Orders are here. You’re PCS’ing! If it’s your first PCS (Permanent Change of Station) you are probably overwhelmed (or even if it’s not your first), this is completely normal. It’s an exciting and nerve-wracking time with so much to do! To get through it, here are 8 tips I learned from our first PCS.
1. TMO Is Great.
Seriously, DITY moves – no thank you! Having movers come pack your stuff, load it in the truck, take it out of the truck, and unpack it is awesome. I heartily recommend not doing it yourself! Really, it’s not as odd as you might think to have other people pack your stuff. Plus, it saves you a lot of time and effort.
2. Get Help From Your New Duty Station
This is especially true if you want or have to live off base. Talk to people who are there, who can recommend places to live for your and equally important places where you DON’T want to live. Your new FRO should be able to hook you up with resources, and a family in the area to help you out.
3. Purge Before Moving
Before your move comes, purge your stuff! Recycle, donate, sell or giveaway all the stuff you don’t want or don’t use anymore. Get rid of the clutter, you don’t need it. Besides, who knows how much room there will actually be at the new place.
4. Have a “No Pack” Room
Put all the stuff you don’t want movers to pack in this room. Clearly label it so the movers know not to go in there. If you have pets, put them in there too with food, water, litter and everything they need so they won’t get in the way, get accidentally packed, escape, or just be super stressed out. Remember, you’ll need clothes, toiletries, pet supplies & food, medicines, baby/kid food/supplies/toys before the rest of your stuff makes it to your new duty station. Don’t pack that away! You’ll also want things like blankets, a towel or two, air mattresses, a few dishes, trash bags, cleaning supplies, and chargers for your devices. It can take weeks for your stuff to get to you! Be prepared!
5. Plan Your Trip
If you are driving to your new destination plan your trip. If you are traveling with pets, plan stops at friends/family or ensure your hotels are pet friendly (not all are!). Acclimate your pets to traveling before your trip, and have everything you need with you. Including food, water, litter, medicines, carriers, leashes, collars, and copies of their medical records (especially rabies!). Be prepared on your trip, chances are that you will need stuff like money for tolls so have some cash on hand!
6. Clean Your Old Place
Clean it. Do it. You want your security deposit back right? Right. So clean! Wipe down the walls, wipe down the kitchen, clean the floors, clean the fridge & freezer, the bathroom, the blinds. Clean everything! Take pictures of the state you left your place in too. Not that I don’t trust landlords…but well, they are out for their own gains, not yours. Make sure you know what you are responsible for in your lease, if it says you have to get the floors professionally cleaned, do it.
7. Have Your Important Documents
This includes things like Orders, important contact numbers, hotel reservation info, birth certificates, marriage license, etc. Have copies of anything you think you might need. Keep your important documents in a safe place and all together so you won’t lose them. This is something you DON’T want to pack away.
8. Relax. It’ll Get Done.
It will. Really it will. It’s easy to get overwhelmed. It’s stressful, it’s busy, but there will be moments to relax. Enjoy those moments. Eating pizza in your empty place, the night before leaving, eating pizza in your new place with none of your stuff for the first time…