Anytime you move, it helps to be organized. When you move once a year, it is essential.
Living the Army life, I knew it would come with its fair share of moving. For us, though, it has meant four moves in under four years and I think by now I’ve gotten pretty good at it.
The most important part of my moving process is a PCS Binder, so today I thought it would be fun to give you a peek into ours.
In this binder, I keep all our personal documents, moving information, orders, reservations, medical records, insurance documents, and anything else that would cause a lot of problems if it gets lost in the move. Here is my layout:
Zipper Pouch: I throw all of our receipts in here from food, gas, car rentals etc. to be claimed for reimbursement later. (TIP: it’s always better to over collect receipts than miss out on reimbursement money.) Also, throw in a pen and a permanent marker. You’ll need it.
Contacts List: This has all the major contact numbers of both our losing and gaining duty station.
Dividers with Folders: I use a set with five dividers. I like having the folders so I can easily throw things in the binder if I’m in a hurry and don’t have time to put something in its designated spot right away.
Page Protectors: These are great because you never have to hole punch anything, and of course they keep your documents protected.
Card Protector: I used one of these card protectors for our social security cards, insurance cards, extra passport photos, and whatever other small things I want to keep track of.
My binder is divided into five sections:
- birth certificates
- marriage license
- social security cards
- passport copies
- most recent LES
- insurance policies
- car titles
- new housing application
- old housing clearance
- bill termination notices and contact information
- inventory of household goods
- documents/forms from movers
- clearing paperwork
- leave forms
- hotel reservations
- flight reservations
- shot records
- medical records
- DEERS/TRICARE enrollment forms
- EFMP screenings
- CYSS paperwork
Orders & POAs:
- 10 copies of orders (every office you visit wants one)
- current POAs (powers of attorney)
I like having a general POA and specific ones for DEERS/TRICARE and housing so I can handle all our enrollment stuff at the new duty station while my husband is trying to inprocess.
In preparation for a tour to Okinawa (or really any overseas assignment) it would also be helpful to have a “Command Sponsorship” section, as well as a “Pets” section for all of that extra paperwork bringing a pet requires.
I know this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to a PCS but, in my opinion, it is the most important. I hope this glance into our binder was helpful to anyone out there getting ready to embark on a PCS journey!