My Moving Checklist

By Jennifer Herbek, Volunteer Writer, Central Region

With your PCS looming in the near future, there are lots of resources and tips available to make your move stress free. Check out this Omnibus list to see if it could help you get organized for your next relocation!

Two Months Before Move:

  • Household inventory by video (make sure to open drawers, boxes, close-ups of existing damage).
  • Make household weight estimate (list heavy/unusual items, special packing items).
  • Schedule Move w/ Transportation: six copies of orders, departure dates, arrival dates.
  • Notify Property Manager of intent to leave. 
  • Confirm Full Replacement Value Insurance Coverage.
  • Request copies of all medical records (including dental, ophthalmological, etc.) 
  • Arrange for Temporary Quarters, if needed.
  • Contact Housing Office at new location.  Is there a wait list for housing?
  • Credit Check.

One Month Before Move:

  • Use up food/cleaning supplies/toiletries. 
  • Contact utilities to disconnect.
  • File change of address w/ post office or arrange to have mail held/forwarded.
  • Service car(s).
  • Arrange for utilities at new residence, if possible.
  • Confirm Temporary Quarters, if needed.
  • Make travel plans.
  • Walk thru estimate w/ movers.
  • Pets to vet – get health certificate for travel and vet records.  
  • Organize house – put stuff away where it’s supposed to go! This will help with unpacking later.
  • Update Insurance w/ USAA or other provider.

Two Weeks Before Move:

  • Remove and bundle curtain rods.
  • Remove photos from walls.
  • Patch holes and touch up walls as needed.
  • Defrost freezer.
  • Take dog to groomer.
  • Separate professional books, papers, and equipment (books, shoes, military gear, awards, etc.)
  • Make sure Property Manager has all required paperwork completed.
  • Schedule move-out inspection w/ property manager.
  • Pick up copies of medical records.
  • Confirm Temporary Quarters, if needed.  

One Week Before Move:

  • Dispose of food/cleaning supplies not being transported.
  • Clean sugar bowl, salt and pepper shakers, highchair, trash cans, baby toys, coffee pot, toaster, etc.
  • Vacuum couches and rugs.
  • Wash rugs, bed linens, towels.
  • Package boxed food, makeup and cleaning supplies items in airtight containers (pastas, mixes, spices, liquids, etc.) 
  • Polish furniture w/ wood oil. Identify chips/scratches on wood items. Make necessary touch-ups.  
  • Set aside important papers/sensitive items: (lock box, jewelry, wills, banking documents, med records etc.)
  • Identify “Immediate Need” items: linens, paper goods, box cutters, pen/markers, vacuum, tools, cleaning items, trash bags, baggies, coffee pot etc. Have the packers leave an empty box and packing materials, for these items. Mark this box with a star or any other symbol that will help with quick identification.
  • Identify and separate “Do Not Pack” items (designate a closet or corner of house to rope off). These items may include:
    • Items for Car: suitcases, car seats, tools, cooler, stroller, pack n play/air mattress, laptop, dog crate, jewelry, lock box, maps, GPS, etc.
    • Important papers/sensitive items you want to hand carry (see above).
    • Items that remain w/ house: recycle can, large appliances, broiler pan.
    • Paper goods, linens, cleaning supplies, things you will need while movers are there.
  • Buy snacks/beverages for movers.
  • Set aside: house keys, garage door openers, etc.
  • Disassemble television/computers/etc.  *Set aside cable box!
  • Pack/separate items for Temp Quarters or Unaccompanied Baggage, if needed.
  • Disconnect/defrost/clean freezer, if not done already. Add coffee grounds or baking soda package inside.
  • Disconnect/clean Refrigerator.  Deodorize.
  • Clean/disconnect/air out/bolt washer and dryer. Deodorize.
  • Print china/crystal/HVI Items list.

Day of Move:

  • Empty trashcans.
  • Put paper towels and plastic trash bags in bathrooms.
  • Disassemble shoe rack/laundry caddy.
  • Make sure all “Do Not Pack” Items are set aside in central location and marked. 
  • Make sure PBPE are identified on boxes and inventory.
  • Make sure boxes are labeled appropriately (ex: “crystal” not “kitchen items”).
  • Ask movers to let you watch while they disassemble furniture. Make sure hardware is packed in hardware box to hand-carry it yourself. Use permanent marker to mark parts/baggies, etc. 
  • Make sure boxes, crates and furniture have inventory tags and are on inventory list.
  • Make sure plastic storage tubs are unpacked and boxed properly. 
  • Make sure mattresses are boxed or covered.
  • Make sure furniture is properly wrapped in blankets.  
  • Minimize loose items – if it fits in a box, put it in one!  
  • Review inventory prior to signing: 
  • Make sure all boxes and loose items are listed. 
  • Make sure boxes are properly labeled
  • Make sure descriptions of major items are completed and accurate.  
    • ***Check Damage notations***
    • If your inventory is inaccurate, tell the carrier’s representative and write down why you disagree at the bottom of the inventory in the space marked for exceptions.
    • If there is a major dispute, don’t be afraid to call for a Joint Personal Property Shipping Office (JPPSO) Inspector.
  • Check cabinets, attics, garages, closets, etc.

Before Leaving Town:

  • Clean/patch/paint walls.
  • House cleaners.
  • Carpet cleaners.
  • Return cable box.
  • Final walk thru with Property Manager.
  • Make sure mail has been held or forwarded.
  • Drive by favorite places for one last look/pic.

En Route:

  • Keep in touch with JPPSO.
  • Follow up with Housing Office at new location for status of wait list for housing.
  • Continue house hunting!
  • Make sure mail is being held. 

Day Before Delivery:

  • Check utilities at new residence.
  • Check appliances at new residence.
  • Designate room purposes at new residence.
  • Check for damage at new residence.
  • Clean kitchens, bathrooms, etc.
  • Lay shelf paper in kitchen/bathrooms.
  • Install cabinet locks.
  • Purchase necessities: snacks/beverages for move in, toilet paper, paper towels, etc.

Day of Delivery:

  • List and photograph damaged items.
  • Have movers unpack and haul away wardrobe and mattress boxes.
  • Make sure they put everything back together!
  • Make arrangements to have boxes picked up when you’re done unpacking.
  • Check house walls for damage from movers, especially doors and stairway. If damaged, tell foreman and get contact info for repair coordinator. 

Week After:

  • Update home/car insurance.
  • Register w/ TRICARE.
  • Update DEERS.
  • File change of address if not done already.
  • Change address w/ banks, credit cards, websites, etc.
  • Update auto registration, voter registration, driver’s licenses.

Within 60 Days:

  • File damage paperwork.
  • File travel reimbursement paperwork.
  • Service car.
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