PCS Move Part III

“If I only had a brain,” wished Dorothy’s scarecrow. Well, having “lost my mind” many times, especially every PCS, I can assure you that you can have a smooth move, even without a brain. It just takes a bit of organization.

One of the most important things you can have during a move is a notebook. I prefer mine to be pretty.

In this notebook, I keep a running to-do list. Things like “mail forwarding with Post Office” and “mail deposit for new water company.” It is also where I list all the utilities and services I am starting or canceling, their phone number, my account number, and any other important information. This way, if the cable guy does not show up on the appointed day to install my service, I have all the contact information in one place. I will also use it temporarily as an address book, especially at the new home where I may get a few suggestions for a piano teacher or a babysitter and I need to call around until I settle on someone who will go in my more permanent address book.

And then, those last days at the old home, I have handy sheets of paper where I can scribble notes to people to leave on doorsteps: “Thanks for loaning me this book. Sorry I missed you. See you in two years.”
Next you need a big, zippered envelope. This holds all of your PCS related paperwork: receipts, the papers the movers give you, the papers the transportation office gives you, half a dozen copies of hubby’s orders.
I also have this small, portable filing bin that I use all the time. This is the last thing I would remember in a fire, but the first thing I would wish I had grabbed. It contains the most important documents: birth certificates, marriage certificate, passports, kids’ immunization records and their most recent physicals, dog’s shot records, our mortgage, rental agreements, social security cards, and similar papers. We have other filing bins that we let the packers wrap up and the movers transport, but this filing bin goes in our car.

Lastly, I will keep my address books with me. Someday, I will have all that information in electronic form, like on my iTouch or in my cell phone. But for now, the old fashioned kind is all I have. I must admit that I do not have my parents’ home phone number memorized. They relocated to Florida after the invention of speed dial, and I have never forced myself to learn it. However, they are probably the first people I might call with a question like, “Mom, can you google the phone number for the cable company that I forgot to write down in my notebook?”

Friends and family are always a good backup for a missing brain.
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7 thoughts on “PCS Move Part III

  1. I like this little peek into your military life! It reminded me though that I don't have my Dad's home phone memorized but thankfully, I do have his cell phone memorized which came in handy when I got lost in downtown Fort Worth. He was able to pull up a map and reroute me. Any wonder that for Christmas, he gave me a GPS? : )

  2. After our neighbors house was destroyed by a fire last year (it was a clogged dryer vent), I realized that plastic file box holding our important documents was not sufficient. We bought a fireproof safe (definitely heavier)to put all those documents in. We also have in there a removeable hard drive that we back up every 6 months or so in case the computer is destroyed or gives us the blue screen of death.

    A fire chief also mentioned that the freezer is a good place to store valuable papers (in a ziploc bag).

  3. Jenny – never thought of the freezer, but what a good idea! Our are in a metal lock box, but I have no idea how fire proof it is.

  4. Do you keep your notebook from move to move? I did until I lost it before our last move and I definitely felt like I lost my brain. (Found it in the basement in Nov) You know what else we kept in it? A list of all the things we loved and hated about the houses we've lived in so someday when we buy a house we remember some of those things. Still searching for the perfect filebox. Fireproof makes sense, but not for the car.

  5. I've never been a very organized mover. This is a great idea. I always call my family when I need them to look something up on Google.

  6. Thanks for the tips. We have a PCS coming up in a few months, and I'll be checking back here to take notes.

  7. We are an Air Force family who has moved many, many, times in 21 years. I would suggest that you buy a fire safe to keep those very inportant documents in and put it in the back of the van when you PCS. It keeps your documents safe and protected and it is harder for a thief to steal it from your van as they are heavy! Then just put it in your master bedroom closet in the new house when you move in.
    We leave the key attached to the handle so when we bring it in to a hotel or TLF at night it presents the image to maids and such that it's not locked to hide valuables.
    It's heavier than a file box but not much more bulky.
    I hope you have an easy move. Door to doors are so much nicer; I'm glad you get to do this. I really enjoy reading your blog!

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