relobase where you are, where you are going, and when you need to be there. They will put together a schedule and task list for you.

Total Coverage

Relobase covers over 150 bases in the US and they are constantly adding more. Chances are, if you are PCS-ing to or from a US installation, they’ve got you covered.

Confidently Pack

Use the Relobase Inventory tool to track, record, and itemize your possessions and valuables. Your personal inventory is like a resume, it should be a living document. Relobase makes that easy!

Cut Costs and Save Money

Relobase has lots of tools and resources to make sure you aren’t wasting time and money. Not to mention, they’ve got killer deals for you too!

Force Protection

Relobase knows your data is sensitive. They enforce strict security measures to keep that data secure.

Military relocation isn’t easy. Relobase helps you manage tasks, budgets, and life.

Coastal Premier Properties, Inc | 12625 High Bluff Dr #102 San Diego, CA 92130 | 858.755.4663 | CA BRE # 01861547

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