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PCS Move Checklist for Your Next PCS Move

Monday, June 5, 2023
A low angle view of only a roll of soldiers’ boots in uniform standing in a line

People in the Military or Navy tend to move around a lot. This is part of the job and regardless if it is your first PCS move (Permanent Change of Station move) or your million one organizing it as well as staying on top of things can be a challenge. Well, you can use this checklist to keep your Military PCS move or Navy PCS move to run as smoothly as possible. But, just to confirm…

What is a PCS Move?

wo men standing in a line where one is behind the other and both of them are in military uniform with badges

For those of you who are new to the world of PCS moves, here is a bit of a definition of it. As mentioned PCS moves stand for Permanent Change of Station regarding military or navy occupations. But, PCS is not permanent, permanent. As in it is not forever. PCS moves refers to a long-term assignment that will require you to live in a place for about two to four years. Therefore, the assignment is not forever.  

You would be given orders about where you will be moving to. There are two types: Conus and Oconus. The former is moving and living in the US. While the latter is moving outside of the US. However, it can include Hawaii, Alaska, the Virgin Islands of the US and more.  

When and if you receive your PCS orders you would have to keep a copy of them. The orders will include information related to your entitlements as well as your authorizations. You will need this information when it comes to coordinating your military or navy moving process. Therefore, a copy of your orders would be the first thing on your PCS move checklist.

The Basics of a PCS Move Checklist

A man in military uniform sitting on a sofa with his child lying on his lap and smiling at him

The main goal of any checklist is to help you stay on top of your moving process and PCS moves are no different. A common practice is to create a PCS move blinder that has all your moving details in it. This should be kept on you at all times and updated as the moving process goes along.  

Plus, you would want to start the process and create this binder as soon as you get your orders since you may not have a lot of time to get your move on. You can check out a PCS move checklist here to get you started or just use it if time is not on your side.  

The first couple of things that have to be on your PCS move checklist are: 

  • Official orders- Getting your moving orders and keeping a copy of them (just a reminder). 
  • DPS - Once you get the moving orders you can start organizing your move. You would have to set up your military move on the DPS (Defense Personal Property System). 
  • Transportation office - If you only have 14 days to complete the move you would have to get in touch with your local transportation office to make sure they have all your paperwork, and to tell them that you have a short timeframe. If this is your first or last PCS move, you would have to go to the transportation office in person. 
  • Shipment management- You will need to set up a shipment and make sure that if you have multiple of them that each one is set up.
A veteran in a wheelchair playing with his children in the park
  • VPC- The vehicle processing center is for car shipping as well as storage. You will need to have the correct and updated documents for this process as well as to make an appointment with the VPC. And, your car has to be in working condition. 
  • Landlord- Notify your landlord or housing department that you will be moving. Make sure that you have a moving checklist ready as well. 
  • Make sure all your paperwork is in order such as passports for moving out of the country. 
  • Medical checkups- Make sure that you and all your family members go to a doctor for a checkup. 
  • Vet appointment- If you have pets you would want to take them to the veterinary for their checkups and to get the medicine that they take. Also, you may want to ask if you would have to get traveling medicine for your pets to avoid them getting sick while in transit.
A woman sitting on her sofa and petting her dog who is lying next to her on her lap
  • Research your new location- This is so you can get a feel for where you are moving to. If you can take a trip there to house hunt. If not, there is always the internet where you can do research. Also, make sure to check if you need to cancel your bank accounts, utilities, streaming services etc. If not, then don’t and try to transfer them to your new address.
  • Cancel your utilities that you cannot transfer or you have to get new ones on time.
  • Make sure all your monthly memberships are also canceled.
  • Transportation- If you are moving overseas make sure that you book your plane tickets as soon as you can. If you are moving within the US, make sure that your car is up-to-code and ready for the journey. Check the oil, tires, etc. and take your car in for maintenance before the trip, even if you are not going to drive it.
A man sitting in his car while leaning out the window and smiling at the car at a gas station
  • Make sure that your car insurance and the paperwork are up-to-date.
  • Plan out your moving process such as when you will do what. When will you look for a moving company? When will you start packing? How will you move? Etc. 
  • Plan your packing starting from the least used items down to the most used ones. Make sure that your children’s rooms are the last things to be packed and the first in the new home. 

You can find more information in the PDF we mentioned earlier. It will help you plan out what to do and when. Furthermore, you can tick off as you go along to keep yourself on track. The sooner you start the PCS moving process the better off you will be.

Add Shyft to Your PCS Move Checklist

A soldier in uniform playing with his child at a playground in the park

While the above is a general checklist of what you will need to keep your PCS move on track, there is another item you can add. That is the world’s first tech-driven moving platform called Shyft. Shyft can organize your PCS relocation move for you while helping you keep on top of your checklist. Check out our Shyft Moving site for more information and to get in touch through our secure, short form. Likewise, you can download the free app on your mobile device which is Shyft Next. It works on both Android and Apple.  

When we receive your form we will send one of our Move Coaches to give you a call through the secure Shyft Next app. This is a video call that only happens when you say it happens. We understand that you have a busy schedule outside of your moving process and Shyft wants to help you by fitting into your already established time slots. 

During this first video chat, you will get to meet your Move Coach who is there to guide and help you throughout Shyft’s PCS moving experience. Furthermore, the Move Coach will take one step further by not taking a step at all. As in they will create your inventory list right there and then while you give them a virtual tour of your current house. You will be the one stepping around your house while the Move Coach makes your inventory list by not stepping foot into your current home.

Within half an hour from the end of this initial call, you will receive this 95% accurate inventory list through the app. It is here that you can add items, remove others, and leave notes. Through the Shyft Next app, you can take the 95% accurate inventory list to a 100% accurate one. 

Your Inventory List and More

A set of camouflage uniforms in the closet ready to be packed for PCS move

When you are pleased with the contents of your inventory list, you will send it to your Move Coach. This inventory will be used to source quotes from trusted moving companies that have been vetted and verified by Shyft. 

What is more, is that some of the moving companies that partner with Shyft have the know-how when it comes to military moves. Therefore, you and your equipment will be in safe hands while following all the requirements regarding your PCS move. You will get multiple moving quotes from moving companies that know how to operate and handle your particular move. Each quote comes from a different company. All the quotes gathered along with information about the individual moving companies will be sent your way.

A military man and his girlfriend petting their dog

You can compare and contrast, see who offers what, etc. Once you find the mover that is right for your situation, you let your Move Coach know. They will make sure that Shyft locks that mover down straight away. Plus, all the quotes are fixed without any hidden moving costs. What you see is what you will pay even if your inventory list were to change.  

What is more, is that we are on call to you seven days a week. Therefore, if you want to check in, check-up, or ask for moving-related advice we are a call/ contract away. We are here to help you with your PCS move while making it as smooth as possible. All while helping to keep you on track, and save you money as well as your time. Not to mention to keep your stress levels lower.  

Plus, we also have another service up our uniform: Home & Lifestyle. The latter is our secure marketplace that is home to a host of services, and physical items. The latter can be delivered directly to your new location. All that you see on the Home & Lifestyle tabs come with a discount. Therefore, you can save money, while looking at services that you may need or new items that you may want.  

Add Shyft to your PCS move checklist to help make military relocation a lot smoother, and save you money, time, and, more importantly, your nerves. Reach out to us today so we can get back to you when you want us to.

A soldier playing with his baby as he arrived home to his wife and kids

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