It’s PCS season and this year your family is one of many that will be moving. Do you have a PCS strategy?
Taking time to get organized before the big day can save a lot of time and some big headaches. Don’t wait until the last minute. Follow these 5 steps today to make your PCS go smoothly this summer.
The key to a successful PCS is planning. Sure you can just wing it, but wouldn’t it be nice to not get all stressed out?
Planning and staying organized will make this PCS a smooth one.
It all starts with a list. Organize your thoughts and put them down on paper or in your computer. Ask yourself, what do you need to accomplish and when does it need to be done?
Some of the main things to consider include: where you are going to live, where your children will go to school (if applicable), and if you will move yourself or have the military move you.
Is military housing available and would you want to live there?
If not, do you want to rent or buy a home?
If you have school-age children, what type of school do you want them to go to? You’ll need to decide if you want to look into public school, private school or the school at your military installation (if there is one).
Talk to your spouse and decide if your family wants to do all the work a PCS requires or if you want to get professionals to come help. Once you’ve made these key decisions, you can move on to the next steps.
Make a PCS Binder
Having a PCS binder is a great way to stay organized. Keeping all of the important documents and lists that you’ll need for the move in an easily accessible place is extremely helpful. Your PCS binder could include things such as:
- Your PCS checklist
- Important documents: birth certificates, marriage license, insurance information, Social Security cards and passports as well as car titles and military orders
- Medical and dental records
- School records
- Pet records: complete shot records, especially rabies
- Household goods inventory that includes a list of the serial numbers on electronic devises, the inventory list from the moving company and their contact information with delivery dates
- Budget section with receipts folder
- Important contacts: key contacts for the new command, utilities, insurance, schools, etc.
You’ve been putting it off, but now it’s time to finally purge your house of all the things your family doesn’t need.
The less you have to pack, the less you have to unpack and find a new place for.
Don’t get overwhelmed. Set time aside to do one room at a time.
When deciding what to keep and what to part with, consider the environment you’re moving to. You might not need those snowsuits any longer if you are PCSing to Florida. Decide what you can part with and then label bags for donation and resale as you go through your home. Once you’re done combing through the house you’ll be more organized and have less things to pack.
Prepare for the Movers
We have all heard horror stories about what movers have packed. To avoid having your own horror story, strategically place items together you want to stay together.
Labeling is extremely helpful. You can designate a different color for each room so you can quickly identify which room boxes go in at the next house. This can be done with colored tape attached to each box.
Move things that you don’t want packed to a designated room and label the door “Do Not Pack.” Things that you want to keep out for use before you move should also be labeled “Do Not Pack.”
Consider wrapping delicate items yourself. Wash dishes and empty the dishwasher before the movers arrive. Ask a friend to watch your children while the movers are there so you can give your full attention to the process.
Get to Know Your New Location
Think about the things you do and the places that you go to often. If you are a Starbucks junkie, look up how many are in the area. Does your family like to go to the zoo or aquarium? Look to see if there is one in that town.
Connect with other military spouses at the next command. Making friends in a new town is important and this is a great place to start. Reach out to the Ombudsman or key spouse. They should be able to help you get to know the area. They can also introduce you to other military spouses.
Look into community pages online. You’ll find information on local events and great places to go. You can begin to network as well. The more you get to know the area, the more confidence you’ll have when you PCS.
What steps do you take to make your PCS go smoothly? Share your tips in the comments section.