If you are in the process of your first PCS move, you are likely experiencing some apprehension about the process as well as how you will manage getting everything done in time. It’s true that there is plenty to do and a lot to learn! However, you don’t need to worry, below are a few tips to make your PCS move as fast and painless as possible.
Plan in Advance
While some military families learn of the relocation orders months in advance, others only have a few weeks to prepare. Military life can be unpredictable, but you can always be prepared for such unexpected moments. When you know a service member’s time is about to come to a close, it’s best you start planning for a potential move too.
You will especially need to keep a close eye on things during the peak military moving season – from May through August. This means PCS my POV with Executive Auto Shippers and securing other moving, packaging and storage services as soon as you can so you are not stuck without help.
If possible, save a few hundred dollars every month in preparation of moving expenses. While most of the costs are covered by the military, extra expenses have a way of creeping up on you and being reimbursed may take a while. Having some cash handy will help take the worry out of the moving equation.
Lastly, consider your home and possessions. What will you carry, leave behind, donate and sell? It’s a great idea to set an early yard sale date so you have time to notify family and friends.
Learn as Much as Possible About the Process
PCS moves involve numerous little details, from pre-approvals and paperwork to moving logistics and weight requirements. Use resources such as Military Installations to find out everything possible about the new base you’re moving to. In addition, Military One Source is also a great resource for learning more about coping with relocation and housing issues.
If you’re lucky enough to get a sponsor, take advantage of the situation. Your sponsor can be a source of information about your new location and the entire moving process. In addition, your sponsor will know the ins and outs of your current base and the one you are moving to.
It might not be feasible to pack everything, but it is critical that you are organized. Have a PCS binder in which you list items you don’t want movers to touch during the move. At the same time keep those items in a closed off area so the movers leave them alone.
Remember to set aside anything you need to be readily available, such as important documents, once you arrive to your destination. It saves time to organize such items in your PCS Binder so everything is in one place. Other important documentation you will need include birth certificates, passports, Social Security cards and mortgage documents.
Communicate with the Moving Manager
When moving, remember that a transportation company should assign you with a moving manager. In most cases, it’s the individual calling to schedule the pre-move inspection. The manager will also keep you updated on the move’s progress as well as confirm once your items arrive at their destination.
Get Ready for the Move
Active-duty military families tend to relocate three times more often than civilian counterparts do. A Permanent Change of Station (PCS) can be overwhelming the first time it occurs, but the best way to making it easy for you is arming yourself with information. Once you follow the tips above, you can be sure that your next PCS move will be a success.