Ready, Set, PCS - The Best Tips For Military Families

Ready, Set, PCS - The Best Tips For Military Families 

Do you have an upcoming PCS? That means moving your kids, home, vehicles, and pets. It is an exhausting process for sure, so it is really important to be proactive and organized. These tips start very early in the process and move through until after you arrive at your new location. The timeline approach makes it easier to prioritize your ‘to do’ list.   

Before Your Move

Declutter & Organize | Take the time to declutter and organize before your move. Get rid of the things that you do not need. Take a mental inventory, where the items belong, and their importance. Photos may also help with this. It will be helpful to you after the movers come and pack up each of your rooms. 

Save Money Now | Remember, even if you are doing a full military move, you will need money set aside for extras that come up like hotel stays, and extra food. You will not regret having money put away for things that pop up. 

Plan, Plan, and Plan Some More | Once you have orders in hand and know where you will be moving to, start investigating your living arrangement options. On base, off base? Do you have a choice? You may need to get on a waiting list for housing. 

Start A PCS Binder | During your PCS, you will need to keep certain documents with you -- your orders, marriage certificate, family ID cards, etc. You will also need to make checklists, and you will want all this information in one spot. We recommend a binder because it is easy to carry around, every step of the way. 

During Your Move

Lists & Calendars | Whether paper, app, or online, you need to remain as organized as possible during the PCS process. Use the method that works best for you. Movers will be scheduled for certain days, the service member will need to accomplish things on specific days, so you will need to know exactly what each day requires. Be mindful of deadlines.

Plan For The Movers | If the military is moving you, plan for the day (or two) that the movers will be at your home packing and crating your belongings. Set assign your personal move items. You may want to consider having your kids and pets at another location during these days. You should make plans to feed the movers lunch and provide them with bottled water. This is customary in the military community. 

Identify Your Valuables | This does not have to be due to monetary value, it could mean items that have sentimental value and cannot be replaced. Identify the items that are valuable to you, that you do not want to lose. Household items can get damaged or stolen in the moving process. You may want to consider taking these items with you in your vehicle, or placing them in storage if you have an overseas assignment. 

Consider a DITY Move | You do not have to have the military move you. You can weigh the option of a Personally Procured Move (PPM), formerly called a DITY move. With a PPM, the government will pay you 95% of what it would cost them to move you. Plus, you will receive travel allowances. This may be a good option for you if you want to have more control of your move process. And, if you do not spend the entire amount, you can keep the remainder. This is only a consideration for moves within CONUS.

After You Get There

Decide Where To Live | Hopefully all your arrangements have already been made, if not, you will need to decide where to live. You also may need to find a temporary place, as you wait for a spot to open in housing. Consider the pros and cons of living on or off base in your area.

Unpacking | You will want to unpack smartly in a timely manner. Hopefully you decluttered before the move and everything you unpack will have a place and use. Think about what you need first. The sooner that you unpack, the sooner it will feel like home.

Explore Your New Home | Travel around and get to know where everything is located. The sooner that you get out, the sooner you will feel comfortable. You will discover things that your new area has to offer. Be open to it. Talk to people. Look for online groups of military members in your area, they can be a terrific resource. 

Be Gentle With Yourself | There is usually an adjustment period after you move. You need to settle in. It will take some time, try not to judge yourself harshly

PCSing can feel like a huge chore but it is an opportunity that non-military families do not have in most cases. You get to experience new and interesting places. Stay calm and embrace the change. If you have any questions regarding your upcoming PCS move, you can contact one of our Military Relocation Specialists anytime. 

And, let us know in the comments below if you have any additional tips to share.

 

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