More Confessions of a Military Spouse

When we moved here and started unpacking, I set some things aside to donate to Goodwill.  I put them in empty boxes and stacked them in the garage to haul away.

A year ago.  They’re still there.  Ugh.  I promise they won’t get moved with us on the next PCS.

I resolve to finally handle the matter.  Um, maybe tomorrow.  Or next week.

My procrastination is embarrassing.

About the Author

Sarah has been married to her soldier for a bit more than 10 years. In the past decade, they've been at six different duty stations in four different branches of the Army. They've also endured three deployments, six miscarriages, and a failed IVF. Sarah's blogging focus has shifted some in the past five years, from common military issues to something more personal: the difficult intersection between the military and infertility. It's hard for some couples to start a family; it's even harder when one person spends a lot of time on the other side of the globe. But Sarah was lucky enough to declare Mission Accomplished when their daughter was born 10 days after her husband's return from Afghanistan. And she tries to remind herself how irreplaceable and cherished that daughter is now that she's entered the terrible two's. In her free time, Sarah is a pioneer housewife: knitting, crocheting, and cooking ... and sometimes even firing a weapon.
  • Chalk it up to the old tradition that you’ll always get orders just after you get rid of the last box. Think of the boxes as your insurance policy against having to PCS unexpectedly.

  • We always find it very difficult to find a thrift store that takes donations! We love thrift stores (I collect vintage Hawaiiana and the husband collects vinyl records, so it’s either eBay or the thrift stores. lol) so we go frequently and they always seem to have signs on the doors “No Donations!”, “NO Donation Drop-Off!!” well… how am I supposed to give you my stuff!? I’ve heard people say that there are bog donation boxes around town but I’ve seen one once and someone had dumped real garbage in it. hahaha. We always have a box that we add to, usually in the shed. Have you tried Freecycle? They are groups arranged by city where you join and list what you have that you don’t want, then others email you saying they want it and then drive to your house or where ever you say and pick it up and take it home. It’s good for people with no ambition to take it somewhere or who have no place to take it. lol.

  • Erin

    Sarah, you’re in good company. It’s the clutter that keeps me down. I have too many piles and boxes to go through that have been there since we moved in over two years ago. I can’t wait to PCS because it’s not coming with me!

  • Celinda

    I am the worse, prior military and newly married now to my active duty husband who once returns back from Iraq we PCS. I still have some of his stuff in a storage unit and I have been in my home for over 10yrs so can u imagine and last child graduated last yr n mom still has all 3 kids stuff. So don’t feel bad!

  • tankerswife

    I’m more impressed with you having things put in boxes and tidily stored in the garage. My stuff’s just tossed in piles in the basement.

  • In the four weeks that my husband has been home from Iraq, he was unpacked countless boxes, cleaned out the garage, the living room, our bedroom and — horror of horrors – my closet.
    Meanwhile, I lived here for 14 months while he was gone, just fine with the mess, the clutter, the disgusting-ness that was me.
    I – and he – thought I might be upset when he started cleaning it up. But in fact, I was pleasantly surprised. After all of his cleaning and organizing and re-arranging …
    My house finally feels like a home.

  • Petra

    I haven’t seen my books for over a year now, they’re still packed up in their boxes in the basement since we have yet to empty out the book shelves that currently hold various military items…

  • Heh. I have three boxes in our spare closet that were not unpacked from when we moved here a year ago. The sad thing is that one of the boxes wasn’t unpacked from when we moved the time before, THREE years prior. I think it is pretty safe to say that we don’t need anything in them and that they’d be better off in the trash or donated to charity (can’t say for sure; no idea what’s in there).

  • Edward Williams

    Got stuff:
    Go to:

  • Edward Williams

    Got stuff:
    Go to:

  • jgandy

    About those prospective donations… the Navy/Marine Corps Relief Society operates thrift stores on most Navy and Marine bases and are happy to accept donations. My spouse has long been a volunteer at the one in Miramar, and yes they do get a lot of trash in there but also find some real gems get donated too!