Planning for PCS Season


It is the best of times, it is the worst of is PCS season.

Whenever orders hit my hands I know it means I have an important task; it is time to set up my move binder and budget! Each time we PCS, I put together a binder that has all the relevant documents we will need.  Below is a list of the items I include in my binder, and a sample of the moving budget categories we have. Depending on our move, I leave some of the items out, but this is a general idea of the documents you will need and budgeting categories to think about when planning your PCS.  

Many of these items can be found online, especially the information about your new duty station, but I have found that is very helpful to have important documents at my fingertips during a move.  It is stressful enough without having to sift through emails or stacks of papers to find whatever random paperwork is required. Whatever you do, do not lose this binder, pack it up in your household goods, or leave it in your car or hotel.  It has your life in it and should be treated that way!




  1. Moving Budget - including the following categories
    • Pre-move house hunting trips
    • Hotel - old location, new location and in transit days
    • Clean out expenses
    • Meals during packing and in transition
    • Gas/transportation/tolls
    • Packing expenses for DITY move - boxes, paper, tape, labels
    • Utility deposits
    • Security/pet deposit for rental
    • Down payment/escrow deposit for home purchase
    • Entertainment expenses during transition
    • Grocery expenses for stocking new pantry and refrigerator
    • Miscellaneous
  2. Copies of Orders - At least 10 copies
  3. Information from PCS Briefs
  4. Weigh Tickets -  if a DITY

  5. Inventory from Movers

  6. Personal Records
    • Power of Attorney
    • Social Security Cards
    • Passports
    • Marriage License
    • Copy of Llst two years of taxes
    • Bank/Credit Card Information - Info to update address
    • Recurring Bill information - Cell phone and other subscription services info to update address, etc.
  7. Kids Documents
    • Birth Certificates
    • Social Security Cards
    • Passports
    • Shot Records
    • School Records/Report Cards
  8. Old Location Information
    • Utilities information - to turn off/pay final bills
    • Clear rental/quarters, move in/move out checklist, and property manager contact information (or home  inspection if owning the home)
    • Copy of lease (or Closing Documents if owning/selling)
  9. New Location Information
    • Hotel Reservations
    • Sponsor Contact information
    • Copy of lease (or Closing Documents if owning/buying)
    • Utility information - to turn on/set up new bills
    • Information on new schools, clubs, house hunting activities

What are your PCS moving must haves? What do you make sure you have in your PCS move budget?