Moving in the Military: Your PCS Move Checklist

If you’re in the armed forces, chances are you will experience a permanent change of station (PCS) at some point. Make the process of relocating a little easier with a few handy tips. This practical PCS move checklist covers several things you might not have thought about on your own.  

1. Talk to Your Family

Family moving is hard, so once you’ve been notified of your PCS, the first thing you should do is talk to your spouse and children. This allows your family plenty of time to process the information before the move actually occurs. Be honest and upbeat, and allow kids to express their feelings and ask as many questions as they want. Make sure to keep the lines of communication open throughout the moving process.

2. Learn What’s Special About a PCS Move

A military move is different from a civilian move. If you are relocating within the contiguous U.S. (the lower 48), then you have a few different options. You can arrange the move yourself and receive reimbursement from the military, allow the military to plan and carry out your move, or move some of your items and have the military move the rest.

If you’re relocating to Hawaii, Alaska, or overseas, there are restrictions on the amount and types of belongings you can move, so make sure to learn those guidelines as quickly as possible. Families moving to a foreign country have to get passports and possibly visas. It’s also important to understand the policies for moving vehicles and pets.

3. Create a Moving Timeline

A successful PCS move involves a lot of tasks, from notifying your landlord of your move to last-minute cleaning. That’s why you should make to-do lists for what needs to be taken care of from three months out to moving day. For your convenience, a number of websites offer printable checklists specific to military moves.

4. Research Your New Community

Moving is a major life transition, but you can make it easier on you and your family by researching your new community. Once you know where you will live, try to visit in person to check out schools, childcare facilities, hospitals, parks, grocery stores, and restaurants in the area. Even more businesses to become familiar with include doctors, dentists, veterinarians, hair salons, health clubs, and mechanics.

5. Have Your Vehicle Inspected

Whether you’re making a military or a civilian move, don’t overlook your vehicle. There’s no better time to get your car or truck inspected for recalls or repairs. A vehicle in good working order ensures quick processing when moving overseas and safe transport when relocating in country.

6. Always Transport Some Items Yourself

When moving, you should take certain items along with you, including expensive jewelry, rare collectibles, cash, and medicines. Important documents like birth certificates, marriage license, passports, immunization records, and current tax documents should also go with you and not in the moving truck.

If this is your first PCS, the process might seem overwhelming. Don’t worry. Follow the six steps mentioned above to help make your move easier. To reduce stress even further, turn to CORT Furniture Rental for a sofa, chairs, beds, a dining set, and more to get your home instantly ready.

See How CORT Can Help