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PCS Checklist for Military Moving

May 19th, 2017 - 2:33 PM

Planning a move for PCS orders

Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders are given to thousands of military families each year. If you’ve recently received them, you may be wondering how to get all of the moving tasks completed in time, while still fulfilling daily duties. We’ve created a comprehensive PCS moving checklist to help you get prepared and stay organized — download it to keep track of everything from hiring a moving company to renewing your military ID. 

PCS checklist

PCS checklists will help you organized during a move.

Not sure how to begin planning a military move? Download the U-Pack® PCS checklist to get started. This list provides information on what to do:

  • After receiving PCS orders
  • For personally procured moves (PPM)
  • For government-arranged moves
  • After settling in  

Along with using the checklist above, keep these things in mind: 

Wait for paper orders

PCS orders aren’t official until you have government papers in-hand. Because of this, it’s best to hold off on moving plans until receiving these documents. Otherwise, you may have to switch dates with movers, landlords and utility companies.

Schedule a meeting with your TMO

Once the orders are official, set up a meeting with your base’s Transportation Management Office (TMO). The TMO is responsible for helping military members plan their moves from start to finish. They’ll schedule a counseling session to offer moving advice and information about weight allowances.

Decide on the best way to move

There are three options for PCS moves — the TMO can help decide which is best: 

  • PPM. A PPM means you plan and execute the move. This is a popular choice because you keep the remaining cash if overall expenses are less than 95 percent of your allowance.
  • Government-arranged. This means the government takes care of the entire move by hiring a full-service company, arranging the moving dates, and paying for it directly.
  • Partial. This is a combination of a PPM and government move. Ask your TMO for more details about how the process works.   

Create a moving binder

Keeping track of documents such as personal records, PCS orders, receipts and the mover’s Bill of Lading is important for a successful move. Consider using a binder or folder to keep everything in one place. Don’t forget to include:  

  • Medical, dental and shot records
  • Birth certificates and marriage licenses
  • Wills and powers of attorney documents
  • Tax returns
  • Insurance policies
  • Pet immunization records

Prepare your family

Moving households affects everyone differently (especially children). As soon as you get PCS orders, call a family meeting to discuss the relocation. Telling your family early on can give them enough time to adjust to what’s coming.  

Decide where to live

Depending on where you’re stationed, base housing could be limited — contact the housing office as soon as possible to avoid any issues. For those who prefer to live off-base (or if housing is unavailable), get in touch with a local real estate agent for help.

Sort through belongings

It’s a good idea to sort through household goods and either host a garage sale or donate items no longer needed — this way you won’t have to unpack as much!

Notify others

Besides telling family, friends, schools and employers you’re moving, there are a few others to inform. Don’t forget to notify the:

  • Utility company
  • Credit card company
  • Post office
  • Monthly subscriptions (Gym, Netflix®, etc.)
  • Bank

PCS moves with U-Pack

If you decide on a PPM, consider moving with U-Pack — a DIY moving service where you do the packing/loading, and we do the driving. U-Pack is a great option for PPMs because we only charge according to how much space is used in our 28 ft. trailer or the number of moving containers used.  The less space used, the more money saved. Get a free online quote or call a U-Pack representative at 800-413-4799 to see how much your military move will cost.


If you have any questions about PCSing, leave a comment below — we’re honored to help our service men and women.

Related sources

PCS Military Moving Guide

Military Moving Discounts

DITY Move Calculator