5 PCS Mistakes To Avoid At All Costs

by Heather on December 28, 2015

"5 PCS Mistakes To Avoid At All Costs" by Heather of Happyfitnavywife.com| Super helpful!

5 PCS Mistakes To Avoid- “Don’t Do What I Did”

Is it normal that I feel like a mother hen when I say, “don’t make the same mistakes I did”?

I usually try to be helpful and give PCS tips for what to DO. Today I realized my best advice would be what NOT to do… and that’s because I’ve done these things and they haven’t been my best decisions or ever. To say the least.

But for the sake of not wasting the experience, I figured that you could learn from me and hopefully avoid a little bit of pain, or insanity, that I’ve experienced during various PCS moves. So here we go…

1- Don’t lose your keys.

We aren’t so good with our keys.

Before our move from Rhode Island to Florida, hubby “lost” a pair of (expensive) car keys the day before the movers came. We had our goods divided because we had to spend 6 months in Jacksonville and only 800 lbs came with us. Of course, the keys went to long term storage, in a coat pocket… for about 8 months.

During that same move (what were we smoking?) we locked our file cabinet for the move, and then misplaced the key. Luckily the files were in a file box ready to be packed. But— and this is ridiculous— we couldn’t find the keys in Washington, so the files stayed in the file box. For. Three. Years.

I kept hoping we would find them, so I never got a new file cabinet.

Then, hubby’s dad tried to help us open the cabinet so we could at least start using it. With our permission he destroyed it trying, because we had given up on ever finding the keys.

But what did we find when we were moving out after three years? Yup. The keys.

So whatever you do, label your keys. LABEL. YOUR. KEYS. And, put them somewhere you’ll remember. That’s easier said than done. But take my word for it. Otherwise you might go insane.

2- Don’t sign for a lease sight-unseen in a place you’re not familiar with.

We signed a lease sight-unseen when we moved to Virginia. It was a nice place overall. But some key features made us realize that we wouldn’t have picked it had we seen it in person. And we were stuck for a year.

When you’re familiar with an area, signing sight-unseen is not as big of a deal. But when you’re not… well let’s just say I wouldn’t do it again.

3- Don’t let your heater break when it’s 13 degrees.

This might be a bit out of your control, but I thought I’d point it out. We moved to Newport, Rhode Island one year in January. When we arrived, it was 13 degrees. The movers had the doors open all day as they carried our stuff inside. We didn’t think anything of it, but the heater was cranking so hard that by the end of the day it completely died.

Our house was FREEZING.

Thankfully, we had friends who were stationed there so we crashed with them.

If you’re moving on a cold day, be aware of what your heating unit is doing and try not to overtax it!

pcs mistakes

4- Don’t move with a puppy.

Ok well I wouldn’t take back getting my puppy, but three weeks before a PCS was a heck of a time to pick her up. I just wanted her so bad!

We were on that same move from Rhode Island to Florida. (I’m starting to think I wasn’t right in the head during that season of my life HAHA).

We loaded up our stuff and the dog and headed south. It was fun to have her along…. until somewhere around South Carolina…

She was having tummy issues, and ended up having a blowout in her crate in the middle of the  night, on the third story of a hotel. A puppy with diarrhea in a hotel room is a complete disaster, in case you haven’t experienced it.

So take my word on it and avoid getting a new puppy right before a big move…

5- Don’t forget to grab something to remember your previous duty station.

Lastly, don’t forget to grab something to remember a previous duty station. We love artwork so we usually get some sort of wall hanging of the area. But I picked up the idea of getting a dish towel and it’s awesome.

I use them on a regular basis, because that way I see them all the time. I know they may not last forever, but it’s a fun way to bring up fond memories while getting some good use out of them!

However, I forgot to grab one when we lived in Rhode Island… so I need to order one!

What mistakes have you made during a PCS that others should avoid?


ps- for stuff to bring on your PCS trip, check out how to make your drive fun with 9 extra items!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Malia December 28, 2015 at 6:12 pm

These are great tips as we get ready for our next one in a few months! I have a lovely task of doing a move out of a storage unit, so that’ll be interesting!


2 Heather January 7, 2016 at 11:57 am

Thanks Malia! Do you have to move yourself out or will the military do it? Not fun regardless! Good luck!


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