What NOT to Take Overseas

Packing takes on a new meaning with an OCONUS PCS.

Packing takes on a new meaning with an OCONUS PCS.

Congratulations on your pending overseas adventure!¬† An OCONUS PCS is an awesome perk of the military lifestyle.¬† An overseas move can feel overwhelming, but never fear!¬† Sarge’s List is here to help you make the most of your overseas PCS experience.

When you move overseas, chances are you’ll have a smaller home with smaller living spaces than you’re accustomed to here in the States.¬† And along with those smaller living spaces comes smaller doors…not to mention smaller cabinets, smaller ovens, smaller fridges, smaller freezers, smaller washer/dryers, smaller garages, and the possibility of zero closets (All of a sudden, you’re starting to understand the logic of Ikea’s furniture selection).

Uncle Sam will store some or all of your household goods (up to your weight allowance) if you so desire.¬† But is all of your stuff shipping worthy or even storage worthy for that matter?¬† Here’s a list of things you may want to consider purging before you head overseas:

Bulky furniture

If you had a problem squeezing your king sized mattress through your Stateside door, imagine what it will be like heaving it through a door in Okinawa?¬† Better yet, if you think you’re bed fits beautifully in your bedroom now, what do you do when you get it overseas and your bed is the size of your room?¬† American furniture is larger and bulkier than most furniture available overseas.¬† Look over your home and determine if you have bulky furniture that you’d rather not chance shipping in the event it doesn’t fit through the door.¬† You have little recourse once your shipment arrives at its destination if it doesn’t fit into your new home.

Cars and Trucks

You can ship one vehicle with your PCS orders, but the second is entirely on your dime.¬† You may want to part one vehicle stateside and pick up a commuter car from your gaining installation’s lemon lot upon your arrival.¬† Got a Big ‘Merican truck?¬† You may want to think twice before you take your big bad SUV or suped-up pick-up truck overseas.¬† Roads off of the motorways/highways can be much narrower than you’re used to stateside.¬† Also, parking garages and parking spots can be a tight squeeze for your van, truck, or SUV.

Small Motor Appliances

Moving overseas often involves a change in electric voltage, particularly if you live on the economy.¬† Your 110V appliances won’t cut it in 220V/240V sockets.¬† And even though you will more than likely be issued a transformer, 110V appliances don’t hold up well to the wear and tear of being run via the transformer.¬† You’re better off storing or parting with your blender, food processor, toaster, vacuum cleaner, alarm clocks, and other small motor appliances.

Cool fact?  You can still use your lamps!  The motor in a lamp is the light bulb.  Just swap your 110V bulb for a 220V/240V, grab a plug adapter for the cord, and let there be light!

Big Electronics

Unless you own a multi-system television, you’re probably not going to get much use out of it while overseas.¬† U.S. televisions broadcast on NTCS and overseas your new host country probably uses PAL and/or SECAM signals (you can check the country/signal list here).¬† Also, your DVD and VHS players will only play U.S. standard DVDs and video cassettes.¬† Big Electronics are subject to the same voltage constraints as we mentioned in the small motor appliances.¬† You may not want to run your treasured high-end stereo system through a transformer either.

The good news?  Your computer and/or laptop is capable of running on any voltage.  If you have a PC tower, you will want to ensure that you flip the voltage selection switch to the correct setting.  For your laptop, it should automatically detect the voltage difference.  All you need is a plug adapter to fit the outlet.

Do I Store or Do I Sell?

Once you examine your household goods, you’ll have to decide whether you want to sell or store your stuff.¬† More than likely, you’ll wind up doing a little bit of both.¬† Before you start going into super-purge mode, don’t forget to speak with your sponsor to educate yourself about your new location!

When you’re ready to sell, don’t forget to you can create a free listing by visiting Sarge’s List!

Need help orchestrating your move? Check out SargesList’s free Ultimate PCS Guide.

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