Sofas and Tables and Dressers OH MY!  Thanks to Tara, Aviva, Nikki and Lori, all of the lovely pictures of government furniture are available for your voyeuristic pleasure!


















So how much furniture should I bring or ask for if I don’t know how many rooms I’ll be authorized?  Here’s a start.

I just got off of the phone with the housing office.  The rules for number of bedrooms is determined by the number, the age and sex of the children.

If a family has four children, they automatically get a four bedroom.

If they have three children, the number of bedrooms is dependent on the ages and sexes of those children.  If they are all the same sex, the oldest must be at least 10 years of age to get a four bedroom.  If the youngest two of the three children are opposite sex, then the oldest of those two must be six years of age to get a four bedroom.

And if a family has two children, they will receive a three bedroom.

And if you have one or no children, you will be receiving a two bedroom.

(I was trying to comprehend this information while typing.  I asked the poor woman to repeat herself at least three times!)  If you have any more questions please call Kadena’s housing office at 634-0582.

Previous posts have useful information and comments at these links:

To Live On Base or Off Base in Okinawa, That is the Question

On Base Housing

Off Base Housing

Should it Have Stayed or Should It Have Come?

PACAF drops weight limit entitlements for accompanied personnel PCSing to Kadena

An excellent thread of comments about housing!

Housing Link for Marines

If anyone has anything to add, or has any more questions, please comment and we’ll try to find an answer!

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.


  1. @Kristy- if you have 1 child, you will be offered a 2 bedroom house. There are more than enough people who need the 3 bedroom houses because they have 2 or 3 children-there are not enough to go around to offer them to 1 child families. In all honesty, the housing is offered to accommodate your family, not to accommodate your guests.

    Surely you wouldn’t expect that the military would offer each family a house larger than they need to accommodate the guests they might have? Families with 2 children are not given 4 bedrooms, families with 3 children are not given 5 bedrooms, etc.

    @Stacy-you should be assigned a sponsor. Your house will not be ready for you-but you will hopefully have your housing offers shortly after arriving on island. What kind of housing you will get depends on what base, how many children you have, etc.

  2. my husband and i pcsing to okinawa in may 2011. do they have they house ready for us when we get there? my husband is a e-5 in the marines. what kinda of housing will we get? will someone be there to help us when we arrive?

  3. With the change in requiring people to live on base, are 3 bedroom units being offered to enlisted families with 1 child? Lots of stateside housing is doing that now, and there are fewer and fewer 2 bedrooms even standing. With 1 child, where on earth will guests sleep when they come to visit, if you only have a 2 bedroom?? We’re due at Kadena in February 2010. My husband is an E-5 Air Force.

  4. I don’t know if you can buy directly from the gov’t but I’ve seen lots of gov’t furniture for sale out in town on the way down to Kinser. Maybe others could give you more specifics.

  5. i was wondering if i could buy a dresser from the gov furniture ppl. if so how much would a tall dresser be?

  6. We just arrived in Okinawa a few weeks ago and I can tell you that you can keep your government furniture for your full tour here. If you decide to buy something and want to return your government furniture this is your responsibility. This is a big deal because there are not vehicles to just toss a dresser in and return it. The vehicles are just smaller and it will be quite a pain to return things. Also, you can use government furniture in the interim while you wait for your shipments to arrive but once again you are responsible for returning everything when your shipment does get here. We slept on an air mattress for a few weeks and we had packed our “Express” shipment appropriately and it worked just fine. Good luck to you!

  7. julie – pretty sure you have 1000 lbs in the express shipment (first one). that’s what we had in ’07. use as much as you can for the necessary things.

    stacey – i’m pretty sure they don’t lend furniture anymore (for the interim before you get your shipment) – definitely call and get current information. since weight restrictions changed, gov’t furniture situation has also changed. good luck!

  8. Oops, I forgot one more, how big is your allowance for your first (convenience) box?
    You know the one where they tell you, you should bring your dishes and essentials?
    How big is the allowance?

  9. hey guys, I am so confused about the weight restrictions/limitations… we should qualify for 11000 pounds, or is there something else I should know?
    Also, will they let you keep any of the loaner furniture, also confused on this one. I don’t want to bring my huge dining room table and hutch, will they allow me to borrow one of theirs off-base for the entire time we are there?

  10. Our family will be reporting in June,09 I have alot of questions first overseas tour. We hope to live on base my husband is an
    0-6 USMC. We have one child 10 yeaars old. What type of housing would we been in? What is the wait time. Would a Kingsize bed fit? How is the school systems? If anyone could help. Thank You.

  11. Stacey,
    Hi, I can’t answer all your questions…I’m not sure what O-6 housing is like. My husband is O-2 and we have a 3 bedroom, single unit house on base on Kadena. We have a queen sized bed which fits in the on base housing, and it’s a pretty big queen sized bed, so I’m sure you could fit a king sized bed. Our bedroom furniture is one of the reasons we chose to live on base since all the apartments off base we looked at wouldn’t fit our bed (Now, you can find places off base that are bigger, it’s just in the time we had to look off base and the time we had to decide to live in one of the choices they gave us on base, we picked to live on.) Hopefully someone with kids can help with your other questions…

    You can keep the government furniture the whole time you’re here. But, if you decide to take something back to them, you can’t get it back…Our friends live off base and they use government furniture and we live on base and use it. It’s not the prettiest furniture, but it works. My husband and I were just out of college before coming here, so we just had bedroom furniture, a desk, and bookshelves…so the gov. furniture has come in handy for us since we don’t plan on buying furniture while we’re here.

