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Friday, August 12, 2011

Cliff Notes for a PCS Move

Every PCS includes a long list of things to do. Stay organized by using lists, working with your movers as early as you can, and developing a plan. When moving day arrives, your planning is sure to be successful.  If you’re going to be an Army spouse, you are going to be very good at moving and things changing at the last minute. Here are some tips to help you along on your next move. I have participated in two ditty moves, and 3 PCS and I tell you what, I am not keen on packing and moving myself anymore. We have a lot of heavy furniture and a family of 5 plus a dog.
Here are some tips that I use and these have developed out of things going wrong, getting broken, lost in transit and or just hilarious outcomes. Take pictures and document. On the day before the movers arrived, I went around the house with the digital and video camera and took pictures of everything. I also made sure to write down the serial numbers of all of our electronics and the computers. If you have valuables, collectibles or anything that you treasure pack them yourself. Be sure to leave room in the car for a few of these items. On our PCS move from Ft Riley to Ft Bragg we had the largest U-Haul trailer in tow. Stay with the movers while they pack! Watch them as they are packing your things especially when it comes to the breakables. If they seem to be clumsy with your items, then speak up but do it in a nice way.
Be sure they list your items in detail. There will be a packing list that you must sign off on before they leave. Be sure your items are listed in DETAIL. For example, don’t let them just write television. It needs to say the brand, serial number, screen size, otherwise, you could end up with something different you won’t be able to prove they packed it. Check everything before you sign. Once you have signed, you have agreed to the inventory list. If it’s not on the list, it doesn’t exist. Make sure the boxes or large items are labeled. The movers should number the boxes and the numbers should match the inventory sheet. Be sure to take official orders, birth certificates, marriage license, social security cards, etc. these should all go with you in your car. Also take all of your families’ medications with you. Better safe than sorry
Here is a survival kit for the new duty station. These are the items that are going to be essential, trust me. Our first PCS move I didn't take anything but clothes and YES we paid for it later. We were broke until payday, because we had to make a security deposit on a new place, and pay for all the utilities to be turned on. These are the items to pack in a large tote container. A telephone and if you have kids a (small DVD player with DVDs). Take toiletry items including toilet paper, paper towels and bath towels. Make sure you also have pillows and blankets; we also take two air mattresses. Take items essential for your pets. Be sure to leave out paper plates, napkins, plastic utensils, etc. so you can still eat while they are packing your things. This will also make it easier and much cheaper when you get to your new place until you find all of your dishes. Try to pack a cooler with sandwich meat, snacks and drinks. Also one last important thing, try not to dwell on the uncomfortable because you will look back one day and laugh, these PCS trips make the best memories.
When you arrive at the new duty station here is what to expect:
Check off the inventory list as they bring items in. Do NOT sign the final inventory until everything has been accounted for. If the movers took it apart, then they should put it back together for you. Try to go through all of your items as soon as possible so you can note anything that is broken. The movers should leave you with instructions on what to do if this happens. You need to follow the directions exactly or you might not get reimbursed.

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