Smooth Sailing: How to Make Your PCS a Breeze
Moving can be a stressful experience no matter how many times you’ve done it. But when it comes to military PCS (Permanent Change of Station), the challenges can be even greater due to the tight timelines and unpredictable nature of military life. However, with careful planning and organization, you can make your PCS as smooth and stress-free as possible. Here are some tips to help you breeze through your next move:
1. Start Early: Time is of the essence when it comes to military PCS. As soon as you receive your orders, start preparing for your move. Gather all the necessary documents, such as medical records and school transcripts, and keep them in a dedicated PCS folder. This will help you stay organized throughout the process.
2. Declutter: Moving all your belongings can be expensive and time-consuming. Take this opportunity to declutter and get rid of items you no longer need. Sell or donate them, and only bring what you truly want and need to your new destination. You’ll thank yourself later when it’s time to unpack.
3. Research Your New Location: Familiarize yourself with your new base or duty station. Research the local amenities, schools, medical facilities, and housing options in the area. This will allow you to have a better picture of what to expect and help you make informed decisions.
4. Get Professional Help: Consider hiring a professional moving company experienced in military PCS. They will help you with packing, loading, and unloading, and can often provide additional services like storage if needed. If you’re doing a DITY (Do-It-Yourself) move, make sure to properly organize and pack your belongings for safe transport.
5. Plan Your Travel: If you’re traveling a long distance to your new location, plan your trip ahead of time. Book your flights or reserve rental vehicles early to ensure availability and avoid last-minute hassles. If you’re driving, map out your route and schedule rest stops along the way.
6. Take Care of Your Finances: PCS costs can quickly add up, so it’s essential to have a budget in place. Keep track of all your expenses and save all receipts related to your move, as some costs may be tax-deductible. Look into available relocation allowances and entitlements to make the most of your financial resources.
7. Communicate with Your Family: Moving can be particularly challenging for children and partners. Talk openly with your family members about the upcoming move, and listen to any concerns or anxieties they may have. Involve them in the planning process, and explore resources available at your current and future bases to help ease the transition.
8. Stay Positive: Above all, maintain a positive attitude throughout the moving process. Embrace the adventure and look forward to the new experiences and opportunities that await you and your family. Surround yourself with a support network of fellow military families who understand the unique challenges you face.
Remember, a successful PCS is all about proper planning, organization, and a little bit of flexibility. By following these tips, you can make your next move a breeze. Good luck, and enjoy your new assignment!