Father and son moving boxes

How to Create a PCS-Ready Home


You can’t live out of boxes for weeks just to PCS prep your home — you’ve got to have space to live in the meantime. But there are things you can do that will make your life easier when PCS orders come in and you find yourself breaking down one household to build another. Here are my tips for making your home PCS-ready:

  1. Create a home inventory. No matter where you are in the PCS cycle, it’s important to make a home inventory. In case of damage during a move, fire or theft, you’ll know what you have, its condition and value.
  • Organize your home inventory by room to make it easier to check off as you unpack.
  • Include item name, brand, serial number, date of purchase, description and its condition and value. If you are still making payments on an item, note where you send payments, the amount still owed and monthly payment amount.
  • Take photos of expensive or precious items to prove condition and include in the list. Capture the brand logo, serial numbers and receipts in the pictures with the item.
  • Save your inventory in the cloud, on a thumb drive and print two copies. Staple the receipts to one copy of the printed inventory and store it in a fireproof safe or safety deposit box. Keep the other printed list with you so you can use it to check off the items when you unpack.
  1. Purge early and often. It’s less work to get rid of something than to pack it up and unpack it later. Only keep and move what you love.
  2. Pack room by room. Request that the movers pack boxes by room and do not pack multiple room items in one box. This will speed up your unpacking and make the process so much easier.
  3. Color code by room. Use different colored tape to mark the boxes for each room, then prep index cards with the tape colors and attach them to the corresponding doorway in your new home. Matching the colors makes it easier for movers to place boxes and quicker for you to put things away since they are already in the correct space.
  4. Guard your bed hardware. Place each bed’s hardware into a separate Ziploc bag and label it. Then tape it securely to the bed frame. If you want to sleep in your bed again — do this.

Check out “Resources for Smoother Moves” for more tips. With this advice in your PCS tool box, you’ll be a moving pro in no time!

Julie Dymon
Written By Julie Dymon
Navy spouse

Julie raised her family through PCSes, deployments, earthquakes and hurricanes during her 12 years as a Navy spouse. Give her a cookie — for real.

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