PCS Mistakes We've All Made
PCS Mistakes We’ve All Made
You think that you have dotted every ‘i’ and crossed every ‘t’, but the PCS process (and life in general) can throw a few curveballs. Take the experiences of other military families below, and you will realize that stuff happens, even to the most prepared of us. Learn that during PCS you will be walking a tightrope of preparation, organization, and structure, while also having a ‘go with the flow’ attitude. Use these shared experiences to put it all into perspective.
Not Realizing That You Are Not In Charge | Think that you aced the ‘final out’ from housing, as you watch your belonging drive off? Think again. A military spouse whose husband was deployed, learned that his orders were changed after their household goods and vehicle had shipped. Her advice? Utilize your TMO office. She gathered her paperwork and went to the transportation office to beg for help, she even brought cookies. It helped.
Not Setting Aside Your Important Documents And Valuables | A family was moving overseas and discovered that their passports were missing after the entire house was packed up. It seems that they did have a ‘DO NOT PACK’ area that was ignored by the movers. They had to gain access to the warehouse and search through their belongings. The next move they locked passports, paperwork, jewelry, and other important items in the truck of their car before the movers arrived. PRO-TIP: Don’t forget your pet paperwork!
Not Realizing How Much Your Kids Will Need You | Even if your kids have been through moves before, it’s easy to forget that a PCS move can be hard on them. Even a kid who was fine with one move, may take the next hard. Check in with and involve them in the process. Let them pack a bag for the plane or car, help sort out their rooms, and make time for goodbyes. Here are some special toddler tips. Patience and grace will go a long way at this time.
Exceeding Household Goods Weight Allowance | Know your weight allowance. It is hard to let things go, and easy to overpack. Sort, sort, sort your belongings! Look at everything with a critical eye, and sort by KEEP, PITCH, DONATE, and SELL categories. Hold a garage sale, and donate anything that did not sell. Overseas housing tends to be smaller than here in the states, so you should decide whether you want to move any of your belongings into storage before the move. PRO TIP: Military spouses may be entitled to up to 500 lbs. of professional gear that does not count against your weight allowance. Check the DoD’s ‘It’s Your Move’ document for the latest guidance.
Making Assumptions About Your New Location | Try to do your own research and due diligence when looking for information on your new location. Realize that social media groups contain many reviews from disgruntled folks. Don’t make your decisions on lodging or housing based on a few bad reviews. A longtime military spouse shares that they heard that the base lodging was horrible so they delayed making a reservation in hopes the lodging would be full and they would be approved to stay at a local hotel. As it turned out, there was a large baseball tournament when they arrived and no lodging was available anywhere. The closest town was over three hours away.
Not Understanding The HHG Claim System | If anything was lost or damaged during the move (and we hope it’s not), you have 75 days to file a claim. Make sure you are familiar with the claim process, and make it a point to submit your claim as soon as possible.
We hope that your upcoming PCS move is smooth. Planning and knowledge is key. If you need any assistance regarding a new home purchase or sale of your current home in Hampton Roads, Southeastern Virginia, or Northeastern North Carolina, do not hesitate to contact one of our Military Relocation Specialists.