Government Furniture Part I

CONTRIBUTED BY KANDY

When I got the call from my husband, who was TDY, that we were PCSing to Okinawa, I couldn’t have been more excited.   As some of you know, my mother was raised here, so for me, hearing that I’m about to live in her hometown for three years is like a kid heading to Disneyland.

Fast forward to the phone call about what to ship to Okinawa.  I researched the  limited information that consisted of only weight restrictions and that Kadena has all of the government loaner furniture that we’ll ever need.  So with this knowledge, I tell my husband NOT to send any furniture except a  recliner, and a crib.  Wow!  How easy is this?

Fast forward again past the plane ride, to finding a two story house off base, and immediately picking out the furniture items to be delivered to said house.  In the back of my head, I could hear my father’s voice saying something about  measuring twice and…Ooh look two kinds of dressers!

Onbase_dresser1

 

Gov_dresser2

 

We could borrow a couch, two overstuffed chairs, desks, a dining table and six chairs, a buffet, dressers, chest of drawers, full size and twin beds, bookshelves, coffee and end tables.  The showroom was filled with pristine furniture.  Wow, the government seems so generous.  The anticipation to finally make this island my home feels like I’m at the top of a roller coaster

Slow motion through the delivery phase.  The delivery man is telling me that 1/2 of the furniture cannot go up my staircase
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and I will have to use up my “one-time pick up service” now, or they leave dressers and beds in my living room.   What?  This is suppose to be smooth sailing from here. We conquered the plane ride without permanent mental scars.   But I’m a military brat, was active duty and now a supportive dependent!

But this was supposed to be my Disneyland.

Why didn’t I at least bring my kids’ dressers and beds?  Why couldn’t I have brought all of my stuff?

Well, now, if you are Air Force, you can.  This is current news regarding the Air Force’s lift on weight restrictions when PCSing to Okinawa.  Government Furniture Warehouse 632-4311

Do you have any furniture nightmares which newcomers should avoid?  Have you heard any information or news about upcoming changes for the Marine Corps/Navy’s weight restriction? Please let us know.

This Government Furniture post is part I of II.   Please send me more pictures of government furniture.  Thank you Abbey for the dresser pics!

Editor’s Note:  We now have 3 posts on this topic in our archives.  In the interest of keeping newer discussions together we’ve closed comments on our two older posts.  Please check out our latest entry from May 2013 HERE.

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24 COMMENTS

  1. Cassie – this response might be too late for you, but I returned an armchair with SHARPIE on it (thanks to the toddlers) and they charged me like $20 for it to be cleaned (not that I think they could clean it off…).

  2. I’m returning my gov furniture tomorrow and im wondering how clean it has to be for them to take it back without charging us for something

  3. @Kelsey, My husband is a Marine and our whole house is government furniture. We only got a full size bed so I would advise you to bring your own bed. Were on the island for 3 years and they told us we could keep it for the whole time we are here. Since we’ve been here though, we’ve bought a bigger size bed of our own. We didn’t have anything from back home to bring because we were newlyweds and this is our first duty station. Oh and your husband gets to pick out what you get. We have matching couches (they’re ugly green), dining table with matching chairs, bookshelves, dressers and a computer desk. The furniture they provide is really nice but you have to really make sure that its not messed up when you get it because they inspect it like crazy to make sure nothing is broken when they recieve it back and whatever is messed up you have to pay for. I hope this helps you.

  4. @Kelsey, I’d say bring your BED!! No doubt! My husband is Army. When we got our orders we thought we had a restriction, left behind dressers/kids beds/couches and the like. We get here and during the housing brief, we’re told nope. You’re Army, you are authorized your full weight, so you don’t get anything. With your husband being a Marine, as far as I know, you get to keep whatever you borrow for the duration of your stay. I have a lot of Marine friends and they ALL have one thing or another that belongs to the gov. in their house 🙂

  5. Ok I need help!! We are newly married and this is our first Duty Station. (He’s a Marine E4) He has already been there a year and i’m in processing of clearance approval right now. So I think I should be there soon! Anyways he doesn’t think we should bring any furniture over but I feel like if we get a weight allowance we might as well utilize at least some of it and bring a nice mattress and bedroom furniture that we know we like. I’m so confused with if we get to keep the gov’t furniture the whole time were there or the 90 day?? We are going to live on base. I want to know if we get any choice in picking the gov’t furniture? Or do they just give you a jumbled unmatching group of random furniture? This is so nerveracking!! Please other wives help a newcomer…

  6. Can anyone tell me if the couches that the government loans out are standard size and if they are, does anyone have any measurements? I want to buy a couch cover before we leave here in the states just in case (something that matches the rug we are bringing). Thanks so much for any input!!!

  7. I agree that the rates at Foster Furniture must have gone up.. It cost me $33 just to get a mattress delivered to my house. So I assume it would be more than that to have furniture picked up and brought to Shields..

  8. Sarah – The furniture store’s delivery rates have either gone up, or they misunderstood what I wanted returned. I was just quoted $50 for a computer desk and chair. Way too high in my opinion. Good luck with it.

  9. Michelle – WOW thanks so much for that information!! We had found out about a truck rental on Kadena but they are stick shift and we cant drive that…I think it was still more then $25 for the rental too. I will have to get over to Foster Furniture and see how much they would charge from Lester to return the boxspring to Shields. I am sure lots of Newbies will appreciate this info also.

