You’ve just received PCS orders, effective in two months. Your mind races with questions like where to start and who to contact. Don’t panic! The following is a checklist of what needs to be done before you make your move to make it smooth and affordable. Review the list with your relocation specialist at your current duty station to determine what steps apply to your tour and situation. The steps are grouped by weeks, so you can build a timetable that works for you. As you do this, take into account that different steps will take differing amounts of time. We have tried to be as complete as possible in preparing this list, but there may be items that are unique to your situation that are not listed. This list is meant as a guide only.
*Keep in mind that your PCS move may take place sooner or later than 8 weeks. Adjust the tasks below to fit your moving schedule.*
8 Weeks Before Your Move
Immediately After Receiving your PCS Orders:
1. Schedule a meeting with a relocation specialist at your station to plan for the move. Ask them what benefits you are entitled to (this differs depending on marital status). To help the relocation manager help you obtain all the benefits to which you are entitled, advise relocation manager whether you are married, whether your spouse is a military member and provide the number of children or other family members living with you. Discuss the specifics of your move with your Transportation Office (TO).
The following are various types if shipments to consider:
- Dependent travel overseas.
- Shipment and storage of household goods.
- Unaccompanied baggage.
- Pet shipment.
- Movement of mobile home.
2. Decide whether you want to make a Personally Procured Move (PPM) or let the government arrange your move. Note: PPM move reimbursements are considered taxable income.
3. Visit your Relocation Office and obtain information on your next duty station.
4. If you decide to do a Personally Procured Move (PPM)
- Schedule a counseling session with your TO to talk specifically about your PPM.
- Provide your current TO with your estimated shipping weight of your household goods shipments.
- Get approval to do a PPM from your TO by filling out the proper paperwork. Without approval, you risk not being reimbursed.
- Once approved, get moving quotes from companies that specialize in military moving.
- Ask if you qualify for an Advanced Operating Allowance.
- Make sure the moving company is able to offer certified empty and full weight tickets (required for reimbursement).
- Reserve your move online or by phone.
- Visit the dispersing office to pick up your advance operating allowance (if applicable).
- Submit your claim within 45 days after arriving at your new duty station.
5. Call your Finance Office for details on Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA). You are authorized up to 7 days in billeting before your departure date. Call billeting at your new base for reservations up to 30 days prior to arriving PCS. NO PETS ALLOWED.
6. Military member is required to complete:
- Approved concurrent travel (overseas).
- Additional retainability or service commitment.
- Approved dependents medical and educational clearance.
- Request sponsor.
- Pet Approval information.
- Check DEERS enrollment at MFP.
- Check with TRICARE about portability.
- If a dependent has special medical/educational needs, they must be enrolled in the Special Needs Identification Assignment Coordination (SNIAC). Outbound assignments has the AF Form 1466 (Dependent Relocation Clearance) and letter requesting the instructional package necessary to inquire about availability of resources at the new duty location.
7. Set up a system for keeping track of expenses related to your move. (You will need a record for tax-deduction purposes, if you itemize. Remember, only non-reimbursed expenses are tax-deductible.)
8. Inventory your possessions and estimate their value in writing. Decide what things you want to leave behind.
9. Compile Home File for each family member:
- Birth Certificate (original).
- Immunization records. Ensure immunizations are current.
- Social Security Number.
- Passport (if needed).
- ID card for everyone 10 years or older, and Child ID file. Renew ID if necessary.
- Adoption papers.
10. If you rent, notify your landlord or rental agent about the move. If the lease contains a military clause, this notification must be made in writing.
11. If you live on base call the Housing Office to give notice of intent to terminate military family housing. Make arrangements for pre-inspection and final inspection of quarters. Housing allowance will not start until final termination of quarters.
12. Call Tami Price Properties, Inc. to begin the process of selling your home
13. If you are planning to live on base at your new station, you must provide the Housing Office with 3 copies of your orders and complete any advanced application for housing. Your application date will be the first day of the month prior to the month you arriving at your new base.
14. Request a sponsor at the new station and make contact with them when one is assigned to you. If you do not hear back from your sponsor, have your present commander write directly to your gaining commander on your behalf.
15. Inventory all your household items by room, garage, closet, etc. Estimate the value of your household items for insurance purposes. A videotape of the contents of each room can be particularly useful in creating an indisputable visual record. Record all serial numbers.
16. Decide what will be moved, what should be stored and what should be sold at a garage or yard sale. All unsold items can be donated to charity.
17. Organize your family records in a Travel Records Kit. Your kit should contain:
- Travelers checks
- PCS orders (multiple copies)
- Insurance policies (vehicle, life, health, umbrella liability)
- Marriage or divorce papers
- Pet immunization records
- Copy of wills, serial numbers (of valuable electronic equipment)
- Children’s medical, dental, optical records
- Financial and investment records
- Charge and credit card account information
- Truck rental agreement (if PPM)
- Bank account, credit card, credit line account numbers
- School transcripts and referring letters
- Car registration(s)
- Last Leave and Earning Statement for yourself and spouse.
- Power of Attorney (Check expiration date). Contact Legal Office to assist with POA, if necessary
- State and Federal tax records.
