Conquer Your Next PCS


Moving is stressful. Moving with the military, when your active duty spouse will likely be taking care of many of the details, could leave you feeling lost and helpless.  Time to take control of what you can! We are fortunate these days to have information at our fingertips with access to the online world and connecting via Social Media, but it never quite takes the place of the experience another spouse can give.  

Utilize your resources

No matter your branch of service, reach out to your family readiness center.  Most of the time these facilities will offer a class for PCSing (i.e. Smooth Move at the Airman & Family Readiness Center for the Air Force).

Compile your documents

Getting all your important documents together is a great way to have everything you need in one place when you need it.

  • Orders (10-20 copies – yes you will need them all!)

  • Family Care Plan

  • Overseas Area Clearance/Dependent Entry

  • Passports

  • ID Card/Driver License

  • Vaccine Records

  • Medical/Dental Records (give the office 30 days to make copies)

  • Birth Certificates

  • Marriage License

  • Education Documents

  • Social Security Cards

  • Shipping/Storage documents

  • Insurance Policies

  • Wills & Power of Attorneys

  • Tax Returns

  • EFMP information

Tips & Tricks

  • Hidden Costs: There are always hidden costs with moving (buying, renting, temporary housing, hotels, food, deposits for electric/utilities etc., replacing household items (cleaning supplies, toiletries, food), vehicles (OCONUS shipping vs. CONUS taxes and registrations), pets (vet visits, boarding, travel).

  • Moving Company: be nice to your movers!  These are professionals, so make sure to treat them with respect so that they will treat your stuff with the same kindness :)..  It’s also common to feed them and have refreshments available. Let them pack your high dollar items, they are responsible for everything they pack.  Feel free to go through and label the boxes as you like, I prefer the color coordinating rooms with colored duct tape on the boxes. Having one box just for parts is also helpful (TV remotes, screws from the kitchen table, cords from the DVD player, etc.).  As they take things apart, have Ziploc bags available for all the pieces…that will then go in the parts box.

  • Prepare: before the movers come, declutter.  Make your piles – sell/donate/trash. Go through each room, you will thank yourself on the other end of your journey.  Take pictures of EVERYTHING! Use your My Ultimate PCS app to store your pictures and serial numbers of your items so you don’t accidentally delete pictures from your camera roll.  Before the movers arrive that day throw out all your trash, toilet brushes, dish sponges, mops, etc. Believe me, these aren’t items you want to unpack after weeks in boxes, yuck!  Lastly, put anything you DON’T want packed either in your car or in a closet with a giant sign on it.

READY?!  You got this!  Ask questions, be informed and get organized.  This probably won’t be the last time you do this so there is always room for improvement next time.  My name is Rebekah and I’ve moved with the military 5 times, including once overseas and once all by myself while my spouse was deployed.  I’m happy to go into more detail or answer more questions, feel free to email me here:  

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