Whether you are new to PCSing or if you’ve done it many times, below are some tips and tools to help ease your next PCS. With some branches shortening their orders lead time, you can never be too prepared or start too early. Knowledge helps you feel empowered and reduces stress during uncertain times.
1. Stay Organized: Need checklists, use the DoD move planner.
2. Be Informed: Research the best areas to live in your new duty station:
- Schools are a good indicator: www.greatschools.net
- Neighborhood demographics: www.city-data.com
- Local area PCS info: www.SargesList.com
3. Home Sweet Home: Find and secure housing for a door-to-door move:
www.AHRN.com has a huge database of rentals and FSBO options. If you are looking to buy or sell, use www.SargesList.com (listings are still being generated as the site gains momentum). No matter how well planned your PCS is, always plan for the unexpected. Pack in your car a box of sheets, blow up bed, cooking utensils, etc. in case your door-to-door move is a little off schedule.
4. Finances: Put money in your pocket for the PCS by selling unneeded items on www.SargesList.com before you pack. You just might have something that someone else needs. Not only does this put money in your pocket, but you can also avoid overage charges for transportation and storage!
5. Peace of Mind: Consider having your pets moved by Pet Mover, helps with peace of mind during move: www.Petmovers.com. If you can’t take your pet with you, find a foster home or permanent home through SargesList.com or www.NetPets.org.
Lastly, sage advice from a 25 year Army wife… “We had 3 kids and we lived in about 3 locations while they were growing up. I think they are well adjusted and I attribute that to us immersing them in sports and activities to get them/us plugged into the community so we all felt connected.”
Breath, laugh and look at it like an adventure!
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR TIPS FOR STAYING SANE DURING PCS?
From one of our fans on FB:
I usually hope for amnesia after a move… 😉
– Church, right from the git go. Many of our family activities are centered around parish life, so it’s super easy to meet people that way.
– Find someone who lives at the new post and get the r…eal story on housing.
– If you’re not prepared to buy a house, and have circumstances that make renting difficult, try buying a camper for the interim. We did that for our last move (our 14th) and it was awesome. Removed stress from feeling like we *had* to buy a house without knowing the area, and no one would rent to us with our big dog.
– It’d be really awesome if there could be some sort of comprehensive list out there, organized by Installation, where people could list recommended doctors, dentists, schools, neighborhoods, Scout troops, music teachers, etc, etc, etc. THAT would help a ton.