This post contains affiliate links. They don’t cost you anything, but earn me a small commission. Thank you for supporting Becoming Bailey!
This is the first blog post I’ve actually written since arriving in Iowa! I feel the need to preface this post by stating: We’re alive! We made it! Hah, there were some moments when I seriously doubted if we would make it through this thing with our lives and our marriage intact 😉
I’m writing this post mostly for our families to know more about how the move went besides fine and for our family scrapbook, so our children can read about our Army adventures someday. I know this post won’t be of much interest to most of my readers, but if you ever wanted a behind-the-scenes look at the chaos that goes into a do-it-yourself (DITY) move, this is right up your alley!
Monday, July 3rd (the day after my birthday)
We woke up at 6 am to get dressed before the 30 minute drive to pick up the Penske truck in Elizabethtown at 7 am. We stopped for gas at the Speedway in Radcliff, where we received a call that our car carrier had not arrived. Since we needed to weigh our moving truck with the car carrier + car attached for both our empty and full weighs, we opted to go back to our house on-post and finish packing until the carrier arrived 2 hours later.
We picked up the moving truck + car carrier with some difficulty. Then, we discovered Andy’s truck doesn’t fit on the carrier, so instead of me driving my car and hauling his truck like we had planned, I would have to drive his truck to Iowa. Did I mention I am not a great driver to begin with and have difficulty driving a vehicle that is so long and wide?
We had our moving truck and Andy’s truck weighed. The weigh master messed up the weigh tickets which caused a bit of anxiety for me. Incorrect weigh tickets means no incentive pay for doing the move. (According to Transportation on both ends, we should be in the clear!)
We arrived at home to load up our belongings in the moving truck, only to discover our 26 foot moving truck is exactly the same width as our street. Thankfully, Andy’s experience as the Master Driver for the Engineer company (aka lots of large heavy construction equipment) came in handy, because he was able to back it into the driveway without any issues. He did have to give me a crash-course in Ground Guiding 101 so I could watch his blind spots. Although, our neighbors did have to squeeze by the moving truck to get to the end of the cul-de-sac. We loaded up the majority of our boxes and furniture with just a few pieces left for the next day.
Tuesday, July 4th
We finished loading up all the boxes and furniture (minus our mattress and box springs) early in the morning and cleaned our house like crazy. Housing informed us they weren’t looking for a “white glove” inspection, but we weren’t taking any chances! I’d rather us over-clean than have to pay an expensive fee if it wasn’t clean enough.
We skipped all of the post Independence Day celebrations because we were so busy cleaning. I did get to see a few fireworks from our back patio, though!
We were able to spend one last night in our house! Our mattress and box springs were in the living room because we had shampooed the carpets in the bedroom. The pets appreciated this because they thought it was a bed just for them!
Wednesday, July 5th
The big day has arrived! We woke up at 6 am to clean up the last few things before our housing move-out inspection. Andy had an 8 am appointment for some out-processing things (because Army!) which had me panicking to finish cleaning and get the pets situated in the car before our inspection at 8:30. The inspector was the “toughest” inspector at Knox Hills yet he said we kept our home very clean and we didn’t have any charges/damages. A few last pictures with our home and in our neighborhood before our goodbyes!
We scrambled to load my car on the tow dolly and drove Andy’s truck around (us two plus the pets!) all squished together for the last few appointments of the day. I sat in the truck with the A/C running with the pets while Andy did his Army things. After approximately 4 hours of “hurry up and wait” for two 10 minute appointments, we finally cleared post and were on the road! We stopped to weigh our trucks for the “full” portion of the move. The maximum weight allowed for Andy’s rank was 9,000 pounds, but we had estimated 6,000; we were thrilled to discover we were actually at 7,600 pounds! (The more weight you move, the more your reimbursement is but you can’t cheat to up your weight!) About an hour outside of Indy, we stopped to stretch our legs and check on the pets.
We hit rush-hour traffic in Indy and then a big rainstorm hit! I almost had a panic attack while attempting to switch lanes in Andy’s truck and had to call him for him to talk me through the rest of the drive in Indy.
We got hungry for supper and stopped at Triple XXX Family Restaurant in Lafayette, Indiana after I spotted a billboard that said they were featured on the Food Network. The food was delicious! We ate outside on a concrete ledge next to the truck so we could leave our windows rolled down and check on the pets throughout our meal.
