So, has recently received his or her first set of permanent change of station (PCS) orders. As a result, you have a rather limited amount of time to prepare for a major move to a new military base across the state, across the region, or even across the country! It sounds overwhelming, but the good news is that lots of military spouses have been in this situation before and have put together some helpful PCS move tips that will help you to prepare better.
About PCS Moves
Is the concept of a PCS move still a little foreign to you? Don't worry if it is. After all, there's a first time for everything. Essentially, a PCS is an order given to an active military member and his or her family to relocate to a new military base or related location. At the time your spouse receives his or her orders, you should at least know where you're being relocated to, but you might not yet know how long you have to relocate. As soon as your spouse receives PCS orders, it's a good idea to get into contact with your military branch transportation office, as well as the family and housing center at the new base. They will be able to assist you in figuring out the logistics of your PCS move checklist.
Common PCS Challenges
One of the most common challenges military families face is simply not knowing how to prepare for a PCS move. Executing a stress-free (or at least as stress-free as possible) PCS move takes a ton of careful planning and coordinating. Furthermore, because a PCS order can come with very little notice—sometimes as little as just a couple of months or in the middle of a child's school year— things can get even more complicated.
Ensuring a Smooth Move
Fortunately, no matter how little notice your family has been given for your PCS move, there are some steps you can take to make sure it goes as smoothly as possible. Start by creating a military PCS checklist for your move as soon as you have the PCS orders in your hand. This checklist should include not only getting in touch with the transportation and base staff, but signing up for on-base housing at your new location as soon as possible. You'll also want to get in touch with resources available to you at the new base by calling and requesting a relocation specialist. These professionals can help you with everything from budgeting for the move to even finding employment upon your arrival. Finally, consider making the packing and moving process a little less stressful by using this time to get rid of any possessions or furniture you can stand to part with. Consider holding a yard sale and using the profits for your moving fund, or donate some items and use them as a tax deduction. The lighter you pack, the easier your move will be—regardless of whether you use the military's movers or decide to take your own route and request reimbursement later on. Getting PCS orders for the first time can be scary, but there's plenty of support out there for you and your family. Consider checking out Meditec for further assistance and review this helpful resource on getting your life at the new base off on the right foot.