Moving is crazy in the best of circumstances, but as we all know, the military usually doesn’t provide us with those. We almost always had a last-minute, across-the-country move and are expected to get everything done super fast and efficiently. Our move from Washington State to Texas was 5 weeks from finding out we were moving to walking out of our house for the last time. Since then, we’ve moved 6 times in the last 4 years. Thankfully, my Type A personality kicks in and got us through it pretty flawlessly, if I do say so myself, thanks to my PCS moving binder.
I would never have gotten through without my PCS moving binder. It contains all the most important information about our homes, family, pets, belongings, etc., as well as all the planning materials I need to make sure it all goes smoothly. Setting up your own PCS moving binder is one of the easiest things you can do to prepare for a move, but it’ll also be the most helpful thing you do the entire process if you set it up well at the beginning. Having moving checklists can help immensely as well, and I’ve given you a jumpstart on those, too, in this post (with FREE printables!).
During your road trip to your new home, you might want to make sure you have some essential oils to make it a little less miserable for everyone. Check out this post for our favorite essential oils for travel!
Setting Up Your Own PCS Moving Binder
- a binder (duh)
- a pencil pouch
- page protectors– for all the things you can’t hole punch
- a one-subject notebook– it gives you a place to keep track of all the things you can’t get a receipt for, notes to yourself, phone numbers, etc.
The binder keeps everything in one place, and accessible for the entire move. Make sure you get one with pockets in the front so that you have a place to just throw things in until you can sort through them and put them where they actually belong in the binder. In front of all of the tabs but behind the pencil pouch, I put a calendar with our timeline so that I have it at a glance anytime I open the binder and can easily set up appointments for moving, doctors, vet, etc. I split up our checklists among several of the tabs.
The tabs I made were:
- Maps: Directions from our house to the first hotel, and then each hotel to hotel after that.
- Hotels: All of our hotel confirmations. You never know when your iPhone won’t work, and it gives you phone numbers, addresses, and all the other info of the hotel. I also included the information for our next house, since it’s the last place we’ll be staying!
- Moving: Our trailer confirmation/information, all the paperwork the movers gave us, my car shipment confirmation, weight tickets, etc.
- Packing Lists: One for each member of the family, plus the documents and home stuff
- Documents: Everything on my document checklist
- Receipts: Every receipt we get for the whole trip so we can get reimbursed by the Air Force (VERY IMPORTANT!)
- Orders: Multiple copies of Ryan’s TDY orders and PCS orders (important for closing out contracted services like Dish, security system, etc., as well as ensuring you can get into the hotels on bases along the drive)