New stations, new relationships and new adventures lie ahead whenever we prepare for another (or first) Permanent Change of Station. Part of the appeal of military life is the opportunity to move to new places, but let’s be honest – moving can be scary and a lot of work. Below are some simple but helpful things you can do to make your PCS as stress-free as possible.
- Get Rid of Stuff. A PCS is a great reason to purge. Have a garage sale, list items online or donate to charity. This is best done a few months before you move, or seasonally. As your move gets closer and you find a new place to live, you can sell or donate larger items that won’t fit, or you do not want to store. Money from anything you sell can go toward your moving fund.
- Create a PCS Binder. Over the past few moves, we inadvertently created what I now refer to as the PCS Binder. Every piece of information needed to PCS goes into this binder. Ours has a zippered pocket in front where I keep pens, permanent markers, sticky notes, paper clips, tape, stamps, etc. Inside, I keep a small hardcover journal. Any information that we might need access to before, during and after the move goes into the book. Names of utility companies and account numbers, realtor names and numbers, the name of the moving company and contact info, prospective home options, school info – you name it, it goes in the book! We’ve referred to it more times than we can count. A word of advice – do NOT keep bank account or credit card information here.
- Stay Healthy. Most importantly, take care of your health and wellness during this time. There are a million moving parts during a PCS! It’s important to keep your head clear and your body calm. Meditate, exercise, eat well and try not to schedule a lot of extra activities or overextend yourself. Also, do your best to get some sleep. I know how the mind can run wild, but you probably can’t do anything about your PCS in the middle of the night.
For a stress-free PCS, remember to utilize the resources available to you, including an entire section dedicated to PCS on the Military OneSource website. There is plenty of information out there, so set aside time to read through and take notes as needed. Remember: Be proactive when you can, stay organized and ask for help if you need it. You’ve got this!