Thursday, November 8, 2012

PCS/Moving Tips

I know that a lot of my followers are military spouses and have to deal with constant moving. I decided to write a post and give tips that have helped us have a successful PCS move.

* We have had the Army move us 3 times and we are about to have them do our 4th. A lot of people are hesitant to have the Army move them but having done it a few times I have to say: LET THEM DO IT! I absolutely hate packing so to have someone else do it is a dream. You will supervise them every step of the way to make sure that things are packed to your liking, if you don't like it make them re-do it. It's your stuff so make sure it's secure.

*As soon as your service member gets orders set up transportation. The earlier you do it the more likely you are to get the moving dates that you want. 

*Keep a binder of ALL important documents, this is mine:

In this binder I have every piece of information that I need: POA's, copies of orders, vehicle information, birth certificates, etc. Anything that I know I will need along the way. When you are not using it make sure it is locked away in a secure place. 

*If you already have a place to live at the new duty station, make sure you send in change of address forms to the DMV. It is amazing how military friendly the majority of them are. They just want a copy of the servicemembers LES. 

*Make sure you have your mail forwarded to your new address/or to a family members home until you are settled. Then when you are settled submit the change of address forms to the Post Office immediately. Also make sure you change your address with your banks and any other place you receive mail from (magazines, etc)

*If you plan on living on post at the new duty station you can typically get on the wait list up to 90 days from the report date. Contact the housing office immediately after getting orders.

*If you have pets, get copies of their vet records and keep them with your important documentation. I can't tell you how many people I know that have forgotten to do this and it was a huge hassle for them at their new post.

*Make sure you have copies of vehicle maintenance records, this may seem trivial but it really helps to have if something goes wrong.
*Take pictures and write down serial numbers of electronics. If anything is missing or broken you can prove you had it. 

*PURGE!! Get rid of stuff that you don't use or don't need. I didn't think I had anything to get rid of this time around, but I was very wrong.

*Take any valuables or any items that you do not want the movers to take. 

*Contrary to what people say you will make money even if you have the Army move you! You get travel pay, dla (dislocation allowance) and mileage. We made quite a bit of money on our last move. Just make sure you keep all the gas receipts for the mileage.

*Shred old documents that have lying around the house, no reason to take them with you and you definitely don't want the movers to get their hands on them.

*Notate any items that may already have damage on them. That way when you get your household goods you will know what was damaged during the move and you can file a claim.

*Request all medical records to be sent to your new duty station, this can take a while so be prepared.

*Make sure to get rid of all trash, believe it or not the movers will pack it. 

I think this pretty much covers everything that I recommend for a PCS move. I absolutely love it and I get a rush out of making sure everything is handled.
If you have any questions please feel free to email me:

Have a great day!!!


  1. I'm the worst packer ever... broke several things in my last move. Oooop.

  2. Purge purge PURGE! My favorite! LOL Next time, I'll remember to do the binder thing. That seems like a great idea! We've always done partial DITY and have to remember to keep ALL receipts. They get stuffed in an envelope on the dash (which this time around will be in my binder). Also definitely watch the movers! Do you sit in the room and monitor? I didn't last time and like an idoit left my wallet in the room so they packed it AND stole cash. OH!! And.. Make sure to switch your address on bank/import accounts and have the post office forward your mail to your next address.

  3. I love these tips! We've done two DITY moves before but this is our first PCS and instead of letting the Army move us, we might be doing another DITY move even though it will take us about 16 hours to get to Fort Drum. Maybe if I show my husband this post, he'll change his mind :)

  4. Thanks for the tips, Jen! We still have about a year and a half before we get transferred, but I will be sure to refer back to this.

  5. Great advice! Moving is one of the more stressful things about military life. So many unknowns, but this will surely help out fellow military families! Thanks for sharing.

  6. You know I am VERY thankful for this post!!!

  7. Great advice! I love having the army move us, it is so easy! During our first move, my MIL (a 23 year Army spouse) also gave me the tip to put things like kitchen utensils in tubberware so it is all in one place and easy to unwrap rather then them papering up every last piece. I thought it was a great tip!

  8. LOL! She is serious of the garbage! My waste bin arrived in Japan with a banana peel and apple core inside. ¯(°_o)/¯

  9. Super good tips! I am an organized nut job so binders are a necessity! Love it!


  10. A friend of mine moved to their new duty station ahead of her husband (who was Air Force at the time), and he left the trash in the house when the movers were packing. TWO MONTHS later, they got their belongs and their two month old trash. Definitely a good tip.

    When we moved this summer the AF was supposed to move us, but we didn't get orders until a few days ahead of time. I so wish I could have supervised someone else move our stuff!

  11. This is great Jen! I will definitely be referring to this for our next move! Thanks! :)

  12. Awesome tips!! Thanks for posting!


Love hearing from you!! :)