PCSing can be a drag. It’s stressful and there is always a ton to do! Add that in with the excitement with moving to a new location and you will soon feel overwhelmed. Here is a PCS Checklist to help you remember what needs to be done and when. We have even made it into a pdf for easy printing and re-distribution among FRG / Key Volunteers / and other Military Groups. Download and Print the PCS Checklist by downloading our FREE PCS Binder Kit located here.
UPON RECEIVING ORDERS
◊ Decide which Move you will do if the PCS is CONUS
◊ Go through all your belongings a room at a time. Use the Toss, Keep, Sale method and divide items into those categories. Throw away the stuff in the Toss pile and have a yard sale for the Sale pile.
◊ Make an inventory of all household items. Take pictures of all furniture and other high priced items.Use our Home Inventory Sheet to keep you organized. If you still have receipts for each item attach the receipt to the corresponding Home Inventory Sheet. For a blank Home Inventory Sheet that you can download and print, click here.
◊ Call your base / post transportation office to set up a meeting and to attend any class that may be required..
◊ Notify base/post housing or your landlord of your estimated move out date.
◊ If you own your home decide on if you will sell or rent. If you plan to sell, obtain a realtor and have your home listed right away. If you plan on renting look into hiring a management company that can handle the renting out and maintenance of the property.
◊ Go to the finance office to discuss what benefits/entitlements will be available for your PCS.
◊ Do not place anymore mail orders. If you want to order something online have it sent to a trusted friend or family member instead. If you have it sent to your house, it is possible that it will get delivered AFTER you have moved.
◊ Remove all moving stickers on furniture if you have used a moving company or the Military to move you in the past.
◊ If you have children now would be a good time to give them the heads up and let them know about the move and answer any questions they may have. If you have teenagers prepare yourself for the “I’M NOT MOVING” scream =)
◊ Notify the new post/base housing office that you will be moving there and check what is needed to get on the waiting list if you plan to live on post/base or what steps need to be taken if you are choosing to live off post/base.
◊ Contact a realtor in the new area for a listing of rental homes, if you plan to live off post/base..
◊ Have expensive and valuable items appraised (if not already done) and attach it to the corresponding Home Inventory Sheet..
THOSE MOVING OVERSEAS OR OCONUS ONLY
◊ Make arrangements to ship or store your vehicle.
2 MONTHS BEFORE
◊ Spouses that work should turn in a resignation letter and ask for a referral letter from their current employer. Servicemember’s that hold a second job or volunteer in the community should also turn in letters of resignations and ask for referrals.
◊ Start gathering medical records for all family members. This should include any private off post doctors, ER’s, off post specialists, off-post urgent care clinics, etc…
◊ If you have pets, make sure their vaccinations are all up to date. Make an appointment for a check up with the vet. Discuss any travel concerns you have and get a copy of the vet records to take with you.
◊ Do a 2nd sweep of all your belongings and have another yard sale if needed.
◊ Look into child care facilities at your new location if that service will be needed.
◊ Check with the new locations school district to find out what enrollment requirements are if you have children.
◊ Close any local accounts. This includes any charge accounts. By local, this means any stores or businesses that do business only in that area.
◊ Start making a conscious effort to use up any perishable items as well as cleaning supplies (neither of which Movers will move).
◊ If you plan to live off post/base, choose the house you plan to rent and talk to the realtor.
◊ Give official notice to your landlord or housing office of the exact date you will be moving. Most require a 30 day notice if not more.
◊ Verify your move-in date with the realtor, landlord, or housing office.
◊ Notify the post office of your change of address (if you already know it).
◊ Have one final yard sale for unwanted belongings. Items not sold should be donated to charity, posted on Freecycle, or given away.
◊ Return any borrowed items, such as library books, movie rentals, etc..
◊ Check with the local school (if you have children) on the proper procedure to transfer your child’s records. Also request a copy for your own personal records.
◊ Confirm your packing and delivery dates with your mover.
◊ Cancel local delivery services such as newspaper, water delivery, etc..
◊ Contact your utility companies to see which ones service your new area and which accounts will be able to be transferred and set a transfer date.
◊ If you live on post/base housing request touch up paint and make any repairs that need to be made.
◊ Make sure Military gear is packed and labeled so movers know that those items are not to go in with your weight allowance (those items are weighed separately).