- Deeds or mortgages.
- Professional licenses, résumés, certificates and transcripts.
18. Complete all scheduled dental and optical work and exams. Obtain a copy of your medical, dental and optical records and put them in your Travel Records Kit or have them forwarded to the new duty station.
19. Update expired passports or those that will expire while you are stationed overseas.
20. Make sure that you and your family (if applicable) have current ID cards. Renew your Military ID if the expiration date is approaching.
21. Create a PCS moving file to track expenses and hold receipts and important documents.
22. Visit the website of your new duty station – find helpful information about what’s available on base.
23. Save your spouse notify his/her employer about the move.
24. Schedule a house-hunting trip. Commanders may permit up to 8 days permissive TDY (no travel expenses). If going overseas, check with the Finance Office.
25. Begin searching for a new home in your new location, or contact the housing office at your new duty station. Let Tami Price Properties, Inc. help you locate a reputable agent to work with in your new location to find your next home.
26. Start looking at child care options and schools in the new area.
27. If you are going on a remote tour, you need to decide where the family will reside until the sponsor returns. Family members can now move into Military Family Housing either at the home base or follow-on assignment location while the military member is gone on an unaccompanied tour.
7 Weeks Before Your Move
1. Gather medical, dental, shot, school, veterinarian, and prescription records.
2. Ask doctors for referrals in your new location.
3. Gather copies of legal and financial records.
4. Call your insurance agent to make necessary changes to your policy.
5. Contact your tax professional about tax-deductible moving expenses (those not approved for reimbursement).
6. Contact health clubs, organizations, and groups to cancel or transfer memberships.
Focus on the things you can do now.
6 Weeks Before Your Move
1. Plan how you will move valuables and difficult to replace items (certified mail or carry them with you).
2. Begin purging your home. Separate items into keep, donate, or discard categories.
3. Return any library books or borrowed items.
4. Make an inventory of all the items you’re moving.
5. Plan a garage sale.
6. Discontinue placing mail order purchases.
7. Start using items that can’t be moved such as frozen foods, bleach, and aerosols.
8. Check the Do Not Ship list for a complete list of items you can’t move.
5 Weeks Before Your Move
1. File a change of address with the Postal Service or ask them to hold your mail at the post office in your new city.
2. Give all employers termination notice and obtain references from supervisors.
3. Establish new bank accounts and safe deposit boxes at the next duty station.
4. Schedule to have your current utilities canceled the day after you move. Forward the final bills to your new address. If you have a trusted family member or friend
5. handling your finances for you, have the bills forwarded to them to pay.
6. Contact your finance and base pay office for information on housing allowances (if applicable) at the new duty station. Consider your mode of travel when discussing Advance Travel pay.
7. Obtain veterinary records and licenses and arrange for pet transportation.
8. Prepare, update, and execute wills and power of attorney, or letter of authorization.
9. Back up computer files.
10. If you’re doing a PPM,
- Order boxes and moving supplies.
- Begin packing items you don’t use often.
- Clearly label each box with its contents and the room it belongs to.
- Pinpoint your move date.
4 Weeks Before Your Move
1. Obtain information about the new location, including school calendar and enrollment requirements, religious institutions and how to get new drivers licenses and license plates.
2. Also get the names, phone numbers and deposit requirements of local water, power and heating utility companies in your new area
3. Notify the school of your child’s last day and request a copy of the child’s records. If you cannot get the records, get the address of the current school so the new school can write from them.
4. Other important records to consider:
- Academic Achievement Reports (tests, report cards, transcripts).
- Psychological Evaluations
Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech, Language Evaluations.
- Current and past Individual Educational Plans (IEP)
- Behavioral/Social evaluations.
- Vocational evaluations (interest, skills, attitudes)
5. Notify these utility services of your move (both at your old and new locations):
- Cell phone
- Cable/Satellite TV and Internet
- Trash Collection
6. Make travel arrangements for your pets.
7. Put copies of pet medical and immunization records in your moving file.
8. Host a garage sale.
3 Weeks Before Your Move
1. Plan how to transport your plants
2. Dispose of flammables, corrosives, and poisons. Check your moving company’s Do Not Ship List for a comprehensive list.
3. Have your vehicles serviced.
4. Check the expiration dates on any debit or credit cards you will use during travel. Notify debit and credit card companies of your move so your card is cleared for travel use.
5. Pick up the dry cleaning, processed film, or any other items being repaired or stored.
2 Weeks Before Your Move
1. Review your Relocation Budget. Determine what the total cash outlay you will need during your move. Include items like lodging you may normally charge.
2. Determine whether you have the cash to carry you over the moving/travel period. Include utility deposits, closing on new home, accommodations and meals, and pet expenses in your consideration
3. Ten days prior to out-processing, check with MPF. If you are flying, you will be instructed to pick-up tickets no later than 3 days prior to last day of out-processing.
4. Notify these professional services of your move:
- Financial Planner
- Health Insurance Provider
- Insurance Agent
- Schools Notify these services/accounts of your move:
- Auto Finance Company
- Bank/Credit Union/Finance Companies
- Credit Card Companies
- Health Club
- Home care service providers (lawn care, snow removal, etc.)
