As soon as you know about a move, you can start preparing your plan of action. Make lists and take inventory of your belongings so that when your items arrive at your new duty station, you can take accurate stock. You may have to wait some time for your belongings to arrive, especially during peak PCS season. In the meantime, carry your family’s essentials and communicate openly with your loved ones about the moving process.

Use these strategies to prepare for your move:

Make to-do lists and take inventory.

Organization and discipline make any task more efficient. While you’ll have plenty of help from movers when the boxes are loaded, take a detailed inventory of all your items so that unpacking and settling into your new home will go as smoothly as possible. With an inventory, you can also account for any lost or damaged belongings.

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Talk to your family about the move.

Seize the adventure of your move and talk openly and often with your entire family about the upcoming changes. While it’s an exciting time, it can also bring uncertainty, especially for children. Explain to them that the move is a chance to explore a new place, make some new friends, and that even in a new location, the love and support of their family will not change.

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Make the move easier for your pet and you.

When you’re preparing for a move, having a pet can add another layer of complexity. Spend time upfront planning and preparing so you can ease the stress of moving for both you and your pet. Find out how.

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Carry the essentials.

Depending on your new location, you might be waiting for some time for your boxes to arrive. Carry everything you absolutely need upfront for your move. This includes personal and financial information, identification records, passports, health records and any documents that will be critical to making the transition to a new location, such as school enrollment forms. Also, carry any valuable family heirlooms or special pieces on your person.

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Learn the PCS basics.

Living overseas is the adventure of a lifetime and a chance to see the world. The logistics for this kind of big move depend on your family, pets, your rank and the timeline of your move. Within the U.S., the military provides packers and movers or offers a do-it-yourself option, depending on your circumstances and budget.

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