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Your Military Relocation Checklist & Moving Guide Moving Frequently is Part of Military Life In fact, military families move an average of once every three years. The Department of Defense estimates that one-third of all military members make Permanent Change of Station (PCS) moves each year. So do not fret as this military PCS to Robins AFB guide provides some key information to get you going in the right direction. Moving to a new city is both a thrilling adventure and an intimidating change. It allows you to see parts of the country or even the world you might not have seen otherwise. You get to embrace a new city with new people. However, uprooting yourself from familiar places and people is never easy, and you will face many challenges as you adjust to your new locale. Relocating to a new city can be stressful for anybody. You have to pack all your belongings and hope they make it to your new home in one piece. Then you’ll have to unpack and set everything up again. Your family will be confronted by many significant changes once PCS orders are received. The good news is moving gets a little easier as you gain experience. In this military PCS to Robins AFB guide, I will share with you tips that can help you conquer the unnecessary stress that a military relocation often brings.

What is a Permanent Change of Station A Permanent Change of Station is an official relocation of an active duty military service member- along with any family members living with him or her- between one duty station and another, or between a final duty station and home of record upon retirement or discharge. It is a longer-term assignment, generally lasting two to four years. It applies until mooted by another PCS order, completion of active duty service, or some other event. CONUS moves refer to moves inside the continental United States while OCONUS moves include moves to Alaska, Hawaii, U.S. territories, and overseas.

What You Need to Know About PCSing to Robins AFB GA Did you just get orders to relocate to Robins Air Force Base? Robins Air Force Base is a major United States Air Force installation located just east of and adjacent to the city of Warner Robins. The base was named after General Augustine Warner Robins, the Air Force’s “father of logistics.” It is the home of the Air Force Materiel Command’s Warner Robins Air Logistics, the worldwide manager for a wide range of aircraft, engines, missiles, software, and avionics and accessories components. Over the years, the base has experienced growth in stature and mission. With more than 25,000 personnel employed, there is a variety of Department of Defense activities each day. Relocating to Robins AFB gives you the opportunity to reside in the largest city in Houston County, Georgia. It is often referred to as Georgia’s International City. The community is truly a melting pot of styles and demographics, rooted in rich military tradition and history. Warner Robins’ motto is Every Day in Middle Georgia is Armed Forces Appreciation Day" (EDIMGIAFAD). It shows just how deep the connection is between the community and the military. Business Week named Warner Robins the best place in Georgia to raise a family for two years in a row. In 2012, the city also made it to CNN Money’s list of best small cities to live in. If you are moving to Warner Robins, you’ll surely enjoy its small-town feel and the many perks of living in a larger place. You’ll appreciate all that the city has to offer, including its restaurants, the mild climate, superb schools, passionate people, world class youth sports, and reasonable cost of living. So how do you prepare for your PCS move to Robins AFB? Below are some tips to help you.

1. Set up a Meeting with Your Transportation Office The first step is to contact the Transportation Management Office (TMO) to learn all the logistics for your move. Find out about all the moving options available to you, including your travel stipends, moving expenses, and more. Start making preliminary arrangements for your move.

Your TMO will deal with everything related to relocating your entire household. Contact them as soon as your paperwork comes through to make sure your move is scheduled.

2. Choose Your Move There are three ways to execute a PCS move. You can have the military organize and plan the move for your or you can take the reigns have more control over your move. 

Government Contract Move - Your local TMO will verify your orders and contract a commercial moving company to pack, ship, and unpack your belongings. This is sometimes the easiest option, but you will need to be thorough in your inventory in case of damage. Personally Procured Move - It allows you to pack, ship, and unpack your own stuff-all for which the government pays you 95% percent of what it would cost them to contract a commercial mover. If you end up spending less than the 95 percent payment the government provides, you get to keep the rest. Combination Move - With this option, a part of your goods are moved by the government, and you move the remainder. You can also be reimbursed for moving expenses, but you must keep all receipts and get an empty and full registered weight reading of your moving vehicle.

