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The Ultimate Military PCS Checklist for Families


posted Mar 10, 2015

Everything changes when you have children. Those kids become a part of every decision you make, every action you take and every word you speak. And while your PCS may stem from your personal transfer to a new post, the truth is that your children should be your primary concern when executing your move. Finding a safe environment to live in, enrolling them in a good school, and setting them up for success in their new lives should be at the top of mind.

Housing 1 Source can help you do just that. We’ve created this handy military PCS checklist, which outlines each step of a family-friendly move. Follow these, and you and your loved ones will be well on your way to a happy life at your new post.

Securing Your New Home

  • Research your new city – The first step in our military PCS checklist is to scope out your new town. Determine which neighborhoods are best suited to your family, and pay special attention to the level of school districts in the area. This will help you home in on where to look for properties.
  • Contact a housing specialist – Get in contact with one of our military housing specialists to find the perfect home. Tell us all your must-haves—a yard for the kids, four bedrooms, a neighborhood park, pet-friendly—whatever else you want in your new home. Then, let us locate properties that meet your demands.
  • Visit potential properties (or have us tour them on your behalf) – Once your personal relocation specialist has found a few promising properties, it’s time to start scheduling showings so you can see the homes for yourself. If it’s not possible for you or your spouse to attend these, simply have your housing specialist go on your behalf. They’ll be able to determine if it meets your needs or not.
  • Secure a mortgage and close on the home – Finally, once you’ve found your new home, it’s time to secure a mortgage and close on the home. Remember, military members qualify for special financing options (like VA loans), so be sure to consider these when purchasing your property.

Preparing for the Move

  • Determine what type of move you want to use – Do you want to let the government handle your move, or will you be doing it alone? With a government-procured move, your military branch will move all your property (up to a certain weight) on your behalf. If you choose a DITY move, you’ll get reimbursed for your moving expenses instead.
  • Arrange your transportation – Next, arrange your transportation for the move. With kids, airports and flying might not be the best solution. Often, traveling by car is a little less hectic and more manageable for families.
  • Donate or sell excess items – Kids outgrow things fast, so before packing up all their stuff and potentially bringing along old toys or clothes that don’t fit anymore, go through everything and sell or donate old items to a shelter. This will free up space in your moving van, reduce your overall costs, and make it easier to unpack and get organized in your new home.
  • Begin packing up your home – Even if your moving day is months away, it’s not too early to begin packing. Start with things you don’t use every day, and pack up décor, art and other unnecessary items first. Also, use this time to do a “spring cleaning” of sorts; why pay to haul unused or unwanted items cross-country to your new city?

Setting Up Your New Life

  • Find furniture – If you’re not moving your furniture to the new property, then you’ll need to rent or purchase new furnishings. This includes beds, couches, tables, cribs and anything else your family will require.
  • Set up your utilities – You don’t want to arrive at your new home only to find it stuffy and cloaked in darkness. Make sure to set up your utilities well ahead of time, and have cable, Internet and other amenities arranged early.
  • Enroll your kids in school – Finally, make sure your kids are all set up to attend school. Talk with the principal, fill out the appropriate paperwork and get any books or materials they’ll need. You’ll want them to be able to start right away once you move in, so they can start establishing a new routine.

Once this is done, it’s time to get a move on! Schedule a time for your movers, pack a few travel bags and load up your car. Your new home awaits!

Get Help with Your Military Move

Is this military PCS checklist just not enough? Then contact Housing 1 Source today. Our personal relocation specialists can help your family through every step of your upcoming move.