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Military PCS Checklist: Top 10 Things to Remember


posted Jul 19, 2011

Permanent Change of Station (PCS) moves can be taxing and quite costly. It is important to have a detailed step-by-step plan, to help minimize mental anguish and financial strain. Here is a military PCS checklist to help you get started with some of the most essential steps to a hassle- free move.

1. Chances are that your move will not be completely covered. The average PCS move costs families $1,725.00. The best way to prevent moving costs from causing financial issues is to save, save, save. Ensure that at least this amount is saved and set aside, as far before the move as possible. This will reduce the chance of having to tap into personal savings, to cover moving costs.

2. Your military ID is a very important item for you to keep and maintain. If your expiration date is approaching and may pass mid-move, be sure to renew it in advance. This will prevent any time without one, which has the potential to cause a host of problems.

3. Make sure that you have informed your financial institution, credit card companies and loan companies of your new move. A forwarding address mishap is an easy way to allow personal information to be intercepted. Also, if you rely on paper billing, it is a way to possibly miss payments.

4. It is always ideal to make your own inventory of the boxes that you will be moving with you. This way if there is something missing, upon arrival to the new residence, you are aware right away.

5. Compare your inventory list with that of the moving company, if there is one. Make sure that the moving coordinator is keeping a detailed account of everything being moved. Do not except vague categories, such as “misc”. Not checking the moving coordinator’s inventory list could cause problems for you, in the long run, if there is a discrepancy.

6. Inform the Personal Property Office, if using its services, as soon as possible, regarding the move. Remember that they are not responsible for items acquired after the effective date of your orders. It is good to remember that there are a host of things that they do not transport. For example, they do not transport loaded firearms, ammunition or volatile materials. Firearms that they do transport must be disassembled. Also remember that they only transport a certain weight, which is determined by rank and dependents.

7. If you are living in military housing, be sure to inform the housing department of your orders and your projected move date.

8. If the move is an international move and your vehicle is currently financed, it is important for you to begin processing vehicle shipment as soon as possible. It will be necessary to receive permission from the financial institution holding the title; without their permission, the vehicle is not permitted to leave the country.

9. To avoid any type of charges, whether in government housing or private housing, it is imperative that you follow cleaning guidelines, within your lease. If these guidelines are not followed, it is likely that you will be charged for them to do so. Before attempting to make any repairs, contact the landlord, to ensure the tenant-permitted repairs. Repairs made outside of these guidelines may cause a penalty as well.

10. Make sure that cash, checkbooks, jewelry, bonds, birth certificates, social security cards, passports and medical records are carried with you. Valuables should not be entrusted to others and neither should ID documents. If avoidable, do not ship these items.

Any move can become stressful and chaotic, but this military PCS checklist should give you a good start to creating your own “to do” list. Keeping things in order before and during the moving process can help make the adjustments easier as you and your family transition to a new location.  And remember, Housing 1 Source is here to help you find the perfect home and get completely settled at your new duty station.  Contact us today for more information or to get started.