Plan Your Military Move: Week-by-Week Moving Guide

PCS relocations peak during the summer months, but how much warning you receive is highly contingent on the budget and needs of your service branch. Although moving is hectic in any situation, getting PCS orders adds another layer of decisions and stress. However, taking time to develop an organized plan will make any military move manageable and (relatively) stress-free.

Use this guide as a starting point when you’re thinking about how to plan your military move. It will help you keep track of important decisions as well as create a general timeline for moving.

Twelve Weeks Out

Start planning as soon as you get wind of your PCS — even before receiving formal orders. This includes:

  • Deciding whether you want to do a personally procured move (PPM) or have the government do it for you.
  • Scheduling an appointment with your current base transportation office to discuss details, PPM options, and other particulars like vehicle transport.
  • Sorting through closets, drawers, and storage to throw away and donate unneeded items.
  • Scheduling medical, dental, and vet appointments for before you leave, and arrange for records if needed.
  • Taking inventory of your home and taking pictures and video as record.

Eight Weeks Out

Two months prior to your move, make sure you are organizing paperwork into labeled folders and have a clear calendar for the coming weeks. Also:

  • Continue to sort through items in your home. Consider holding a garage sale or selling items online.
  • Have non-military family members give notice to their job and start looking for a new one.
  • Get finances in order. Consult your base finance center, particularly if you are moving overseas and need information on bank accounts.
  • Arrange to have school records transferred, and begin to look for childcare.
  • Have your vehicle(s) checked, and perform any necessary maintenance.
  • If you plan to buy a home or rent off base, begin to look for options and arrange for financing if necessary.

Four Weeks Out

A month before moving, be in regular contact with your base transportation and pay offices as well as other businesses and professionals you are working with on either end of your move. Also, be sure to:

  • Confirm dates with moving companies, base transportation office, and Personal Property Shipping Office (PPSO).
  • Notify your credit card companies and banks, and transfer accounts.
  • Renew prescriptions.
  • Settle all outstanding bills and cancel all monthly deliveries and subscriptions.
  • Return library books.
  • Begin to clean your current residence in preparation for leaving, including attics, basements, and crawlspaces.
  • Empty out refrigerators, freezers, and pantries through meal planning or donation.

One Week Out

This is it! Here’s a look at the most important points to remember during crunch time:

  • Pack smart. Use labels and zip-top bags to keep items in order.
  • Remove any stickers from prior PCS moves from furniture.
  • Disconnect and pad any electronics as you pack them.
  • Make sure to separate personal items from professional items if you are using military weight allowances.

Getting ready to plan your military move can seem like a big deal, but it doesn’t have to be. With a solid plan and with help from services such as CORT Furniture Rental, you can arrange for everything you need to feel right at home after your PCS. Check out CORT’s military packages today.

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