By Pioneer Services
Whether you’re moving yourself or your family, having a plan in place is priceless.
No matter what moves you from place to place, you have to get moving the minute you receive orders to change duty stations. And even though you may be so well practiced – and traveled – that you think you can go over your checklist in your sleep, tackling the to-dos is always an up-to-the-minute activity.
Aside from making list after list, don’t forget to utilize the resources available at your new command. Your command can match you with a sponsor whose local insider information can help make your transition comfortable and doable. They are one of the best resources you have available to you. Don’t be shy! No one understands your move as well as those who have experienced PCS or TDY themselves.
Whether you’ve just received your orders and are trying to plan a few steps ahead, or you’ve waited until the last minute and are now scrambling to cobble together a last-minute checklist, it’s important to slow down and think things through. Life in the military doesn’t always make that easy, and the reality is you could spend all day thinking about it and still overlook something. But don’t fret – the following lists should be a good starting point.
Some of the easy stuff you might forget:
- Have your pets checked by the local vet; get an updated copy of their medical records
- Check maintenance on your car
- Take inventory of possessions and valuables (photographs or video)
- Organize personal records (birth certificates, insurance papers, school records, etc.)
- Cancel local deliveries not covered by mail forwarding (newspapers, food delivery services, etc.)
- Renew and pick up necessary prescriptions
- If possible, settle all of your outstanding bills
Some of the thanks-for-the-reminder stuff:
- Retrieve all of the items you have loaned out
- Plan your menus from what’s left in your freezer and pantry
- Avoid shipping irreplaceable items like jewelry
- Make a household inventory list to carry in your personal luggage
- Check expiration dates on everything – from military ID to credit cards
Don’t forget to keep your must-haves close to the vest. Your kids’ favorite stuffed animals? Keep them in a to-go bag so you don’t have to go digging through boxes to find them later. Irreplaceable family heirlooms? Make sure you keep that box safe and secure.
Remember, too, that many people are making moves throughout the summer – not only service members and government employees, but also civilians. If you have a transfer on tap, booking your move early can avoid hassles and keep you on schedule.
When it comes to a PCS/TDY move, the best move you can make is to support your spouse and do whatever it takes to help ease their mind during your family’s transition time. Remember, it’s only temporary.
This story is presented by Pioneer Services, the military division of MidCountry Bank, which has provided award-winning financial education to the men and women of the Armed Forces for over 30 years.