An 8-Step Pre-PCS Checklist

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Written by Danielle Keech

Moving is a part of military life, and even though we know this and may have done it what seems like a million times, we don’t always know where to begin.

Here’s a basic checklist to help you get a smooth start on your PCS! And don’t miss the free checklist for after your move-in at the end of this post.

1. Start your PCS binder.

Your PCS Binder should include all documentation you may need upon arrival at your next duty station. For example, orders and moving documents, school and medical records, as well as other irreplaceable family documents.

For more information on creating a PCS Binder, see MilitaryByOwner’s video 3 Must-Haves for Your PCS Binder.

2. Decide if you will do a DITY move (“Do It Yourself”), partial or have the military move you.

Each of these moving options require paperwork, so get it submitted as soon as possible. The more people involved in a transaction, the more potential it has for getting delayed. So get your paperwork in early! If you’re moving yourself, this ensures you see a little compensation up front. If the military is setting up your move, this ensures that you have movers scheduled when it’s most convenient for you.

If you need help deciding which type of move you should do, check out Should You DITY?

3. Decide if you will sell or lease your home.

If you own your home, will you choose to sell or rent it out once you’re gone? If you’re not sure which decision is right for you and your family, check out what MilitaryByOwner blogger Mary Eckberg has to say in Military Move Ahead: Should I Sell or Rent My Home?.

If you’re renting, now is the time to inform your landlord of your departure date.

4. Research your new area on Military Town Advisor.

Military Town Advisor features reviews from your fellow military families. Learn about places to avoid, good areas, schools, restaurants, etc. This information is published for your use as you move to the area. Just be sure to contribute a few of your own reviews to help out the next military family!