Ultimate PCS Tips from Military Spouses

We asked military spouses to give us the absolute best PCS tips they had because, let’s face it, even when you’ve PCSd a billion times, you forget a few tricks over the course of a couple of years. Here were the best ones!

military spouse pcs

Look Ahead

Consider what your housing situation will be at your next assignment. Are the houses in that region smaller within your price range? Try to pair your belongings down. If houses are much larger, consider that you may be tempted to purchase new furniture soon and start saving! If you’re not sure if you want to live on or off base, be sure to check out the Moving House for the Military Spouse Facebook page to see what base/post housing looks like.

Protect Your Investment

While your house is still unpacked, go through each room and take pictures of your stuff. You can be as detailed or big-picture as you like, but having images of items will help you should any of your belongings be lost or damaged during your move. Take special care to document high-value or sentimental items.

Get Started Early

If you are planning to do the packing and moving yourself, try to get a head start on the process. Several months in advance, start watching neighborhood and military spouse Facebook pages for extra boxes and packing materials. Around the same time, begin packing non-essential items. You can do this room by room (if you have any rooms you don’t use frequently) or little by little in each room — just be sure you are labeling your boxes well!

Get Real About Moving Overseas

Take a long hard look at what you’ll really need for the next few years. There’s definitely a weight limit on what you’ll be able to take, so you want to pack efficiently. Will you be able to plug those small appliances into another country’s outlets? Would you rather leave your wedding china safely stored for a little while?


No matter where you move — purge!! There’s really no need to pack and unpack things that you never plan to use again anyways or that you haven’t used at all over the last few years. Those boxes in the garage that you never unpacked? Better to just get rid of them. Trust us, this step is worth making time for because it saves you time later.

military pcs junk sale


The best part of purging? You can make a little extra cash. Have a garage sale, find a neighborhood swap page for your area, use Craigslist, or try out one of those new selling apps like Letgo. You can make a little bit of extra cash to cover those unexpected moving expenses.

Prep for Movers

Set anything you don’t want packed aside; especially consider packing and transporting sentimental items yourself to be sure they receive the best care. Then, be sure to put loose items from junk drawers and office drawers into ziplock bags so that they’re not just dumped into boxes. Finally, consider gathering all of your versatile home decor items into one area to be packed together. Since no two houses are the same, having these items gathered will make it easier to reassign them to the perfect spot in your new home, even if it isn’t the same area as before.

military child pcs color boxes

Get Your Kids Excited!

Be sure to take a look at our tips for getting your kids excited to PCS. From reading books to coloring moving boxes, there are lots of ways to make moving fun for children, which will help distract them from the sad and hard parts of a PCS.

Prep the Animals

If you’re moving overseas, immediately begin investigating the regulations for transporting animals to your destination. Even Hawaii has extremely strict regulations for moving pets on and off of the island. These processes can take months, so be sure to look ahead. You should also be able to have your pets added to your PCS orders (depending on your situation), which will make moving with them much easier. Also, be sure to buy products that will make moving with pets easier, such as canvas traveling crates or collapsible food travel bags.

Special thanks to the spouses who contributed their knowledge to this article ~ Jess B., Jana P., Chelsea A., Alaina D. Haleigh K., Jennifer H., Ashley T. & Jessica E.! You guys are the best!