    I found this site on weight allowance, but it’s from 2006, and I think some things have changed since then. I think you’re now allowed full weight allowance. I believe it depends on service, rank, if there are dependents, what kind of tour, etc. Maybe you can contact housing or transportation…Hopefully someone else can help with this.

  12. Actually, the off-base transformer situation depends on the house/area you’re in. We don’t use transformers at all, and all of our stuff runs fine, and at full speed. We bought one of those things that you can plug in to check the wattage, to make sure we weren’t causing our electronics any harm. 1 desktop computer, 2 laptops, 47 inch TV, DVD, PS3, Wii, pro karaoke system…everything we have is running fine with no transformer.

    We also have a friend that lives out in Yomitan…they don’t use transformers in their house either, and he’s an AF electrician, so I guess he’d know what he needs. You really can’t say that transformers are a DEFINITE must have, there are obviously some places where they’re not needed.

  13. You DO need transformers off base. The microwave, toaster, large TVs, and big computer systems all need transformers. I have a transformer on my entire entertainment center (or we get blue shadows on the TV), and on my computer system and all its peripherials, or the CPU will buzz. Not using a transformer on high wattage items will cause them to work very slow, not at all, or can shorten their life span.

    Most of the plugs in off-base house, even the Japanese style homes like mine will take US plug shapes although you might need three prong adapters for some things.

    Furniture WILL issue 1 transformer if they have them in stock but they usually don’t. You can buy them out of the Japan update and resell them when you leave for about the same price so it is a wash.

    Natalie- Your orders must specifically state that lamps and rugs are not counted towards your weight or they will be. First time we moved here, we were given a 2000 lb allowance for lamps and rugs in our orders. This time we were not. At the time, both were hard to come by locally but they aren’t anymore…you can buy lamps and rugs at the furnitures stores on base and at tons of places off base. As far as I know, this is the same for cribs…..they need to be specifically mentioned in your orders or they count.

    Weight restrictions are still in effect for all services but the Air Force and even with the Air Force, you should make sure full weight is noted in your orders or that you have an okay from the outbound transportation office to verify since this is a new change.

    If you are E-7 and above, you will qualify for a 3 bedroom even if you have no kids.

    Pro-gear is not counted against your weight but it has to be legitimate pro-gear (talk to your transportation office on what qualifies and what doesn’t) and it has to be separated from other household goods so it can be packed in its own boxes and marked. If it is not marked on your inventory as pro-gear when your shipment is picked up, it will not be counted as pro-gear and it WILL count against your weight allowance.

  14. George only Air Force has lifted the weight restriction. The other branches are still limited on what they can bring.

  15. OK, just to correct some of the information here…

    You are given your full weight allowance coming over here as of March 2008, so there are no more special rules about what counts towards weight, except Pro Items.

    I live off base… you DON’T need a transformer. Power here is 110V (vs 115V in the states). I have 3 computers, 52″ TV, microwave and all other electronics run off the 110V. You’ be hard pressed to find electronics that won’t run.

    How much room you have in your off base residence depends on the house. The housing agencies will show you the places they can’t get anyone to take first… some people se 1 or two that suck and think that’s all there is. Stick with it… We have more cupboard space than we know what to do with, and I’m only an E-2.

    Which brings me to my last point…

    I’m an E-2 and they offered me the same on base housing they offered my MSgt supervisor, so it really is kinda randowm at times what you’re offered. We filled out paperwork and they called within 24 hours with housing ready for us.

    The places sucked though… I don’t think here’s any on-base housig here that’s worht the convenience…

  16. Natalie – ask at your briefing, but I believe something else that does not count against your weight allowance are baby cribs, since that’s furniture and they don’t issue cribs from the housing office.

  17. As far as I know all pro-gear doesnt count towards your weight either…That is his/hers military gear and your study/business materials. This is especially good for self employed people.

  18. I will be attending a transportation brief once we get our orders in a few weeks so Im sure they will outline all this stuff but you said lamps and rugs dont count against weight? I know military eqipment is seperate aswell is there anything else that doesnt count? thanks for all this info so afr its really helping to give me a bigger and clearer picture

  19. I don’t think anyone mentioned this but if you bring lamps and carpets/rugs they don’t count against your weight allowance coming over here.

  20. ok so transformers are no longer given out so this means I wil need to get one myself. So this i guess means the outlets are not americanized in on base hsg. so how much do they cost and haow many will we need to buy?

  21. Thanks to you all for clarifying about the furniture return service being discontinued. Microwaves aren’t supplied here, but they are sold in the BX/PX. You will need a transformer for an American one. You can buy transformers at the Foster Furniture Store.

