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Military Moves: 8 Tips for Your Next PCS



Okay, so you’ve PCS’d a couple of times. But everyone can always use a few good tips to make sure your household goods move goes as smooth as possible. We have some moving tips to share with you, but before going any further, one point warrants its own call out: the most important thing you can do is start the official process as soon as you get your official military orders, either online through or at your installation household goods/transportation office. Keep reading for more tips!


1. Use all of the resources available to you. Explore the information in the moving guide on It contains items designed to help you make the move process as easy as possible. Familiarize you with your rights and responsibilities during a move, and what actions you can take based on your entitlements.

As you’re going through the process at, don’t just click through the pages without reading the information. There may have been changes that affect your particular move.

Victory Van relocates US government


For example, did you know that you have the right to have the mover unpack items and reassemble items within your residence on the day of delivery? That you have the right to have the mover remove unpacked containers, packing materials and other moving debris on the day of delivery at no cost? Knowing some of these things ahead of time could make it easier when you're extremely busy with relocation-related tasks.


2. Get a jump start. If you’re in the window for a permanent change-of-station move this spring or summer, you can go to and update your information even if you don’t have your orders. You can also set up your new account. Make sure they have the best contact information to reach you 24 hours a day throughout the moving process. You can change that information as needed and iron out any problems with the system ahead of time, even though you can't start the booking process until you get your orders.


moving schedule by Victory Van

Photo by on Unsplash


3. Be flexible with moving dates. This is especially true if you are planning to move sometime between late May through mid-July. That flexibility doesn't just mean Tuesday or Wednesday of a particular week – there needs to be a spread of weeks. Victory Van relocation specialists are available to help you plan the move. 

It's tricky when you're trying to juggle giving notice to your landlord, or especially if you're selling a house, but if you lock yourself into a single move date based on decisions already made, you may put yourself in a bind if you can't get that date. Consider other options such as storage or options that the military offers to help you, such as lodging allowances.


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4. Know your weight allowance. You can find it here. With each PCS, it is the service member’s responsibility to have an accurate estimate of the weight of household goods and stay under the allowance or be prepared to pay the overage. Although not widespread, some service members have found out they’ve had to pay extra because they exceeded their weight allowance.

Service members also have a right to ask their moving company or military transportation office for a re-weigh of their household goods, and they have a right to be present when that re-weigh is conducted.

Check out your past moves in your account to learn the weight of your previous shipments. That will help you prepare as you consider your current weight allowance and decide if you've added or subtracted stuff since your last relocation.


5. Hire someone to clean. Do you have good intentions to clean out the rental yourself? Time is precious and gets tight when preparing for a PCS. Do yourself a favor and go ahead and gather recommendations for a cleaning crew to come for a final clean. If you live in a dense military town, the good companies will get booked up early.


cleaning after a move


6. Only move what you really want. It's never too early to start evaluating items and decide whether or not you want to bring them on your move. Consider a yard sale, or donate some items to charity. Why go to the extra trouble and expense to move rarely used items?


7. Check over your car. If you're moving overseas, make sure your vehicle is ready. Document the condition of your vehicle and get any repairs done that are needed to ensure the car is mechanically sound. If there are any outstanding recalls on your vehicle, take the vehicle to the dealer and get those fixes done – otherwise, your vehicle may be turned away from the vehicle processing center.


8. Review all of your belongings with a critical eye. This is an important step when preparing for the home move. There are a few things you can do to stay organized.

  • Use your cellphone to document your items, and the condition of those items, by going room to room and taking video of what you find. Describe the items as you're recording.
  • Separate the professional items you're moving so that movers can note the weight. If these items qualify as professional items, also known as Pro-Gear, they don't count against your total household goods items.
  • Think about the clothes you'll take with you, and how long it will take your household goods to get to your new location. Put aside those items in a closet or room marked off-limits to the movers, or maybe in the trunk of your car.
  • Gather what you’ll carry with you during the entire move – items such as passports, valuable jewelry, marriage license, birth certificates, medicines, etc.


Victory Van has been working with military families for over 50 years. We work closely with the Department of Defense, the Department of State and many other military and government agencies. We want to help you and your family have the most stress-free move as possible. Call us or fill out an online request for a move quote