There are pros and cons to each. When making a decision, you should consider your finances, the amount of time you have to plan your move, and how well you want your belongings packed, inventoried, and labeled. You also have to keep in mind that the government imposes a weight restriction on PCS moves based on rank and whether or not the service member has dependents. Any weight you move above the restriction will not be paid by the government. Permanent Change of Station (PCS) and Non-Temporary Storage (NTS) Weight Allowance (Pounds) for CONUS moves Rank

PCS without dependents 18,000 18,000 18,000 18,000 18,000

O-10 O-9 O-8 O-7 O-6 O16,000 5/W-5 O14,000 4/W-4 O13,000 3/W-3

PCS with dependents 18,000 18,000 18,000 18,000 18,000 17,500 17,000 14,500

O2/W-2 O1/W-1 E-9 E-8 E-7 E-6 E-5 E-4 E-3 E-2/E1





13,000 12,000 11,000 8,000 7,000 7,000 5,000

15,000 14,000 13,000 11,000 9,000 8,000 8,000



3. Use a PCS Checklist While preparing for your move, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the tasks that you have to do. You can stay on top of it all by using a PCS Checklist. With a checklist, you can stay more organized by assuring you don’t skip any steps in the process. It also allows you to quickly and efficiently manage your various tasks. A checklist also helps you delegate tasks more easily. Our ready-to-print list will help you remember what needs to be done and when. It covers everything from packing to setting up in your new location and helps you create a timeline from 3 months prior to your move to after you arrive at your new destination.

PCS Checklists for Your Move to Robins AFB Take charge of your PCS move to Robins AFB! Make your military relocation less of a chore by breaking down the tasks into weekly todo lists. The checklist below will give you a head start on what to expect, who you need to contact and what you need to know when you make your move. 3 Months Before Moving 1 Week Before Moving 2 Months Before Moving Final Days Before Moving 1 Month Before Moving Moving Day 3 Weeks Before Moving After the Move

Three months before the move Do the following tasks three months before you move: Tasks: Done Schedule a counseling session at your base transportation office if you are an active service member. Determine whether you will have the government handle the move for you, or if you will make a Personally Procured Move (PPM). Save money for moving expenses that are non-reimbursable. Discuss the moving process with your family, especially the children, to help them overcome their fear of relocation. If you have an infant, make arrangements for special moving needs. Inform your landlord that you will be moving, but don’t give any specific date yet. If necessary, start making shipment arrangements for your vehicle(s). Make an appointment for a counseling session if you are using your base transportation office. Start monitoring tax-deductible moving expenses like the cost of pre-move house hunting. Make an inventory of possessions and valuable items. Get appraisals if you have antiques or collections. Organize important documents like birth certificates, insurance papers or warranties. Create a list of people that you should notify concerning your move and forwarding address. If you belong to clubs and organizations, inform them that you are leaving. Transfer your membership if possible. Make sure to deal with necessary medical, optical or dental appointments. Get your records and find out how to forward them later. Draw up a Power of Attorney or Letter of Authorization for unforeseen circumstances. Check all closets and drawers. Sort through clothes and other items to give away or sell. Ensure that all stickers from previous moves have been removed from furniture. Avoid placing mail order purchases. Two months before the move Do the following tasks two months before you move: Tasks Sort out and dispose of items you no longer need. You can either hold a garage


