10 Items to Take with You During a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) Move

With more than 420,000 military families PCSing annually, odds are even the most organized may experience some issues. Once you have created a detailed moving plan, decide what items to move yourself increases your chances of a successful move, and ensuring you have the necessities at your destination.

From our seven decades of military move experience, Suddath® suggests moving these ten items yourself:

1. Your moving binder

For every move, you need to have a single location to house all your essential documents, and a moving checklist.

Inside your moving binder should be passports, multiple copies of your orders, airline tickets, medical records, pet records, social security cards, birth certificates, marriage certificates, vehicle titles, etc. It’s also helpful to include extra paper, pens and a place for receipts in your moving binder.

2. Valuables

You should carry valuable items such as jewelry, bonds, checks, family heirlooms and items of great sentimental value, such as photo albums with you. Pack them in suitcases and hand-carry them, as well as purchase receipts, pictures and appraisals.

If you have valuables you can’t move yourself, have the items (e.g. artwork, collectables, heirlooms) appraised. The government does not pay for the appraisals but consider this part of the investment in the event of loss or damage. Attempt to locate original purchase receipts for more expensive items and keep them in your moving binder. It’s also imperative any valuables you send with the driver are listed on your high value inventory sheet.

3. Uniforms and work supplies

Service members should bring all uniforms he/she will need upon checking in to their new assignment. It’s not unusual for a shipment to take six weeks for delivery during the summer months. This also includes any equipment you or your spouse will need to preform your job at your new location.

4. Keys

Make sure to separate your car keys, house keys or storage keys!

5. Pet items

That includes crates, food, medications and paperwork. Remember, Department of Defense moving companies cannot transport animals. Plan ahead and make arrangements for their safe transfer, and comfort once they reach your new home.

6. Cleaning supplies

Remember to leave out cleaning supplies for the final “once-over” before closing the door for good. If you plan to have a cleaning service, never schedule the service for the day of or day after load day. In rare circumstances, the driver may need to come back the following day to complete loading.

7. Inflatable mattresses, linens and pillows

In the event that your driver doesn’t arrive before your temporary lodging expense (TLE) expires, it’s nice to have an inflatable mattresses and linens ready. If you are not able to bring these items with you, and your driver has missed your required delivery date (RDD), contact Suddath and we will send you a care package.

8. Suitcase

Don’t forget to set the suitcases aside that you will need for travel. This includes one for your pet too – it’s convenient to have their food, treats and bowls readily accessible. If you have children, make sure they put items that are most important to them (or will help keep them occupied during the move) in their own suitcase.

9. Medications and prescriptions

Take medications you need with you. That includes contacts and glasses. You might also consider bringing extra Tylenol or allergy medication and transferring any prescriptions to a drugstore in your new town.

10. Required children’s items

This should include dolls, stuffed animals, blankies, etc. Having your Childs favorite items can help ease the moving processes.

During every move, you need to have one room that is designated for items that should not be packed. Bathrooms or walk-in closets make great do not pack rooms. Make large, clear signs for the door. When the movers arrive, show each and every mover the do not pack room during your tour of the house. Make sure your kids understand, too. Check on the room throughout the day, ensuring that it hasn’t accidentally been entered or packed.