Military Households

Seven Essential Steps for Military Households Before Every PCS Move

Permanent Change of Station (PCS) moves are a common aspect of military life. It doesn’t matter if you belong to a seasoned military family or are a first-time mover, PCS are a rite of passage for military families. Preparing for a PCS can be both exciting and challenging, it is the ultimate test of soft skills in veterans. To ensure a smooth transition, it’s crucial to plan ahead and take proactive steps.

This blog details essential tasks that military households should undertake before every PCS move. By following these steps, you can alleviate stress, minimize disruptions, and set the stage for a successful relocation.

Create a Detailed Moving Checklist

A comprehensive moving checklist is the foundation for a well-organized PCS move. You may want to start by listing all the tasks that require completion. These can include notifying the housing office, transferring utilities, scheduling transportation, and updating important documents. It also helps to break each task down into manageable subtasks and set realistic deadlines. This checklist may then serve as your roadmap or blueprint throughout the moving process, making sure that you aren’t overlooking any critical steps.

Organize and Declutter

Moving presents an excellent opportunity to declutter your belongings and get rid of all excessive things that take up space. Begin by sorting your possessions into three categories: keep, donate, and discard. Take a critical look at each item and ask yourself if it’s truly necessary or if it holds sentimental value. By reducing your inventory, you’ll not only save on moving costs but also make settling into your new home easier.

Research Your New Location

While a new PCS move can bring the excitement of a new adventure, it also involves the fear and anxiety of adjusting to a new environment. Take the time to research your new duty station and its surrounding areas. It helps to familiarize yourself with local amenities, such as schools, healthcare facilities, shopping centers, companies that hire veterans, and recreational activities. Understanding your new community will help you and your family feel more comfortable and prepared upon arrival, allowing you to acclimatize and gel in with your surroundings easily.

Notify and Update

To ensure a smooth transition, it’s essential to notify and update key entities before your move. Start by informing your current housing office and the new one about your move. Arrange for termination or transfer of services, such as cable, internet, and utilities. Additionally, notify relevant parties such as your bank, insurance providers, healthcare providers, and any subscriptions you may have. By proactively managing these administrative tasks, you can avoid potential disruptions after your arrival.

Secure Important Documents

Gather and secure all essential documents in a safe and easily accessible location. This includes passports, birth certificates, marriage licenses, social security cards, medical records, and school transcripts. Make copies of these documents and store them separately, such as in a safety deposit box or a secure digital storage platform. Having these documents readily available will make the transition smoother, especially if you need them for school registrations or other official procedures.

Plan for Pet Relocation

If you have furry family members, it’s important to plan for their relocation as well. Research pet-friendly housing options at your new location and familiarize yourself with any breed or size restrictions. Additionally, if you want to take the pets along, make sure to research pet-friendly airlines and travel methods. It is important to contact your veterinarian to ensure your pet’s vaccinations are up to date prior to any of this. You must also request copies of their medical records so as to give proof of vaccination while travelling or putting up for adoption. Additionally, invest in suitable carriers or crates to ensure the safety and comfort of your pets during the journey.

Pack an Essentials Kit

If there is anything military experience teaches you, it is that before embarking upon any journey, one must prepare an essentials kit. This will help you and your family navigate the first few days at your new home. This may include basic toiletries, band aids, a change of clothes, important medications, a tool kit, anti-bug spray, snacks, and any items that will provide comfort and familiarity. This kit may come in handy if there are any delays in receiving your household goods or if you need immediate access to essential items upon arrival.


Moving can be a stressful experience, especially for military households going through a PCS move. However, by following these seven essential steps, you can alleviate some of the challenges and ensure a smoother transition. Following these steps will set the foundation for a smooth and successful relocation. Embrace the opportunity to start anew and approach your PCS move with confidence, knowing that you have taken the necessary steps to prepare yourself and your family for this exciting journey.

Looking for a Job? Great! We Can Help.

Are You a Veteran? Even Better – That’s Our Expertise