Monday, June 23, 2014

How not to PCS like an idiot

D and I have been busy exploring the area while waiting for our stuff to arrive.
Two things:
1) We are back in the land of 7 Elevens!

2) So much good Mexican food!!! We went here for brunch on Sunday. Amazing!

Now hopefully our stuff will be delivered today (everyone cross your fingers) but sitting around staring at the blank walls got me thinking of what I would have done differently this PCS (Permanent Change of Station for those not fluent in acronym speak. Lets be honest I know like four Army acronyms. PCS just happens to be one). It has been awhile since the Army has moved us so I got a little rusty. Hopefully these tips will help anyone else on the move.

1) Change your Tricare coverage right before you go (if you have a new address before you leave) or right after you arrive when you lock down the new address. Now this normally I guess wouldn't be a big deal but for me has been a huge pain in the butt since I need to get into see a doctor asap. And I was all well I have insurance I should be able to just call and get in no matter where I am. NO. NOT THE CASE. You have to change your address, pick a new primary care physician in your area and then wait 5 to 10 days to get a letter in the mail saying you are good to receive care. And even if you call and explain you had a 'cardiac incident' and need to get in right away their answer will be no exceptions. If it is an emergency go to the ER. Otherwise you wait and be thankful that is not something serious like your heart....... SO change your coverage cause you never know.

2) In my opinion partial DITYs (Do it yourself) moves are the way to go. The Army packs and moves the big stuff and you can pack and move the essentials. This way you are compensated for moving that stuff and can keep an eye on precious heirlooms, favorite items, etc and not worry about driving the big yellow Penske truck. Anything you are really attached to take with you. But also don't be a dumb ass like I was and not pack things to live in your empty rental for two weeks while you wait for your other stuff and....

3) Pack a freakin chair. Folding/ camping if you have them bring them. After a week of nothing but an air mattress or the floor as seating options you would be surprised how much you just want to sit in a chair. Those things are serving a much needed purpose. So under appreciated. Other things to pack: as mentioned air mattress, linens or sleeping bags, towels, pots/pans to cook basic meals, electronics to keep you occupied in your empty house, stuff for pets, coffee maker if you have a serious addiction like we do, anything else to make a mostly empty space functional. Or just stay in a hotel and avoid this whole scenario.

4) Start saving now. Just got to a new post, great, start saving now for the next move. Moving is expensive. Even with the Army footing most of the bill it is usually an after the money is spent reimbursement. If you can get travel pay ahead of time awesome. If not be prepared to shell out big $ for food, lodging, gas, etc while you make your way. Yes it will come back to you but that is not really helpful in the moment and they take their sweet time with reimbursements. Other big ticket items. Security deposits. Do not expect to get your last security deposit in time to put down a new security deposit and those can get expensive. Utilities. Set-up fees, new to the area fees, you want HBO because you are addicted to Game of Thrones fees...they come fast and furious with the first bill or at time of set-up. Basically be prepared for the bank account to bleed when you first get there. Also because you are in a new house/ apartment and want to get some new stuff for that too. And you have to replace all those condiments.

5) Have a plan of attack before you get there. My plan was to start taking spinning classes on base and go to group runs at the running store. Slight delay since I can't do any cardio but a plan for how to get out of the house and meet people is key. Same thing with job hunting, getting to know base, etc.  Otherwise it is way too easy to get sucked into watching BRAVO and TLC all day. Not that that has ever happened to me before....but have a plan to get out and meet people and find things you like to do.

If anyone has any other tips please share!!! 

2 comments:

  1. We've started keeping an excel spreadsheet on all the address changes we need to make, from credit cards to magazine subscriptions to whatever else... we've also moved so many times that I have to keep another spreadsheet for our past addresses! I hate it when I have to give my zip code and I can't remember what it is. Oh the woes of being in the military...

    Now PCSing out of the country... any tips on that? That's our next adventure!

    Hope you get in with a doctor soon!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is a great idea!!! Especially the old address spreadsheet. We are always struggling to remember that stuff! Whooo out of the country! So exciting! Best of luck!

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