We still had 3 more hours until we arrived at our hotel! The last hour was spent driving on back country roads because apparently there was not a more direct interstate route to where we needed to be (according to our GPS.) I’m still not sure that the GPS was right! Those back country roads were nerve-wracking because every time Andy hit a bump, I imagined one of our belongings breaking. It was 10 pm by the time we arrived at our hotel and we crashed hard!
Thursday, July 6th
We slept in until 9 am… which was better than the 6 am wake-ups all week! A friend from Fort Polk stopped by our hotel with her precious kiddos! Her husband is deployed, so we hope it was a great pick-me-up during the deployment for them! Their daughter Andria (aka Andi) is named after my husband (and their other best friend/battle buddy– also named Andrew!) so I couldn’t help but force Andy to hold Andi. My heart melted, y’all! Look at that smile on his face!!!
After enjoying lunch with the kiddos, it was time to hit the road again! We were just 7 hours from our new hometown. Unfortunately, those hours seemed to drag by when we were driving through nothing but cornfields. I had to consume large amounts of caffeine to stay awake!
Me too, Lily. Me too.
We stopped at the World’s Largest Truck Stop on I-80 as our first stop in Iowa! We wanted to take a photo with the “Welcome to Iowa” sign, but it was on the middle of the bridge when we crossed the Mississippi River from Illinois. That truck stop was insane, though! They had a barber shop, movie theater, dentist, chiropractor, museum, dog wash, workout room, cell phone kiosk, and of course a gift shop. Andy and I both laughed at the plethora of military-related memorabilia; I bought postcards to mail home to family!
Onward to Mason City. At this point, we were only 3 hours from our new hometown, but it took us for.ev.er. to get there. It was kind of my fault, because so much caffeine to stay awake made me have to potty almost every hour! We wanted to stop for supper on the other side of Waterloo– when we were just 1.5 hours from Mason City– but unfortunately, there was nothing there and we didn’t discover this until it was too late! It was 9 pm by that point and every single restaurant in every tiny town between here and there had closed for the night. We had to settle on gas station pizza.
We finally pulled into Mason City at 11 pm. I was hangry, exhausted, and not at all impressed with the town after the long day of driving to get there but I hoped I would warm up to it after I had a good night of sleep and some food.
Friday, July 7th
We woke up around 8 am since the storage unit facility didn’t open until 10 am. Our alarm was Andy’s ringing cell phone, when we discovered our moving truck was due at 7 am that day instead of the 5 pm that I had thought! Oh well, we couldn’t do anything but suck it up and pay the late fee.
We went to the Post Office to check our mail and finish the paperwork for the mailbox we had reserved before leaving Kentucky. I had ordered myself some birthday gifts (from me to me, hah!) and shipped them to the PO Box so I would have some “happy mail” waiting for me in an unfamiliar city. In case anyone is curious, I ordered this tunic in navy blue (affiliate link) to go with these American flag leggings (affiliate link) and these cross leggings (affiliate link) to go with this t-shirt. (The American flag leggings and “Jesus + Tacos” shirt were my birthday gifts from Andy!)
We arrived at the storage unit facility at 10 on-the-dot, eager to start unloading our truck. Unfortunately, the tenants of the largest unit they had– the one we were supposed to be moving into that day– hadn’t moved their things out yet. Since we had to have that truck back by 5 pm or would need to drive it 2 hours north to return on Saturday (since the only Penske location within an hour of here is closed on weekends) the storage unit company had to move us to two smaller units in the climate-controlled building. Thankfully, the Army has to pay for our storage and we can’t help that the company couldn’t get us moved into our original unit on time so the Army will have to pay regardless.
We unloaded the moving truck and raced to clean it before the 5 pm deadline. We somehow beat the clock with only an hour to spare! We were blessed that the truck rental facility opted to not charge us a late fee. We didn’t ask for it since it was 100% my fault, so it was definitely an unexpected blessing.
Saturday, July 8th
We slept in for real this time! I slept until 11 am and it was glorious!!!! I woke up feeling like a new woman. We cleaned out both of our vehicles at a leisurely pace, watched a Redbox movie, and drove around our new town.
I’ll share more about why we chose to do a DITY in tomorrow’s blog post! But to answer the question that I’m sure is on everyone’s minds: yes, we would do it again for our next PCS!
Have you ever done a DITY move?