FREE PCS Binder Printables and Cheat Sheets
Did you just get your military PCS moving orders, and now you’re scratching your head at what the heck you’re supposed to do next? I hope these PCS binder printables will help you!
With our PCS overseas, I needed a way to stay organized with all the things.
There are several great resources out there, but they made my head spin with all the information; I needed something short and to the point. So I created my own PCS to do list, which naturally included a binder-PCS style!
In this guide, you’ll find exactly what I put in my own military binder that I use when we have an upcoming PCS. You’ll get my PCS cheat sheet, a PCS binder checklist, and even see my overseas PCS checklist if you are moving abroad.
While I typically make notes and lists on my phone, I really love having a hard copy version to reference everything later. There are so many moving parts to a PCS that I like keeping it all in a bright moving binder so I can find it easily in the midst of moving chaos.
Get your FREE PCS Printables!
That’s why I created these free printable PCS checklist (PDF).
I wanted them to be functional and easy for you to personalize, but I also wanted them to look aesthetically fun…because we all need something pretty to look at during PCS season.
And while there are pages in the download that definitely pertain to an OCONUS PCS (military moving overseas checklist), you don’t have to print what you don’t need.
Make Your Binder Work For You
Here are a few tips, and things to grab when you’re putting your Air Force, Navy, or Army PCS checklist binder together:
Feeling organized with your PCS will help things run so much smoother, so after you get your printables, here are some ideas to help make it all a breeze:
+ print in color
+ grab some page tabs
+ don’t forget a 3-ring hole punch
+ dividers with pockets are awesome
+ get page protectors for cover pages
+ must have: zippered binder to hold everything in
PCS Binder Cheat Sheets
I totally understand that my lists below won’t be what you need for your lists, but I’m sharing them in case what I wrote down helps jog your memory for what you need on your list.
Also, keep in mind that I just completed an overseas move to Germany, so some things (like setting aside lamps and selling a washer and dryer) may be a little extreme for a CONUS PCS!
Unaccompanied Baggage (aka 1,000 pounds)
- shower curtain (and rod)
- favorite toys for kids
- laundry basket
- hand soap
- toilet paper
- paper towels
- clorox wipes
- ziploc bags
- extra shoes (closed-toed)
- diapers for kids (need them at night time)
- cooking stuff
- mixing bowl
- measuring cups
- can opener
- prep bowl
- oven mits
- picnic blanket
- bikes and helmets
- potty seat for traveling
- step stool for kids
- step stool for us
- camping chair (x2)
- little tool chest
- first aid kit
- coffee pot/filters/coffee
- plates, bowls, cups for kids
- press & seal/foil
Keep in mind that we really wanted to downsize and not take everything with us to Germany. So there’s a decent amount on here.
- heirloom chest
- heirloom coat tree
- file cabinet (we scanned everything)
- cooking stuff (larger things that won’t fit in a European oven)
- wedding dress
- old mementos from our childhood
- books. allllllll of our books
- wine barrel (from when we lived in Italy)
- champagne holder (from when we lived in Italy)
- extension cords
- kitchen floor mats (that we forgot to put in our HHG—household goods—shipment)
To Sell Before We Move
- Upright freezer
- washer and dryer
- bookcases (that are on their last leg)
- extra tool chest
- extra lamps
To Do Before We Move
- Go through kitchen one more time
- go through all the toys one more time
- scan stuff in file cabinet
- deep clean vacuum
- clean knives and knife holder
- deep clean the couch cushions
- clean pots, pans, and lids
- empty and clean containers in pantry
- cancel all utilities
- cancel all the kids’ classes
In our Suitcases
- enough clothes/underwear for 7-10 days
- sunscreen and dry shampoo (movers don’t move these things)
- travel coffee mugs
- 2 pairs of shoes per person
- dry shampoo
- light jacket
- stuffed animals
- cords for electronics
- USB night light
Do Not Pack (during move)
Make sure everything is in a separate room or area and it’s clearly marked as a DO NOT PACK area. Use masking tape to mark a giant X on specific items you don’t want movers to pack.
- pet stuff
- PCS binder(s)
- paper plates/utensils
- car seats
- electronics to return
- coffee maker
- kid toys
What to do first:
Here are some things to do first once you get your assignment notification. Of course, keep in mind, your duty station can always change…
- Join facebook groups and research your new location of your PCS orders
- Use these moving binder printables to create a PCS binder and start getting organized
- See what moving classes your base/post offer (or if you need specific PCS moving companies)
- Create a spreadsheet or document to track your PCS moving expenses
- Post your PCS moving checklist somewhere central in your home to stay on top of the tasks and to easily cross off what you have done.
