There are many to-do lists involved in a PCS. While usually last on the list, preparing for what you need to do when you have executed the move is important. There are many things to do, that don’t even involve the shipment of your household goods or unpacking. Since you have enough going on this PCS season with potentially having to pack your own household goods due to driver and labor force shortages, here is a list of things to do once you get to your duty station.
- Set up utilities. If you are renting off installation, you will need to set up utilities. This includes water/sewer, trash/recycling, gas, electricity, and internet/television. Make sure everything is set up in your name. If you are an active-duty military member, consider setting utilities up in the family member’s name who will be home and not deploying. Many companies will not speak to those who are the primary responsible party, which is difficult to do if the military member is deployed.
- Change of address – this is a multi-faceted to-do item. Change of address with the post office, change of address with credit cards, banks, financial companies, driver’s license, and shopping addresses. Many states will allow you to change your address online for the driver’s license even when you no longer reside in the states as long that is your home of record due to your active duty military and military spouse status. If you have subscriptions from Amazon, you need to change your shipping address so that you receive the item and not the person residing in your old home.
- Mail forwarding. The United States Post Office will forward mail for up to one year, make sure to forward mail in addition to the change of address.
- Update your voter registration. If your registration is not linked to your license, make sure your address is changed for voter registration so that you receive your absentee ballot appropriately.
- Transfer to the appropriate Tricare region. This can be done online but may require a phone call if the system is having technical issues. In some regions, family members are required to go to civilian providers even on Tricare Prime so make sure to look up providers so you can do research to assign providers. If you have moved overseas, there is a Tricare representative that can help you transfer locations. If you have moved CONUS, everything is done via telephone or website now.
- Check your military ID to make sure it is not expiring soon. If it is, set up a DEERS appointment with Pass and ID to renew it. Expired cards do not have to be updated until October 31, 2021, per the current updates.
- Register the kids for school. Unless you were able to before you had an address, not it’s time to get your kids set up for school. Gather the important documents of birth certificates, proof of residency, immunization records, and emergency contact forms to prepare for the registration. Check out this if you need help on what to do for emergency contacts.
- Find a new vet. If you have a pet, make sure you set up the veterinary record transfer or hand carry those records to the new vet.
- Register your pet. With each move, check for the area or installation rules for registering your pet. Some locations may require microchipping as well.
- Meet the neighbors. It is easy to feel disconnected after a move, especially right now. Consider writing a note to introduce yourself to the neighbors to feel out their level of comfort for face-to-face hellos. Knowing who your neighbors are can create a feeling of community, which helps with moving forward.
- Find dentists and eye doctors for everyone. It isn’t an easy one, but finding new dentists or orthodontists for everyone and optometrists for eye exams are important. Ask in local groups for recommendations and Google like crazy for recommendations.
- Work on a budget. While not a traditional to-do list item, moving is expensive. Getting into the groove of a new budget is helpful in setting up financially healthy habits.
- Recycle boxes and packing paper. Traditional recycling or offering up the packing materials on OfferUp, Craigslist, or local Facebook groups helps get the boxes out of your house while helping another family move or recycle.
- Share with friends you have moved. Once you have moved, it might be time to let everyone know that you have moved. Announce with fun postcards or just the general “we’ve moved!” on social media.
So mark this off your to-do list – you don’t need to make a to list for after the move, it is all here for you!