Preparing For Your First PCS? 4 Steps That Will Help Alleviate Some Of The Stress

If you're new to the military, and this will be your first PCS with your family, you may not be prepared for the process. That's okay. Most people aren't prepared for the first couple of transfers. As you go, you'll learn some tricks that will make the process go more smoothly. To help you out on this first one, here are some tips that will get you through the process with as little stress as possible.

Visit Your Base TMO

As soon as you get your orders, you'll need to visit your base TMO, that's your base household goods/transportation office. The TMO will help you arrange moving for all your personal belongings. If you've opted to have a professional moving company handle everything for you, the TMO will make all the arrangements. Once the TMO contracts with a moving company, the movers will contact you to arrange packing and moving dates. Make sure you maintain contact with the movers throughout the process.

Start Emptying Your Cabinets

Once you've arranged packing and shipping dates, you'll need to start emptying your cabinets, including your pantry. You're not going to be taking most of your food with you, so it's a good idea to clean out your cabinets and gear your meals around what you already have at home. Cleaning out your cabinets will give you the opportunity to discard things you don't want to bring with you. It's also a good idea to clean out your refrigerator at this time, as well. That will give you time to give your fridge a deep cleaning before moving day.

Prepare Your Go-Bags

The moving company is going to take care of all the packing and shipping for you. However, there are some things you'll want to keep with you. Your belongings might arrive at your new duty station a few weeks after you do. Because of that delay, you'll want to have a few go-bags prepared for each family member. Your go-bags should have at least one additional change of clothing, personal hygiene items, and anything else you'll need while you're waiting for the movers to arrive. Your go-bag should also include your important documents, including medical records, PCS orders, and school records – if you have children.

Don't Sign Until Everything is Packed and Loaded

When the movers arrive to pack your belongings, you'll need to arrange to be home throughout the day. You'll need to sign documents once all your belongings are packed and loaded onto the truck. It's important to remember that you shouldn't sign the documents until you've ensured that all your belongings have been packed and loaded. If you sign before all your belongings are loaded onto the truck, you may be responsible for shipping anything that was left behind.

Now that you're preparing for your first PCS move, use the tips provided here to alleviate some of the stress you'll be experiencing. For other helpful tips, be sure to speak to your moving company as soon as they contact you. Visit a site like for more help.