By Jaimi Erickson
You have your orders, and plans are in process for the move. Now to get organized! Your first PCS teaches a lot. There will be lessons learned during each one. The things you need to do, the things you don’t need to do, and the things you wish you thought of all are worked out in the process. Every military move can be unique, but planning ahead with some great checklists smooths out the process.
Our first PCS as a married couple was moving out of the married housing on our college campus. I was so optimistic and excited to move to my first base as a military spouse.
(Cue the sniggers and guttural laughter from the salty wives…)
As we were checking out of our townhome, I was not done with all of the tasks I needed to finish. There were quite a few moving-related items that we just did not factor into our timeline. It is all part of the lessons learned.
Since my first military move, I have streamlined our PCS process. I have found great checklists for the PCS process. There are many free printable PCS checklists that can help you stay on target for your move. You also have a great resource in the PCS/Military Life Binder shared here.
I have gathered together free resources from the Web with military families in mind. You can print out these checklists and download the apps to help guide you through a smooth PCS move.
PCS Checklists and Downloads for Your Military Move
Stay on Budget
Making sure you are financially set for the travel expenses is important. There is no need to go into debt over a move. Spending wisely starts with this great PCS budgeting app to help you budget in what you can afford during your move.
If a spreadsheet is more your style, you can customize this budget template to keep your financial outlook organized. The reimbursements do not always arrive in a timely manner. Be sure you do not over-spend in the process!
Checklists by Timeline
My favorite way to prep for a military PCS move is with a checklist. I prefer the type that is divided up into time-based increments. They can be printed off and put right into your binder.
Big List of PCS To-Do’s
Every PCS comes with its own list of to do items. This list is more open without the date divisions, so you can adapt it to your move timeline. It focuses on moving day and settling in to your new home as well.
Printable PCS Pack-Out Checklist
I love this pack-out checklist. I always navigate every PCS with a printable guide. This assures me that I am keeping track of all the moving parts. Her lists include OCONUS move tips and timelines as well as tips for moving with pets.
Only rarely in this military life do we feel like we have some handle on all the things. The PCS Checklists give me that little bit of control to eases a bit of the stress that comes with every move.
PCS Binder Download + Cheat Sheets
Setting up a binder to stay organized during a PCS is a great way to keep life organized while in transit. I love last month’s article detailing how to build a binder for your next move. The printables linked here are helpful for keeping your binder organized.
I shared my household binder here that gives me peace of mind for being prepared for an emergency. Another version is a holiday planning binder here. I use it to keep the more stressful times of holiday planning less chaotic.
PCS checklists are so helpful for managing time during a military move. I hope these resources will be helpful to you if it is your turn to move this year.
More Tips for Your MilFam:
Solutions for Your Military Family:
Life Insurance, Wealth Management, Home Mortgages, Survivor Services, and more. Learn more about AAFMAA.