2 WEEKS BEFORE
◊ Start packing all items you will carry with you, mark them and store them in a location that the movers CANNOT get to.
◊ Obtain any prescription refills needed.
◊ Retrieve any items you have loaned to others.
◊ Start using up items that are in the freezer or refrigerator or that are otherwise perishable.
◊ Make a colored floor plan of your new home. Each room should have its own color. Buy colored stickers to match each color. The purpose of this is to mark each box that comes out of that room with that corresponding color so movers, when they off load and unpack, will know in which room the boxes go, so you’re not being asked every 2 seconds where you want a box at.
1 WEEK BEFORE
◊ Have oil and belts changed in vehicle and make sure that it is in proper running order.
◊ Dispose of flammables (gas, oil, paints, fireworks, etc…)
◊ Set aside any cleaning items you will use after the movers have left.
◊ Make sure all legal paperwork and such are organized and your trip route is printed out.
◊ Finish packing all items you will take with you and have them stored out of the movers reach.
◊ Make plans to have your pet housed on moving day.
◊ Schedule for utilities to be turned on at the new place.
◊ Disconnect all household appliances that will be moving. You are responsible for the disconnection and reconnection of appliances. If the moving company does this they do charge for it and the Military will not pay for it.
◊ Make sure you have all packing day supplies on hand (colored stickers, markers, and colored floor plan of new home).
◊ Take pets that will be boarded for moving day to the boarding facility.
◊ Pack your car with the items and belongings you will be taking with you or store in a secure, locked location that the movers cannot get to.
◊ Remove ALL trash from the home. They WILL pack trash! They have even been known to pack trash cans WITH the trash still in it and unload it at the new place!
◊ Wake up early and get showers and breakfast out of the way before movers arrive.
◊ Place any trash from morning breakfast in the trash can OUTSIDE. Unless of course you want the movers to pack it and move it into your new home for you!
◊ Make sure there are plenty of drinks and snacks for your family, since you will not be able to leave while the packers are there.
◊ Make sure all your personal items and other items you wish to take with you are secure. This needs to be somewhere the movers cannot get to, such as a locked room.
◊ Make sure your pet is either contained or has been boarded while the movers are present.
◊ If you did not hire a cleaning company, time to clean your house so you can receive your full deposit back, or in the case of base/post housing, so you can clear! This of course should be done AFTER the movers have left and you have an empty home.
Today will be the day the movers come to deliver all your stuff. Make sure you had a good nights rest. You will need your energy!
◊ Make a run through the house and note down any damages (location, area, and type of damage) also take a picture of any and all damages PRIOR to the movers arriving. It is much easier to notice any damages to a home while it is empty.
◊ Clean any hard to reach areas before all your furniture arrives.
◊ Wake up early, get showers and breakfast out of the way for all family members, before the movers arrive.
◊ Make sure there are plenty of drinks and snacks to keep you and your family satisfied during the day.
◊ When the movers arrive, be friendly, introduce yourself and give them a quick tour of the home so they know where items will go. If you color coordinated boxes with rooms, give them a floor plan showing the color coded rooms.
◊ Be firm in making sure they unpack the items AND take the empty boxes with them. They are not required to put items away but they are required to unpack the boxes. They are also required to reassemble any items they disassembled. Some will try and get out of it, don’t let them!
◊ Be sure to check off items from the inventory list as they are unloaded and unpacked. Note down any damaged items. Making a note of damaged items as you see them will help you remember what to file a claim for. You want to try and have a list of all damaged or missing items within 1 week after the move so you can file a claim. Don’t wait until the last minute to do this.
◊ Write down any damaged or missing items on DD Form 1840 which is a pink copy of the paperwork for TMO. If the movers object or tell you otherwise, do not listen to them, WRITE IT DOWN!
WITHIN ONE WEEK AFTER THE MOVE
◊ Contact all creditors and companies that you have accounts with and notify them of your new address.
◊ Enroll kids in school.
◊ Notify DEERS of your new address for ALL family members.
◊ Visit Tri-Care to change regions (if applicable) and for selection of new PCM.
◊ Inspect each piece of furniture for damaged or missing items and notify the moving company claims department promptly.
Do you have other tips or questions? Comment below!