- Announce your new assignment and ask for advice/recommendations
- Start thinking about what you want to take with you and what needs to be sold/donated
- look into housing options (on base, on the economy, school districts, etc.)
- find books and blog posts about new destination
- renew drivers license
- notify current landlord or get in touch with a realtor
- get current on immunizations; schedule doctor, dentist, eye appointments
- decide a plan for your pet
- start going through every room in your home
- start the passport process or renew expired passports (OCONUS PCS)
- decide what to do with your vehicle (OCONUS PCS)
- Get in touch with your local EFMP representative (OCONUS PCS)
Two Weeks Before Movers Arrive:
- Cancel things (security systems, gym membership, pest control, internet, cable; call about utilities)*
- Take dog to the vet for updated shots and car sick medicine
- Finish up projects
- Get updated vaccine records for kids
- Make sure hotel reservations are all set
- Purge the house one more time (throw more things away, give away more stuff; go through the pantry, freezer, fridge and toss/giveaway anything you’re not going to use—make a 2 week meal plan)
- Get in touch with realtor/landlord and make sure everything is set and in place for when you leave
- Make arrangements for the kids and pets so they’re out of the mover’s (and your) hair
- Make arrangements for your last night(s) in town (ask to borrow air mattress/pack ‘n play/sleeping bag, or get a hotel room)
- Go shopping for paper goods (plates, bowls, forks and spoons, cups)
- Organize small things in drawers (wrap in press and seal or place in ziploc bags)
- zip-tie extra hangers together
- Make a hard copy of important documents
*If you’re canceling early, make sure you have orders ready to prove you’re military and moving on orders.
**If you can, try to keep your internet hooked up through your move. The days when the movers are there can be extremely boring, so having wifi may be your best friend
One Week Before Movers Arrive:
- Clean out the car (vacuum, car wash, oil change)
- Take everything off the walls
- Patch holes in the walls
- Pack for EVERYONE
- Make a “Do Not Pack” section and put everything you want to take with you in that area
- Make a 1,000 lb/unaccompanied baggage area (if OCONUS PCS)
- Empty out gas from lawn mower
- Return propane from grill to Home Depot
- Clean off patio furniture (there can’t be any soil on your outdoor stuff)
- Start thawing out the deep freezer
- Download movies/music to devices for the road trip
- Get a few new toys/surprises/snacks for road trip
- Take pictures of EVERYTHING in the house
- Clean couch cushions
- Clean knives, pots, pans, and lids
- Get colored tape for boxes once they’re packed
- go through all medicines
Day Before Movers Arrive:
- Do one more load of laundry
- Throw out any leftover food in the fridge
- Empty and clean trash cans
- Pick up air mattress, etc., from friends
- Make sure your “Do Not Pack” pile has everything in it!
- Empty out dishwasher
- Put utensils in ziploc bags
- take lightbulbs out of lamps
During the Packing/Moving Days
- Sit awkwardly in the corner with nothing to do
- Label/color-code the boxes after they leave
- Relax….you already did the hard part!
What did I miss?
Whew. And that’s everything. What do you think? Am I missing anything? Tell me below what’s on your list so I can add it as a resource here.
This is my third PCS as a military spouse (second overseas, going to Germany!) and my like 20th as a military brat. But I still feel unprepared 😂😂😂 that isn’t for the list! It helped me gather my racing thoughts as we prepare for a long tdy-enroute which is new for us.
I’m so happy these helped you out a little bit during this crazy time; thank you for letting me know! And hooray for Germany! I hope everything will be smooth sailing 🙂
Do you really do nothing when the packers are there? I’ve been told to watch them very closely for stealing. I’ve also heard someone else say they put “If lost, please call ###” stickers on all their boxes. And also also to check the inventory sheet, as some movers will list items as already damaged (even if they’re not) so they aren’t liable.
I really don’t do anything when they’re there. Yes, of course it’s possible that you might have a shady mover, but there are usually at least three of them, and you can’t be in all rooms of your house at once. I keep an eye on them, but I don’t hover. We personally have never used stickers; you absolutely can, but it’s not necessary. If you’re moving overseas, everything will get sealed up in crates. When boxes are closed up I do walk around and put colored tape on them (to correspond with what room they belong in), but that’s about as much work as I do on moving day. The inventory sheet is something the sponsor (or spouse) signs minutes before the movers leave—you can look that over with a fine-tooth comb and make sure they didn’t add anything weird on it. Every time we’ve moved we’ve had the movers let us know when a piece of furniture already has damage on it and that they’re going to include that on the inventory sheet. Hope that helps!
The only other things I would like to add is to tape labeled ziplock bags on the beds and desk so the movers can collect the hardware. Then we do pack the hardware with us to take ourselves since they get lost easily for us.