Getting Ready to hit the Road? Last Minute Tips for PCSing

Even if you've had adequate time to plan, the last minute details of a PCS can be overwhelming.

Even if you’ve had adequate time to plan, the last minute details of a PCS can be overwhelming.

It seems as though it were just yesterday your spouse received PCS orders, yet here you are with moving day almost upon you.

Transportation has been called: check. The dog‚Äôs medical records up-to-date: check. PCS purging complete: check. Housing at the next duty station set-up: check. Everything appears to be order. Yet, you still may have a nagging feeling in the back of your mind telling you you’ve forgotten something important. Veteran PCSers will tell you this is normal.

You should be proud that you didn’t wait until the last minute to handle all of moving preparation, but even the most prepared family is likely to be surprised by at least a few things when it gets down to the wire.

Here are a few last minute PCS tips to help you stay organized and put your mind at ease:

  • SargesList Ultimate PCS Guide is a valuable tool at any phase of your move. Whether you’re fully planned or just beginning preparation, the free download will help you track, in detail, every aspect of your move.
  • Lists! Sit down and make a list of anything that could potentially slip your mind. Lists are always helpful and could help put things into perspective on those days when you feel like you are forgetting things. Also, make your lists available to your family and display them¬† in a publicly visible area. Perhaps consider a white or chalk board for shared tasks so items can be checked off and updated frequently.
  • Confirm important appointments ahead of time. These can include vehicle maintenance,travel appointments and hotel stays, housing check-ins or appointments, your children’s school registration, airline flight times (don’t forget these change frequently) and, of course, making sure your spouse has his/her ducks in a row as well.
  • Don’t know where you’re living yet? This can be a great source of anxiety. Check out AHRN.com ahead of time for off-base rentals, military for sale by owner, privatized on-base rentals, and temporary lodging at every base. Try SargesList if you’re looking to buy.
  • If your PCS orders snuck up on your family and you didn’t have a great deal of time to research before packing, check out Military Duty Stations for impartial reviews about the base where you will be living. Also, check out local base facebook groups for extra tips. Taking a long road trip? If you have a smart phone, this is the kind of research that can wait until you have some dead time.
  • Contacting other military families or getting in contact with your receiving unit is extremely helpful if you have questions specific to the area where you are moving. The member of the family who is serving should be able to procure this information.
  • Don’t panic!

PCSing can be an extremely rewarding experience with the right planning and organization. It is important to take one step at a time and not bog yourself down with too many tasks at one time. Best of luck as you move on to your next adventure.

 Need help settling in?

Missing a few key pieces of furniture?

Need help organizing you move?

Looking for a new home in your new duty station? Check out homes for sale on SargesList or homes for rent on AHRN.com.

Need help organizing your move? Download the free Ultimate PCS Guide.

Decide to sell your home? Post a free listing on SargesList.

Need details about your new duty station?

DeAnna Majors, contributed to this article. She is an Army spouse, parent, student, employee and writer. She has been married to the military since 2009, and since then has lived in Georgia, North Carolina, Germany and Virginia. She will be graduating in 2013 with a B.A. in History and a Minor in Sociology. She currently works in Colonial Williamsburg.

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