  22. So as for the kitchen again, what about a microwave.? We had one supplied in germany but I dont want to have to buy a new one ther becasue I assumed we would have one here. on base of course. thanks.
    and thanks so much for all the other responses so far it is sucha big help!!!

  23. The transformer you are given should be used for your microwave and/or anything that heats things up. (not necessary for the TV and those kinds of appliances) The plugs are the same as in the states, but you’ll want to pick up some 3-prong converters (if you’re out in town) but you can buy them here easily.

    You can bring furniture back yourself at any time – and yeah, I’d heard from someone that they do NOT pick up furniture anymore (which is bogus, they did for us last year – beds are big) – so plan on having to bring it back yourself or pay someone to do it. And pack an air mattress in your express shipment! We lived on ours for a couple of days.

    Natalie – DO use it as a chance to weed out, but yes, bring your kitchen utensils, lamps, everything like that. If you’re living on base, you’ll have plenty of cabinet space. If you’re off base – plan for VERY little. Though out in town, the lighting is good in the apartments. (NOT so on base. Lots of fluorescent lamps.) We just use our smaller lamps that we brought along in the bedroom & office.

  24. Quick note in the furniture return if you get too much like we did. All my neighbors had told me they had a one time free pick up, however the lady told me when I called about it, that they don’t do that anymore. Don’t know if that applies to all bases, we live on McT. It cost me about $90 to have a company come pick it up for me and take it back to the warehouse.

  25. I would bring all of your kitchen stuff. They don’t give you anything but furniture. Everything else is only on a short term loan basis. As for lighting, you can bring what you have or purchase new lamps and such. For small appliances and things like that, you wouldn’t need a transformer. You don’t have to pick all of the furniture that they offer. They have a policy of a one time freebie pick up. After that, you can rent a truck (there is a place near the main gas station at the car rental place and it costs a little under $40.00 including insurance) to use to take furniture back. I hope that helps. Ask as many questions as you’d like! That’s why were here.

  26. What about lighting and Kitchen stuff?
    Should I bring over lamps or is there a good bit of ceiling lighting. Do they give you lamps. speaking of outlets for the lamps are most on base houses equipped with american outlets? sorry so many questions but here are more.

    what about kitchen utensils and stuff. Are there casserole dishes,pot, pans, plates and silverware given to us and if so how much? what about drinking glasses and coffee mugs?

    I Love seeing the pictures of the furnitutre but does anyone have pictures of the stuff i just mentioned above if it is available for us.

    ok my last question for today, if we are given furniture but do not wnat it all how long do we have to decided what we wnat to keep. I dont really want extra furniture hanging out I am using this PCS as a clutter eliminator (or atleast trying to!)

    thanks for all the help!!

  27. Can anyone help me keep my dark blue gov. furniture clean? Everything shows on them, I think a sneeze would show up as well.

    Also, how do you clean pet hair off that dark blue furniture??

    Thanks in advance!

  28. Jamie – Since I am on Foster I didn’t think to ask which areas on Kadena are to be affected. We were directed to the facilities division when we went into housing with our notice and application. The contact info on our letter is as follows…Mr. Donnie Henderson (reloc. counselor) 634-9349, 632-7975,
    The letter was signed by Cheryl Alakai, if that helps. If you don’t get anywhere with this info, I would suggest walking into the facilities office and asking face to face. Can’t hurt. Also, we were given notice on 6/30 with an application return date of 7/15. Maybe if you didn’t get notice then you are not affected??? Good Luck!

  29. You said they are relocating some housing areas on Kadena, do you know which ones? There is a rumor floating around my neighborhood that we are to be moving but housing won’t answer any questions.

  30. We just sponsored a family in the past two weeks. The week we were working with housing, they were placing the lower enlisted families ahead of senior enlisted and officer. This family was entitled to a 3bdrm but was offered 4bdrms because their 9 year old was “almost” 10. If you get the right housing rep they will work with you. Housing also told us last week that they are opening the junior enlisted multiplex housing on Foster within the next month in addition to new senior multiplex units on Kadena before the summer’s end. This may create more housing choices for inbound PCSers but housing is also involuntarily relocating some entire housing areas on Foster and Kadena this summer beginning at the end of July.

  31. I know that availability also factors in. They like to offer the higher ranking housing immediately and will offer them what is available even if it is more bedrooms than needed.

  32. When we arrived here 8 months ago we were offered a 3 bedroom out by Camp Courtney and we have one child ..My husband is prior enlisted with 15 years in ….But we did choose to live off base …

  33. I did ask if it depended on rank as well, but was told it was just based on number of children and the sex of the children. Perhaps that is an unofficial rule. If someone isn’t offered something desirable on base, off base is always an option. In both places we’ve lived off base, we’ve had more space than we need.

  34. Great post, Kandy! The stuff the housing place told you isn’t necessarily true… I have friends (he’s an officer in the USMC) and they have one child and got a 3-BR house on Kadena. So it will depend also on rank/officer v. enlisted.

    Good luck, PCSers!

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