How Military Spouses Can Cope With a PCS Move

Coping with a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) move as a military spouse involves a combination of thorough planning, financial preparation, and emotional adjustment. At Firefighting’s Finest Movers & Storage, we know firsthand. Our founders are former military and understand the rigors that a PCS move can have on a family. Today we’ll look at some practical advice for helping you navigate the complications of a PCS move so you can handle the transition with ease. Here are 13 tips for coping with a permanent change of station:

  1. Research the New Duty Station: The moment you learn about the new orders, dive into researching your future home. Look into commute times, school quality, neighborhood amenities, and proximity to essential services like grocery stores. This isn’t just about logistics; it’s about mentally preparing yourself and your family for the new environment. Platforms like MILLIE offer extensive guides on various military bases, and don’t underestimate the value of social media groups and base websites for insider info. The goal is to make the unknown a bit more familiar, easing the transition.
  2. Home Search and Selling Process: Timing is crucial here. Start looking for a new home or selling your current one as soon as possible. This process can be lengthy and stressful, so working with professionals experienced in military relocations, like MILLIE’s AgentHeros, can be a game-changer. They understand the unique challenges and tight timelines of military moves. Also, if you can’t physically visit a potential new home, consider hiring an objective third party to inspect it for you. It’s about making informed decisions to ensure your new home meets your family’s needs.
  3. Budget for the Move: Moving is expensive, even with military reimbursements. Create a realistic PCS budget considering expenses like lodging, meals, and other incidentals. Be proactive in understanding the specific moving benefits available to your family, as this can significantly reduce financial stress. Make sure to save all of your receipts for reimbursement.
  4. Embrace the New Base: It’s not uncommon to land at a duty station that wasn’t your first choice. The trick is to find something positive about the new location, whether it’s a cozy coffee shop, scenic nature trails, or just a lower cost of living. Embracing these small joys can help turn a seemingly negative situation into a more positive experience.
  5. Streamline Belongings: PCS is a perfect opportunity for decluttering. Adopt a ‘tough love’ approach. If something hasn’t been used in a year or is broken, it’s probably time to let it go. You’ll be surprised at how liberating it feels to lighten your load.
  6. Manage Time and Commitments: Remember, moving is a temporary phase but can feel overwhelming. It’s okay to say no to social commitments during this period. Focus on your family and the move to avoid burnout.
  7. Focus on What You Can Control: There will be aspects of the PCS that are beyond your control. Accept this and focus instead on what you can influence, like how well you research your new station or the kind of home you choose.
  8. Utilize Military Resources: Leverage resources like Military OneSource for comprehensive information and assistance. They offer invaluable planning tools and support for families in transition.
  9. Start Saving: Anticipate unforeseen expenses. From packing costs to potential employment gaps, having a financial cushion can alleviate much of the stress associated with moving.
  10. Choose a Moving Method: Decide between a military-arranged move or a Personally Procured Move (PPM). Each has its pros and cons, so weigh them based on your family’s needs and preferences.
  11. Keep Important Documents Handy: Organize all essential documents in a family folder and carry it with you during the move. This includes multiple copies of PCS orders, birth certificates, social security cards, and medical records.
  12. Lighten Your Load: Use this opportunity to declutter and downsize. Remember, there are weight limits for household goods, and staying under them not only meets regulations but also simplifies the moving process.
  13. Safeguard Valuables: Document the condition and value of your valuables before the move. This is important for insurance purposes in case of damages during transit.

Lastly, let’s not forget the wisdom of those who’ve been through it. Here are some practical tips from seasoned military spouses:

  • Pack essentials like your coffee machine in one, easily accessible box.
  • Simplify tracking box numbers during the move for efficiency.
  • Use different patterns or colors to label boxes for different rooms – a simple yet effective organizational hack.
  • Save more than you think you’ll need. Unexpected expenses are common.
  • Don’t be afraid to invest in additional insurance for peace of mind.
  • Keep your PCS orders in multiple copies and easily accessible.
  • Resist the urge to buy new furniture or make significant purchases just before a move.
  • Consider the pros and cons of a DITY move. It might be more work, but it can also be financially rewarding.

Remember, every PCS move is unique, and what works for one family might not work for another. The key is flexibility, preparation, and a positive mindset. These transitions can be challenging, but they’re also opportunities for growth and new experiences. Stay strong, stay organized, and embrace the adventure that comes with military life!

When you need moving services, call Firefighting’s Finest Moving & Storage. We are dedicated to providing efficient, safe, and professional commercial and home moving services, as the reliable moving partner you can trust. Founded in 2001 by two off-duty firefighters, we’ve grown to serve not only the Dallas/Fort Worth area, but also Houston and Austin as well. A locally-owned-and-operated business, we exceed all state and federal requirements for a moving company and can handle all your moving needs. Call 844-715-6625 or visit our website for an estimate.