THE Military PCS Moving Checklist

pcs moving checklist

No matter how many times you receive a PCS, the process of moving can be overwhelming. The best way to beat that feeling is by getting organized. A permanent change of station can be exciting and stressful, but having a checklist is a great way to stay in control without pulling your hair out. We’ve compiled a handy pcs moving checklist that will keep you coordinated without adding another complicated component to your to-do list.

#1: Connect with the Base Transportation Office, Finance Office, and Family Center

Schedule a meeting with the office in charge of relocation for your branch. At the meeting, gather information, including the moving options available based on your rank and family size. They can help you determine whether a DITY move or having the military provide movers is best for your situation and can assist in making the arrangements for your move. In addition, the finance office can tell you what relocation benefits you can take advantage of, based on your eligibility. You’ll also want to contact the family center at your new base for information on any assistance programs they offer at your destination and for helpful guidance on the new community you’ll be joining.

#2: Get Your Paperwork in Order

The military handles your move orders, but you need to make sure you carry copies with you and have all your other paperwork ducks in a row. If you're going overseas, don’t forget to get and update all family members’ passports. You’ll need driver’s licenses and identification cards if you’re staying in the U.S. Ensure you have copies of dental and medical records for yourself and all your family members, including immunization records. Hand-carry birth certificates, social security cards, and marriage licenses and/or divorce decrees with you to your destination. If you have kids, get copies of their school transcripts. Other paperwork to have on hand includes wills and power of attorney, shipping and storage documents, insurance policies, real estate titles and deeds, and copies of income taxes.

#3: Start Culling and Packing

Start purging, and get rid of, sell, or donate any items you don’t use or need. Be sure to have clothes clean and folded, dishes clean and in cupboards. This makes It easier for the packers to pack. The lighter the load, the easier the move. Don’t wait until you get to your new home before decluttering. Put together a box of essentials to carry with you in the car or plane and mark the box so you know to open it first. Bring a carry-on bag with clothing, toiletries, essential documents, and personal items so you have easy access to what you need. Remember if you pack anything, leave the box unsealed so the packers can inspect it.  Plan on the packers coming prepared to pack all that is relocating.

#4: Work with an Experienced Moving Company

Some military members use the DITY method when changing bases, which is great for some people. But for others - especially those with limited time, a family, or a large household - it's less stressful, more efficient, and more affordable to work with a moving company for a successful PCS. In addition, they can help you with your pre-move assessment, full packing services, shipping, secure storage, and even unpacking. 

Frequent relocations are part of the job for military personnel, but that doesn’t mean it has to be difficult and stressful. Using a moving company with extensive training and experience handling PCS moves is vital to an easy and smooth process. If you’ve got PCS orders, don’t wait to reach out to military relocation professional. Contact Nilson Van and Storage for help and guidance with everything you need for your relocation. We hope this PCS moving checklist makes your move go smoothly!

Whether your move is big or small, our skilled movers are dedicated to helping you every step of the way, no matter where life takes you.