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Tips on How to PCS in a Hurry

Frequent relocations can be the best and the worst part of military family life. As much as relocating presents an opportunity for new experiences and a chance to see different parts of the country or world, it's stressful and even pricey a times. Whether you are new or a veteran to the military moving game, you stand to learn something new about relocating in a hurry.

Choose what to keep and what to sell or donate

It’s important to have minimal belongings when it comes to military life. Learn to get rid of items that you don’t need and only keep items that will be necessary for your new home. Relocating means that you constantly have to minimize your belongings to make the move less tedious. This also applies even if you have professional help moving because there might be a weight limit on what to carry. When packing sort all your belongings to three piles of items to keep, sell and donate. Donate toys that hold no sentimental value to your kids, tools and clothes that you don’t regularly use, food items and broken equipment. Sell unnecessary items and furniture through a yard sale or use craigslist. Anything you can sell prepare to donate.

PCSing preparations

Typically, a military move commences after receiving PCS orders upon which it’s time to start the process of moving to your new home, home of discharge or final duty station in case of retirement. You might experience some timeline troubles if you are currently living or will be living in military housing at your next station. This may result in you staying in temporary housing for weeks or months. Preserve all your receipts for paperwork and reimbursement. Before moving you will need to contact the family center at your new post, arrange a meeting with the base transport office, make financial arrangement as well as notifying the housing office concerning your move in case you are living in government housing.

General preparations

As much as you want to rush and start packing it's unnecessary since movers are likely to unpack already packed boxes and start afresh. Instead you should focus on separately and safely storing passports, bills that are almost due, medical information, password sheets and other documents that are necessary during the transition. Pull off items from the walls and store the bolts, hangers, screws and other hardware items in one box. If you are driving to your new station, ensure that the car is ready for the long drive. Get your kids ready by finding them a new pediatrician and dentist as well as registering them to new schools to make the transition smoother for them. The greatest benefit to military moves is that the moving costs are covered to some extent, however you will need to set aside some money for purchasing necessities and for your down payment or the security deposit on your new housing. Remember to prepare a first day bag or box to get you through the transition period without endless trips to the commissary.

Consider storage

When it comes to PCSing, self-storage is a great solution and the best part is that it may be paid by the military. A storage space gives you a place to put away your stuff while in transition, overseas or a station where you really don’t have use of seasonal items. Since the items in storage will need to move to your new home over time, protect your belongings by wrapping your furniture, packing items in plastic tubs and using space saver bags.

Additional tips

Take a photo of your belongings for inventory. It’s a great way of keeping tabs on everything before and after moving. For electronic and electric items take photographs of these items while they are actually working. Also, take pictures of the tracking serial numbers.

Choose a full unpack because it can be added to the price of your move.

Professional gear isn’t included in the weight allowance so pack separately to ensure that the weight isn’t accounted for in the overall weight.

May through August is usually the peak relocation season. Once you receive your PCS orders during this period ensure that you reserve storage facilities and a moving company right away because shortages are very common.

A military move comes with a lot of paperwork, to make it easier for you create or buy a PCS binder to organize all important documents for easy retrieval.

Save all your moving boxes they might come in handy for the next time you're moving in a hurry.