  10. I am a Marine wife and this is our first duty station. And we are newly weds too! So when we came from the US, we pretty much came with nothing.
    I was surprised at the furniture offered to us. It was great. All the furniture was in great shape and looked pretty new to me. We got a couch, end tables, coffee tables, hutch, dining table with 4 chairs, 2 desks with chairs. One double bed, 2 dressers, and a mirror dresser and two book shelves. There was also the dryer/washer and refrigerator! You can get more furniture if you have kids!
    I think it’s great we got this stuff.

  11. If you need to return gov’t furniture, you can call the delivery people at the Foster Furniture store. They do charge but it’s usually around $25 to pick it up from McT and return it. You have to follow them to the warehouse to fill out the paperwork when you get there but they do all the heavy lifting for you! Definitely worth it, in my opinion, when I’m rearranging with my husband gone!

  12. Monette – yes as Marines we are allowed to keep the govt furniture the duration of our stay. HOWEVER if you do need to return something before you PCS you will have to do that on your own, and that can be tough with the small vehicles over here, so just be really careful with what you pick out when you arrive….I totally blanked out that I had brought my baby’s dresser and have ended up with TWO in her room…thankfully one fits in her closet. Also we had to borrow beds since we moved into our house well before TMO arrived…and then we were stuck bringing them back…we managed to stuff it all in the van except for the full size boxspring. So sometimes you cant help it but yeah just think carefully about what you borrow.

  13. For the Marine Corps., since we DO have weight restrictions, can we borrow the govn. furniture for the length of our time there?

  14. When we came here the first time, we were by a fluke, authorized full weight but didn’t move full weight because we were told that the places off base (we don’t chose to live on base anywhere we live) were smaller. When housing tried to tell us we could only use loaner furniture for 90 days, we argued that we didn’t move full weight even though we were authorized, we had only brought our bed and our sofa. We were able to bring in a copy from our transportation office that showed how much weight we did move and that provided us the waiver we needed to keep the furniture the 4 years we were here.

  15. I was discussing this last night with my husband we came to the conclusion that you should totally fight to keep the govt furniture since you weren’t told about the weight restriction lift. You could argue that it would cause unnecessary financial stress as well as waste. Why should you be forced to go out and purchase new furniture if you already have it back home? It seems very wasteful and just wrong! Good luck!:)

  16. Sent my pics Kandy. We just got here so our gov’t furniture request is super fresh. She told me we should all get the chest of drawers, they hold more. I got 6 yes, 6 big chest of drawers and two dressers with mirrors. If you have little kids the dressers with out the mirrors would be better. My 5 and 7 year olds can’t even see into the top drawer.
    And the master bedroom bed is a full. So if any of your husbands are big guys, get ready to cuddle in that thing!

  17. no problem on the pics, I hope it doesn’t make people assume they can actually choose what dresser they like… only the ghetto fab stuff leaves base.
    And I’ve heard both sides to this rumor of weight restrictions being lifted, it’s nice to finally see it in print… Thanks for the post, we’re sponsoring someone as we speak so this will come in handy!

  18. Amy beacause of when your items were packed out and shipped you may still qualify for loaner furniture the whole time you are here. I would check with housing when you arrive.

  19. Thank you! I didn’t read the article above (oops…) I guess I’ll read it now 🙂 We are Air Force, so it does apply to us, but really the only things I “needed” from gov furniture was a living room set (which we were planning to look for anyway), and a mattress for our daughters bed. I was hoping for bookshelves and a desk, but I can make do 🙂 Thanks for the help!

  20. In the news article linked above, I read that under no circumstances are washers/dryers authorized to be shipped here. If an off-base home has American hook-ups, they should be issued to you. Too bad they don’t issue portable dishwashers. 🙁

  21. Hey Amy. They should provide you with those still. Our washer and dryer were already in the unit when we moved in but if you’re off base they deliver them to you with the rest of the stuff. And, unless you guys are Air Force you’ll still have govt furniture (for now at least anyway!) I wish the Navy and Marine Corps would change their weight limits. I really would have been much happier with our own stuff, but we would have had to store about half of our belongings b/c they moved us from a 1600 sq ft home in CA to a 950 sq ft apt. here. So, I guess it worked out for the best for us. I just can’t wait to see my couches again in 2 yrs! I miss them!!!:)

  22. I agree about the grandfather clause! My husband is TDY en route and we will be coming to Kadena in August, but all of our furniture was packed/shipped in October. So we packed with the intent of using some government furniture, and now won’t be able to. Bummer.

    I do have a question though: Does this affect washers/dryers? We are planning to live on base if possible. Will those homes still have washers and dryers?

  23. That is just silly. (that you can only borrow the gov’t furniture for 90 days) – they should have a grandfather clause for that with people like Heather – if you didn’t know that before you shouldn’t be screwed out of gov’t furniture. I’d think you were doing them a favor. Shoot – I definitely wish I would’ve brought my computer desk!

    I’ll ask hubby about recent changes to USMC rules, but I don’t think there’s much. I will forward you the photos of my gov’t furniture, Kandy!

  24. *Remember* Since you can now bring everything you are only able to borrow goverment furniture for 90 days.
    No one told us this until after we arrived. We didn’t ship any of our dressers because I was afraid they wouldn’t fit in the rooms and I assumed the government ones would fit better. Now we have to go dressers shopping to replace the government ones in September. And to top it off our dressers that are in storage are a lot smaller than the government ones. *sigh* Live and learn I guess. On the up side we have a chance to pick up some cute Japanese ones if I want!

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