sale or sell off items through an online marketplace. If you’re going to buy a new home in Warner Robins GA, choose one as soon as possible. Take care of financing and schedule closing dates. If your family members are employed, remind them to give required notice of termination and get a referral letter. They should also update their resumes for finding jobs in Warner Robins GA. Check schedules and enrollment requirements if you have school age kids. Start looking for options if you need child care. Make all necessary reservations if you are planning to take a vacation on the way to your new address. If you have vehicles, make sure all maintenance and repairs are taken care of now. Ensure that you still have your proof of insurance for the car. Call your insurance company about protection for vehicles, household storage, and high-value items. If you will be using your base transportation office, inform them if you plan to ship your vehicle. Make sure to provide the estimated shipping weight. If you have pets, take them to the local vet so that they can be checked and vaccinated. Make sure to close out any local charge accounts. If necessary, open up an account and a safe deposit box at a bank in Warner Robins. Visit your military base finance center if you need help organizing your finances. You may also seek a private financial advisor. Check expiration dates if you are planning to use your credit cards during your travel. Call the Department of Motor Vehicles at Warner Robins for information on a new driver's license and registration. One month before the move Do the following tasks one month before you move: Tasks Done Set the pickup and delivery dates with your mover, and if necessary, arrange for storage. Confirm your move-in schedule with your real estate agent. If you haven’t found a new residence yet in Warner Robins, obtain a post office box for your mail until you have a permanent address. If you haven't done so already, make an appointment with your military financial center or private advisor for financial counseling. If you are on active duty, consult with Travel and Transportation Allowances. Find out if you are entitled to advanced pay or other benefits.

Dispose of any unwanted items around your house. You can hold a garage sale, sell them online, or donate them to charity. Make sure to keep any receipts of your donations for tax purposes. Pick up your children’s school records or make arrangements for sending the records to their new school. Make necessary arrangements for letters of transfer from local churches and clubs, including Scouts or other national organizations. Buy some short-range walkie-talkies if your family will be driving in two or more vehicles. This way, you can keep in touch while you’re on the road. If you or a family member is working, arrange with your employer to forward tax withholding forms. Check if all health, life, fire and auto insurances are up to date, and inform these companies of your new address. If you have library books and borrowed items, make sure to return them as soon as possible. Make sure that your vehicle(s) are in good running condition and that all required maintenance has been accomplished. Keep a record of serial numbers of electronic and other important equipment. Accomplish an IRS change of address form. Call me, Anita Clark, at (478) 960-8055, to begin house hunting preparations Three weeks before the move Do the following tasks three weeks before you move: Tasks Done Call your military pay office to recertify Basic Allowance for Quarters (BAQ) and get a sign-off on your PCS if you are an active duty service member. Verify packing, pick-up, and delivery dates with mover. Check the expiration date of your military ID card and update it, if needed. Inform your credit card companies of your new address. Inform your stockbroker or investment counselor of your new or temporary address. Make arrangements for credit references and be sure to transfer bank accounts and your safe deposit box. Settle any outstanding bills. Cancel all local deliveries and services and confirm your new address with US Postal Service. If you have loaned out items, retrieve them the soonest time possible. Plan menus based from what you have remaining in the freezer and cabinets. Ensure that old TSP markings and stickers have been removed from furniture and boxes.

Reconfirm moving dates if you are using the Personal Property Shipping Office (PPSO). Have drapes and carpets cleaned. Never leave in plastic wrappers. Start cleaning up your current home. Clean out your attic, crawl space, or similar storage area within your current home. Renew and pick up any necessary prescriptions. Get prescription slips in case you need refills while traveling. Pack your medicine in leak proof, spill proof containers. If you are an active service member making use of military weight allowances, separate your professional books, papers and equipment (PBP&E) because they will be weighed and listed separately on your shipping inventory. Inform the packers that these are your professional items -- their weight will not be counted into your weight allowance. One week before the move Do the following tasks one week before you move: Tasks Close out safe deposit box if you have one. Buy ziplock bags for packing sets of small items. Before mailing or hand-carrying them to your new address, make copies of any important documents. Start removing wall accessories like drapery rods, small appliances, food and utensil racks. Haul out all items from underneath stairways, attics or any other area that does not allow full standing room. Drain the water from garden hoses and oil and gas from lawn mowers and gas operated tools. Disconnect spark plugs. Dispose of flammables and have a local propane gas dealer purge and seal refillable tanks. Start packing electronic components like stereos and TVs Place original packing boxes (if they are still in good condition and you want the movers to use them) by the equipment. If you decide to pack the item in the original carton yourself, make sure to leave the boxes opened so items can be inventoried. If you have a computer, "park" hard disk drive units. Make sure to disconnect computer systems, then place CDs and DVDs in protective cases before storing them into cartons. If you are planning to use your own vehicle, ensure that it is in good running condition. Check if all required maintenance has been completed.


