10 Tips For Your First PCS Move (Military Spouse Edition)
If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the last few years is military life can be pretty stressful, even for a military spouse.
One of the most stressful times you might experience as a milso (military spouse) is your first pcs. Don’t get me wrong anytime you move it’s exhausting.
But moving to a completely new area with so many uncertainties is like the icing on the cake.
I remember what it felt like to be so nervous and overwhelmed by this “new life” we were starting, with 2 kids at that! So now I’m here to give you a few tips on how to prepare for your first pcs move as a new military spouse.
1. PCS Folder
Get a PCS folder just for your move and keep all of your important paperwork and documents. Make several copies of your husband’s pcs orders. Birth/marriage certificates, social security cards, passports. I can’t stress how helpful it is to have everything you need in one spot.
Figure out if you wanna live on or off post. For your first pcs move it might be easier to live on post. Depending on your duty station you should be able to get a good idea of what the housing looks like and the general area all from a simple online search. Usually, the people who work in the leasing office on post are really friendly and helpful which makes the whole process a breeze.
3. Research Research Research
Research the area you plan on moving to. if you have kids you wanna check out the schools and school district. Make sure the neighborhood you choose to move to is suitable for your family. If you plan on buying or renting off post, I would advise you to make a trip beforehand to check out everything in person.
If that’s not possible for you try using streetview to at least get a look of the neighborhood from a different angle. I can’t tell you how many houses I’ve looked at and loved only to hate the way the neighborhood looked.
If you plan on living on post see if you can apply for housing online or give them a call to see what the process is. You wanna do all of this as soon as you guys get your orders.
4. Search For Doctors & Dentist
This one usually takes a while for me because finding the right doctor is so important. Start with online reviews and then go from there. I would call to get some general information about the office/clinic and see how friendly the staff is. If you have kids you may want them to go to their own pediatrician or find a family dr for you and the kids (that’s definitely easier).
5. Gather Everyone’s Medical Records
Before you move get everyone up to date on shots and doctors appointments. Get copies of all shot, medical, and dental records for your pcs folder. It’ll save so much time when you get to your new doctors office, you won’t have to wait until they get the records from your old doctors office. If you are anyone else in your family has any medical issues this step is especially important.
6. Tell School Officials About The Move
Let the office receptionist, the teacher, and the principal at your kids’ school know that you guys will be leaving soon. That way you can fill out any necessary paperwork and prepare the teachers and students for an early goodbye.
7. Car Maintenance
If you will be driving to your new duty station make sure you get all the necessary maintenance to your car like and oil change or tune-up. the last thing you want is to have car troubles during a big move.
8. Start Packing Early
I started when my husband was in AIT before we even knew where or when we would be moving. Making sure things are organized before you even start packing will put your mind at ease plus make unpacking so much easier. If you don’t have much help without your husband the sooner you start packing the better. Start with things you don’t use on a regular basis… toss it in a box and put a label on it.
9. Find Movers
You can either do a DIY move which allows you to be reimbursed by the government for moving your belongings yourself. Another option is “A Household Goods move” which is a move completed by a government-furnished moving company. You can read more about this here.
10. Make Sure You Have Your Military I.D
Make sure you keep up with your id card. You’ll need it to get on post, to see a dr, you’ll need it for just about EVERYTHING.
I hope this post made things a little bit easier for you. Let’s get some things checked off your list so you can make to your first duty station and finally take a breath. I know things are a little scary right now but in the end, it’ll be so worth it! Welcome to the milso family! Be sure to subscribe to my email list.