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Make Your PCS Move a Touchdown

Air Force PCS

As general manager of our family football team, it is in my best interest we outscore our opponent (the perils of moving). I need to keep up team morale and prepare everyone for our biggest opponent yet. Here is my playbook for a successful PCS. Hut hut!

Study your plays ahead of time.

The cheerleaders on the sideline have changed their "Be Agressive" cheer to "Be Prepared." The key to a smooth move is preparation and sports drinks.

Take the weeks before you move to go through your household goods and get rid of items you do not need (if you have not used it since your last move, it is probably safe to get rid of it). You can make a donation of your goods or hold a garage sale.

While you are purging unneeded items, organize the items left, separate the items that cannot be moved by professionals and begin identifying your most valuable possessions.

Have a backup plan if there is a fumble.

Your shipment is delayed; your babysitter for moving day has the flu. There are many moving pieces and, unfortunately, that means a lot could go wrong.

I make sure to have a backup quarterback for moving day (inevitable your spouse may have to go to work that day and leave you to manage the pets and kids and the packers). Have a friend or neighbor on the sidelines ready to step in and lend a hand if needed.

Know your opponent.

Research your next duty station. What are the on post housing options; what is the rental market in town? Will BAH (plus bills) cover your rent; where are the best schools/neighborhoods?

Search Facebook for a base-sponsored group -- it will be a great way to scout out your new duty station, make some pregame allies and learn a bit about the area.

Have a hefty offensive line.

Your big, scary offensive line -- protecting you from the moving defense -- is your friends, family and your spouse's command/unit/etc. These people have all experienced a move and know how overwhelming and stressful it can be. They will help protect you from getting sacked by unexpected PCS perils.

Do not hesitate to ask for help during this time. There truly are NO silly PCSing questions.

Be a good sport.

This category covers a lot of yards. First, be kind to all of the people involved in your move. Most important, your spouse (it is always easiest to lose your temper with the ones you love the most). Try to stay positive and be each other's biggest fans.

Be kind and patient with your post's moving office and their employees. I am convinced, through kindness, I was able to execute our last move a little earlier than they originally scheduled. Be nice to the movers and packers; offer them snacks (maybe even a meal) and beverages.

Keep your eye on the prize.

A new place and an exciting new adventure. Try to keep a positive attitude; it will make a huge difference to your kids and family members.

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