- Laundry service
- Monthly memberships (e.g. Netflix)
- Store/Gas Charge Accounts
5. Notify these government offices of your move:
- City/County Tax Assessor
- State Vehicle Registration
- Social Security Administration
- State/Federal Tax Bureau (IRS)
- Veterans Administration
6. Confirm travel arrangements for pets and family.
7. Confirm parking for your moving trailer or moving container. Obtain permits if needed.
8. Plan meals for the last weeks to use up your food.
9. Assemble a folder of important info about your house for the next home owner, including a forwarding address for you.
1 Week Before Your Move
1. If doing a PPM,
- Get familiar with some packing and loading tips
- Print two copies of your Bill of Lading (BOL) to keep in your moving file.
2. If you’re using a commercial carrier, verify the moving schedule with the TMO at your current and new base. If you are moving from a high-rise apartment building, be sure to reserve the freight elevator for moving day.
3. Tag all items going into storage. Mark on the sides of the boxes the rooms in which you wish them to go. You may want to mark which boxes you want to be first off the truck. These “early out” boxes should contain the items you need to help you set up housekeeping immediately–linens, dishes, tableware, etc.
4. Ship “Unaccompanied Baggage” – items that will enable you to set up light housekeeping immediately at your new base, because it might be 1-4 months before your surface shipment arrives.
5. Thoroughly clean the house or apartment for final inspection by your landlord or the Housing Office.
6. Pack suitcases and other necessary items for the trip. Set out any toys for the trip and prepare a first aid kit. Be sure to pack all necessary military uniforms and appropriate clothing for the weather during that time of the year.
7. Empty, defrost, clean, and dry the refrigerator for shipping or for storage. While defrosting, secure the door with a strap to prevent it from accidentally closing on children or pets. To keep the refrigerator smelling fresh, put a handful of coffee grounds or baking soda in a sock or in hosiery and place it in the refrigerator.
8. Review your moving plans with your moving coordinator. Email or call with questions.
9. Notify friends and family of your new address and phone number.
10. Pack an essentials box to keep with you during the move.
11. Drain gas and oil from lawn equipment, gas grills, heaters, etc.
12. Drain water hoses and waterbeds.
13. Measure furniture and doorways to determine if larger pieces will fit through the door.
14. Fill any prescriptions you will need during the move.
*Take a deep breath! You’re almost done.*
1. Lock your Travel Records Kit and other valuables in your car.
2. Take the children and pets to a safe location.
3. Have plenty of water and snacks available to keep you or your movers energized.
4. Be there when the movers arrive. Stay with them as they take inventory, tag your furniture and record the condition of each piece. Check off each item on the carrier’s inventory list. Check for damage claimed by the carrier by piece and make notes on the spot.
5. You’ll need to sign and/or obtain a copy of the Government Bill of Lading (GBL), the Statement of Accessorial Services Performed (DD-619), and the Household Goods Inventory before the packers leave the residence. Remember that you can also make notes on inventory records. Sign nothing that is blank. Place these documents in the Travel Records Kit and keep all shipping documents in your possession during the trip.
6. Make a thorough inspection of the house – attic, basement, closets, cupboards, garage and yard – before the movers leave to be sure nothing important is left behind.
7. After the movers have left, close and securely lock all doors and windows, and turn off the lights. If required, leave any household keys in a predesignated location for your landlord.
8. Leave a note with your new address so that future residents can forward stray mail.
If you’re doing a PPM
1. Place carpet, floor, and door frame protectors throughout your home.
2. Load goods in a pre-designated order, saving “last load” items for the rear of your shipment.
3. Call the local service center to have your loaded moving trailer or moving container picked up.
On The Way
Keep a log of all moving expenses incurred. This log may be helpful at tax time. An Air Force Survey indicates members only receive $1.00 in reimbursements for every $3.00 spent on moves. Keep all your receipts. If you and your family are traveling separately, keep two logs. Keep receipts on the following items:
a. Rentals, air/bus/rail fares
b. Gasoline (accurate mileage)
d. Rent deposits
e. Utility deposits
f. Installation charges
At Your New Home
1. Upon arrival, report to command. Let them know where you’ll be staying and what your permanent address will be.
2. Complete any required check-in processing.
3. Contact the family center relocation manager and the housing office at your new base for assistance getting settled.
4. Call TMO and give them your new phone number so they can contact you when your shipment arrives.
1. Contact your new duty station’s Transportation Office as soon as you arrive for further instruction.
2. If the government is taking care of your move, be sure to note if any items are lost or damaged. Record the loss or damage on DD From 1840.
3. Update DEERS.
4. Update TRICARE.
5. Clean your new home.
6. Make sure everything is working and make repairs before your belongings arrive.
7. Pick up any mail being held for you at the local post office.
8. Unload your items and begin organizing your new home.
9. Keep all receipts and documents in your moving file and store it in an easy-to-
10. remember location.
11. Get a new driver’s license and vehicle tags, register to vote, etc.
12. Contact the local paper for a new subscription.
Enjoy your new home!
Need help finding a home in your new location? Contact us today…we’re happy to help!
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