Inform a close friend or relative of your travel route and schedule so you may be reached if needed. Make sure to set aside cleaning materials to be used after packing and loading. Make sure personal property items are free of soil/pest infestation. Keep in mind that complying with requirements of the USDA and state laws is your responsibility. If you are an active service member making use of military weight allowances, separate your professional books, papers and equipment (PBP&E) because they will be weighed and listed separately on your shipping inventory. Inform the packers that these are your professional items -- their weight will not be counted into your weight allowance. Final days before the move Do the following tasks a few days before you move: Tasks Done Call me, Anita Clark, at (478) 960-8055, so I can be ready to show you homes of your choosing when you arrive to Houston County. Set aside items that will not be packed, including suitcases. For items that will help set up housekeeping at your new address, ship them as “unaccompanied baggage.� Create a household inventory list and carry it with you. Make a complete inventory of all the boxes you will move so you can check them after you move in. Help movers by attaching colored stickers to boxes. Prepare a color-coded map of your new house so they will know which rooms to take your belongings to. Secure your cash, jewelry, important documents, your checkbook and other valuable items. If you are renting a truck or other vehicle for your move, check it over to make sure everything is running properly. Take note of the condition of your belongings. If anything is marked "scratched, dented or soiled," note the location of the problem. Clean your refrigerator and freezer, and dry them for 1-2 days with doors propped open. Place several charcoal briquettes in a stocking or sock in both the freezer and refrigerator to avoid musty odor. Dispose of partly-used cans/containers of substances that may leak. If you are planning to take any jars of liquid with you, carefully tape and place them in individual waterproof bags. Disconnect gas and electrical appliances. Remove hanging objects scheduled for shipping from the walls, ceilings, and cabinet. Remove outside TV antennas, air conditioners in windows, and disconnect

satellite dishes. Drain water from hot tubs and waterbeds. Switch utility services to your new address in Warner Robins. Moving Day Do the following tasks on the day of your move Tasks Done Expect it’s going to be a long day. Get up early and make all the necessary preparations before the movers arrive. Don’t forget to eat. You may also prepare snacks for packers if you wish. Make sure you or someone reliable is at home when the move is conducted. Secure and hand carry personal belongings and valuable items such as cash, jewelry, and checkbooks. Before movers arrive, get your pets under control. You may ask a neighbor or a friend to keep them for you if you haven't made boarding arrangements. Double check if you have packed everything. Have a marker handy to make extra notes on boxes. Carry a box of "basics" you'll need on move-in day. If you are hand-carrying any boxes with you, mark "DO NOT MOVE" on them clearly. Verify the mover's inventory is complete and accurate. Carefully observe the loading and unloading, and examine all items carefully before signing a receipt. Take note of the condition of your belongings. If anything is marked "scratched, dented or soiled," note the location of the problem. If the military is taking care of your move, be sure to get a copy of the GBL, the DD-619 (if CONUS), and the Household Goods Inventory from the packers before they leave the residence. Check if the inventory is accurate and complete, and keep a copy with other important records you are hand carrying. Examine the entire house before releasing the packers to ensure that nothing has been left behind. Leave the keys that are needed by the new tenant or owner with your RealtorⓇ or neighbor. Hand-carry finance and other important documents. After the Move Do the following tasks after you move in to your new home. Tasks


