As a military family, you are probably familiar with the reality of a military PCS move. Sometimes, it may feel like you have just unpacked and you have to get packing again. While the move can take its toll, you can still make your military PCS move a lot easier on yourself.

Experienced military families understand that a successful move is all about organization and planning. Unfortunately, your family doesn’t have the luxury of months for packing belongings. To take the stress out of a PCS move, here are a few ingenious strategies.

Have a PCS Survival Kit

Moving may see you experience a cash shortage in the first few weeks in your new home since you need to spend on utilities, deposits, and rent. Create your PCS survival kit using plastic totes that contain essentials such as pillows, bed linens, toiletries, and cleaning products. Carry these totes so you can use them while waiting for the rest of the household goods to arrive.

Furthermore, keep your children occupied before installation of the cable using small electronics. Pack paper cups, plates, and items for pets. Remember to fill your cooler with to-go meals that include snacks, drinks, and sandwich fixings, so you never eat out as you wait for the refrigerator to arrive. Not only will this survival kit relieve some stress, but it will also save you a couple of dollars in the process.

Start Planning

Orders have military personnel planning (rather, fretting) about the likely move long before they even know where they will be posted. Instead of fretting and losing your hair over the move, wait for the actual orders to come before you start planning.

However, when the orders arrive, you need to start planning at once, and remember that reporting dates vary – in some cases, two weeks after receiving orders or even five months later. Spend the time you have before the actual move to ask yourself important questions, such as what are some alternatives to PCS my POV.

Pack Important Papers

Before the movers come to your home, make sure that you have packed important documents like prescriptions, passports, orders, mortgage documents, social security cards, and family documents yourself. It is imperative that you carry these documents with you, so you have a clear idea of where they are at all times.

Preferably, store all the items in a brightly colored moving binder that features sleeve protectors. At the very least, the binder will help you feel even more organized.

Go On a House Diet

The PCS move is the perfect time to find out how much of the stuff you are packing you really want to unpack on arrival to your new home. Declutter your home by going through each of the items and getting rid of at least 10 things each day before the move. Throw away used up or broken things, sell functional items at a yards sale, or drop them off at a local collecting bin.

Get in Touch With the Orientation Office

If you have never lived outside of your home state, moving can become stressful. Fortunately, U.S. military bases feature orientation offices with online access. The offices offer you everything you need to know about your new location, including childcare services, housing information, and even the weather.


After receiving your PCS orders and the initial panic subsides, the relocation itself doesn’t have to be a stressful process. Make it all easier for you and your family by following the tips above.