You are getting ready to PCS! You are trying to get everything ready for the movers to come and pack up your home.
The only thing is, you don’t want the movers to pack everything. There are certain items you will need to label with a “Do Not Pack” sign.
What type of items should you place a “Do Not Pack” sign on? Items that you will either need to carry with you as you travel or that you really don’t want to find a week or even sometimes months later at your new duty station.
5 Things You Should Always Label with a “Do Not Pack” Sign During a PCS
1. Stuff for the Kids. You want to make sure you save enough for them to do when the house is empty or you are in a hotel. For us, that was a backpack full of their favorite toys, a laptop and some DVDs.
When we moved from Germany back to the United States we had to stay in our house in Germany for a few days after they packed up all of our things. Life was easier when we had a few items for my boys to do while we waited.
2. Important Paperwork. You will want to carry your most important paperwork with you, especially what you might need for the move. We bought a folder to keep everything with us at all times. I have heard stories of passports being packed as well as other important papers and sometimes it’s close to impossible to get the paperwork back in time if you need it to move.
3. Trash. Before we ever went through a PCS, I was warned to make sure you put a “Do Not Pack” sign on the trash. Otherwise, the movers might pack the trash and we would find it later.
In our case, that would have been months later since we were going overseas. I don’t even want to think about what a banana peel would smell like after weeks in a box heading over to Germany to join us.
Make sure they can’t pack the trash. You will be glad you did.
4. Cleaning Supplies. You will need to clean your house or apartment after your items leave and before you turn in your key. You don’t want to have to rebuy a broom or other supplies you might need. You want to make sure you go through everything ahead of time. If you have a cheap vacuum you don’t mind donating after you are done, keep that out too. Otherwise you will want them to pack the vacuum and you will need to borrow one if you need to clean your carpet after the movers have left.
5. Important Items. This one applies if you can take your important items with you in your own car.
For me, it would be my scrapbooks and my journals. I would feel a lot more comfortable with them in the car with us instead of with the movers. When we went overseas I did not have that option and luckily nothing happened to them but if I was going to move within the United States, I would want them with me.
Your important items might be something you just can’t ever replace or something that is very special to you. Make sure they don’t pack them if you can take them with you another way and want to keep them a little safer.
What items do you label as “Do Not Pack” during a PCS? What’s the worst thing that has been packed by mistake?