You will be given the telephone number of the transportation office at your new duty station if you are an active service member. Contact the transportation office at your new duty station as soon as possible, and provide them with a phone number where the member or designated representative may be reached. If you are making use of the destination Household Goods Office, call them to arrange for delivery of personal property. Arrange for gas, phone, and electricity to be connected. Make sure to check the pilot lights on the stove, water heater, incinerator and furnace. If you came from a different state, register your car and get a new driver's license as soon as possible. Register your children in school and connect with medical services. Clean the hard-to-reach areas in your new home before the moving van arrives. Check the mover’s inventory against the one you made before departure. Make sure they match. Plan ahead where to place each piece of furniture. Remember that the mover is required to place each piece only one time. During the delivery, you are entitled to the reassembly of all items that were disassembled by the carrier. You are also entitled to have everything unpacked, with packing materials removed from the residence, unless you specifically waive this service. If there are missing or damaged items in transit, you must list these items on your DD Form 1840. Make sure that three legible copies of this form are received. This is not a claim, only a record of loss or damage. Any additional loss or damage discovered after the carrier has completed delivery should be noted on the reverse side of DD Form 1840, which is DD Form 1840R. This information has been provided by Anita Clark. She is a military spouse (retired, Air Force) and completely understands what you are going through. Having moved over a dozen times including PCS moves to/from 3 overseas locations, she is uniquely qualified to help get you situated and find you a home to call your own. Check out this link for more military PCS information to help you as you get ready to leave your current duty station and arrive in Warner Robins. Welcome home to middle GA! ~ Anita ~ Download and print our FREE Military PCS Checklist here.

4. Stay Organized with a PCS Binder Staying organized during a PCS can be very difficult. In fact, according to the Holmes and Rahe Stress scale, moving even within the same city is considered fairly stressful. Moving in the military means a lot of paperwork. You need to keep track of all of your receipts, invoices, and paperwork throughout the process. You don’t want to lose track of them. One of the best ways to minimize stress and to remain organized is by creating a PCS binder. Instead of trying to keep track of all the separate papers, you can put them all together in one place. To create a PCS Binder, you’ll need the following:  

Binder Sheet Protectors

 

Zipper Pouch Dividers with tabs

So what documents should you include in your binder?            

Important documents like birth certificates, marriage certificate, social security card, and passports PCS Orders (Original and several copies) Your PCS Checklist Health/Dental Records School Records Pet Information/Vet Records Deeds and titles to all real estate and other property Insurance policies Wills and power of attorney documents State and federal income tax returns Moving Documents Travel Documents (All of your hotel and gas receipts, weigh tickets, toll fees, and more can all be included here)

Watch the video below about the three “must-have” items for your PCS binder.

5. Make an Inventory of All Your Belongings Taking inventory of all your belongings is another way to ensure a hassle-free PCS move. You will experience a smoother transition when you know exactly what you’ve got and where they are stored. There are differents methods for taking a home inventory. Notebook or Spreadsheet You can list your items room-by-room or grouped by category. This method may be tedious and time consuming. However, it’s still an effective way to document your belongings. Picture Documentation Walk through each room of your house and take pictures of every item. Make sure to take photos of serial numbers and manufacturers, especially on higher-value items. Remember to save backups of your pictures and store them in a location that will be easily retrievable when you need them. Video Documentation

It is similar to picture documentation with the added benefits of narration and including some extra details about the items as you walk through. Digital Inventory There are several online tools and apps that can help you document all the items in your home. They come in many varieties and levels of detail. MoveAdvisor is an app that features a state-of-the-art home inventory checklist tool. The app allows you to create a complete virtual house moving inventory list of your household for your upcoming military PCS to Robins AFB. Sortly is another moving inventory app that enables you to snap a photo of each item using your mobile phone and organize the items into categories so that you know exactly what you have in your home. Make sure to include the following details in your inventory      

Name of the item Condition of the item Number of items Brand and description Purchased date, cost at purchase, and an estimated current value Model and serial number, when applicable

6. Sort Through Your Belongings It is important to purge before a PCS move. Go through each room in your house and toss items you haven’t used in the past year that don’t hold substantial sentimental value. If possible, donate them. It’s useless to spend time, money, and effort packing and transporting things that you don’t need or want. Deciding what to keep and what to toss can be a challenge. Ask yourself the following questions:     

Does it serve a purpose? Is it being used? Are there multiples? Do you need multiples? Does it draw emotion?

