Before the movers come, before we load both our vehicles to max capacity, before we even think about hitting the road, before we can move into a new home. there are many things that must be done to wrap up our life here at Ft. Leonard Wood.
While my soldier is taking care of all the Out Processing and scheduling that must be done on post by only him, I have my own list of "Out Processing" for our household. It is amazing how many phone calls and errands there really are when you take time to write it all down. Here is my To Do List in no particular order; I just keep adding to it as things pop into my head:
"Out Processing for an Army Wife"
1) New Military ID - this is only if yours will expire while on the road. You do not want to show up to a new duty station with an expired ID.
2) Book Hotels - the Army is giving us six days to get across the country. I've been figuring out how to break the trip up, how long we want to drive each day, and then booking hotels. Make sure you know how much the Army has allotted you per day for food and lodging. Then decide how much you want to spend on a hotel. If you are careful, you can spend less than your allotment each day, and actually "make money" in this department. Also, remember most pet friendly hotels do have a non-refundable pet deposit.
3) Set Up Shut Off Days for Utilities - water, electric, cable, sewer, gas, etc.
4) Hair Appointment - This one isn't a must; its just a preference because you never know how long it will take you to find a new salon that you like.
5) File - I'm always behind in filing paid bills and important papers, but I always make sure our file cabinet is in order before the movers wrap it up and pack it. *Also, remember to pull out all documents you want to travel with before moving day!*
6) Medical Records - pick them up from the clinic, the hospital, the pediatrician, the dentist, the veterinarian's office, and where ever else you have them. Carry all medical records with you - meaning don't let them get packed with your household goods.
7) Vehicle Packing List - make a list of everything you want to go in your car not in the moving van. Then before moving day either put it all into a room on its own or into your car. This way you can tell the moves not to touch anything in that pile.
8) Housing Research - contact your next duty station's Housing Office and find out how and when you can apply for on-post housing. Also start researching the town, neighborhoods, schools, churches, and rental properties off post in your new area.
9) Prescriptions - fill any prescriptions you will need for your family while on the road and while you are getting settled. You don't want to be running low as you pull into a new town.
10) US Mail - hold or forward your mail - just make sure bills are not going to get lost in the move. You want to make sure all your mail will find you. Keep a look out for any final bills and any refunds from those utilities that you canceled. It is important that you keep up with your financial obligations even during the move for lots of reasons: your credit score, good references you could need for a new rental company, the image you leave of the military will all your previous utility companies.
11) Pet Check-Ups - make sure your family pets are up to date on all shots. You will need to prove this with some hotels and with all on-post lodging facilities/kennels.
12) Contact Tricare - depending on where you are headed, you may be changing Tricare districts. You'll want to let them know, so you can get the transfer of your family going in their system.
Look Up any Questions Here: Tricare
13) Oil Change - make sure you take care of the vehicles you will be driving. Car maintenance is never fun, but it is important for long PCS trips. We have two that I need to take care of before the big road trip begins.
14) Schedule Final Walk Through - whether you live on post or off, your rental company will want to do a final walk through after you clean your current house. Make sure you leave it better than it was when you arrived because most likely another military family will be moving in right behind you. They will have just packed up their life at a previous duty station and moved across the country away from friends and probably family. They will appreciate that you took care of the house they will now call home. Who could relate to their situation better than yourself?
Once again, any other seasoned military wives want to add to the list? We don't have any school aged children yet, so I am unsure what is needed as far as school records, grades, shot records, etc goes. If you are knowledgeable in that department please leave some advice in the comments below.
Getting ready to PCS yourself? Check out our Packing List and see if you've forgotten anything, or maybe we have! Let us know. :)