So, you have received PCS orders and after the initial excitement of moving to a new location reality sets in. Where does one begin getting ready for that big move? If you plan ahead and create a checklist your move can be smooth and seamless.
The first step in the long moving process is to make the decision whether you want to do a DIY move or have the military handle everything. You need to take into consideration your budget. Moving is an expensive endeavor and even though part of your move will be reimbursed; you will need to set aside money for incidental expenses. As soon as you receive your PCS orders you should contact your post transportation office. Once you have decided on the type of move you will have, DIY or military, begin an inventory of your belongings. This is very important if you need to make a claim after your move. Plan on obtaining your medical records to travel with you or see how to forward them to you next assignment.
After setting up your move through your transportation office, you need to find out about where you are going. Contact your new post relocation office for information concerning housing, schools and other important information. Begin cleaning out your house and getting rid of unnecessary items you don’t want to move. This is the time to cancel local credit accounts, informing employers (of spouse) they will be leaving, notifying your child’s school they will be leaving and find out about obtaining their school records. Now is the time to decide where you will be living in your new location. If you are planning on moving into military housing find out if housing will be available when you arrive or will you need to arrange temporary housing. If you will be moving to a new home or apartment go ahead and set up your utilities and change of address for all your credit cards, insurance policies and magazine subscriptions.
About 3 weeks before your actual move, you will need to reconfirm you packing and pick-up date with your mover. Begin separating your personal items from your professional books and papers. Your professional items will be weighed separately and not be considered part of your weight allowance. Now is a good time to start that dreaded house cleaning job. If you have been living in military housing, there are certain conditions that must be met to sign off on your home. Find out what these are so you are not caught having to redo your cleaning job at the last minute. If you have no desire to clean you home for inspection, most militarily posts have a list of qualified cleaners who know just what is expected. This cost is well worth it if you don’t have the time of inclination to do the cleaning yourself.
On the day of your packing and moving be prepared for a couple of long days. After your items are packed and ready for the truck be sure packer’s inventory is complete. Watch your items being loaded and unloaded. Note any problem as this may help with a claim at a later date. If you are being moved by the government, make sure you receive a copy of the GBL, the household good inventory and if you are a CONUS move you need to obtain a DD-619. If you find any damage or missing items you will need to fill out a DD-1840 form. If you prepare early for your move, it should be a smooth transition for you and your family.