As you ponder on these questions, you’ll find that it’s easier to determine which things to sell, donate, or to give as gifts. If you purge your home, you won’t have to pack as many boxes. You could even save money. And you know for yourself it just feels so good to declutter and start fresh in a new home.

7. Research on Your New Duty Station Learn everything you need to know about your new duty station. Today there are so many ways to do this. You can check out Military Town Advisor for local reviews and on and off base information. You can also follow the official Facebook page of Robins AFB to get the most up-to-date information on the area. You can also learn a lot by diving headfirst into the blogosphere. Military spouses, local photographers, foodies, and real estate agents such as myself know what the area is like and write posts of our personal experiences, which are excellent first-hand resources for you to tap into. Visit my Warner Robins real estate blog for a wealth of community, subdivision, helpful hints, and of course real estate information available. Do you want to get a feel of the kind of life waiting for you in Warner Robins GA? Take a look at the video below:

8. Prepare Your Children for the Move

Moving is always a big change for everyone in the family. However, for younger ones, they can be really overwhelming. They have to deal with the chaos of packing and saying goodbye to friends, family, and the familiar comfort of home. It’s like having their world turned upside down. Here are some tips to help you children prepare for your military relocation. Tell them the news Explain to your children what’s happening as you go about preparing for a move. Start preparing the kids for the transition. Encourage your kids to talk about their feelings and ask questions. It’s important to tell them the news as early as possible so they can prepare their hearts and minds for the changes. Be excited Moving can make anyone feel anxious. However, try not to pass your worries along. Let your children know it’s okay if they are scared or confused and that you’re there to help them. Get them involved Look for age-appropriate ways to get your children involved in the moving process. You can let them help you look at potential homes online. You can also encourage them to pack their own stuff. Visit your new home If you’re not moving very far, you can take the whole family on a road-trip to your new destination. Get acquainted with the area. Explore the high points like schools, the base you’ll be stationed at, parks, restaurants and other local attractions. If you’re too far, you can always do a virtual tour. Read books about moving Books can be an excellent tool to help prepare younger children for the move. Your children can learn through fun stories and illustrations. Visit your local library to find some good ones about moving. Check out these 7 great children’s books about moving. Give them time to say goodbye Give your children a chance to say their farewells to family and friends.

9. Enlist the Help of Anita Clark Having a real estate professional who understands your needs and schedules can make your military PCS to Robins AFB easier and less stressful. You don’t have to do it alone!

I am Anita Clark, a Warner Robins GA Realtor® and market expert. I tailor my services to meet your individual needs and goals. My commitment to you is to provide the personalized real estate services you deserve. As a retired Air Force military spouse, I am well versed in the rules regarding VA Loan Eligibility and know all the subdivisions in Houston County. I know the “ins and outs” of what it takes to qualify for a VA Loan as well as the many different neighborhoods in Warner Robins and their corresponding fluctuations in real estate pricing. I will do everything I can to make your transition to Houston County GA and Robins Air Force Base as smooth as possible! Follow these tips to ensure that your move goes well. Be involved from start to finish and play an active role throughout the process. Call me, Anita Clark, at 478-960-8055. Let me make your move easier. I look forward to helping you through your military PCS to Robins AFB. Welcome home to middle GA! How do you handle your PCS move? Do you have any tips and tricks to share?

PCS Move & Military PCS to Robins AFB

Military PCS Guide  

A free military PCS guide

Military PCS Guide  

A free military PCS guide