How to Prepare for Moving as Part of a PCS


Moving as part of a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) can be both exciting and stressful. At ADSI Moving Systems, we understand the unique needs of military members and their families when it comes to relocating, and we’re sharing our tips on how you can prepare.

How to Plan and Prepare for a PCS

When you receive your PCS orders, start planning for your move as soon as possible. We recommend setting up your move survey ASAP. According to, service members can expect to receive orders anywhere from five months to two weeks before their report date. Preparing early is especially important if your move falls in the peak summer moving season, from May to August, when moving resources are in high demand. To ensure a smooth transition, follow these steps:

Contact Your Transportation Office

The first step is to contact your local transportation office to learn about the specific requirements and allowances for your move. Understand all of the benefits and entitlements available to you, as well as what expenses will be covered by the military and what you’ll need to pay out of pocket.

Get Your Checklist Together

Create a solid checklist to track all tasks before your move, and keep the list handy to tick off tasks as you go. 

Pro tip: Use the Defense Department’s Plan My Move to get started — just answer a few questions about your move and family, and it will generate a custom checklist to keep you on track.

Create a Moving Binder

Create a moving binder to keep all important documents related to your move in one place. This can include your PCS orders, medical records, school transcripts, birth certificates, passports, marriage certificate, and any other important paperwork. These documents may also be needed for enrollment or registration at your new duty station. We recommend placing these documents and other valuables such as cash, jewelry, and firearms in the trunk of your car or another secure location to make sure they’re not mistakenly packed by your movers. 

Set Up a Meeting with Your Relocation Assistance Program (RAP) Office

The RAP office offers valuable resources and support to help you plan your move. They can assist with everything from finding temporary housing to connecting you with other military families at your new duty station.

Start Decluttering and Packing Early

When it comes to packing, the earlier you start, the better. Begin by decluttering and getting rid of items that you no longer need. This will save you time when it comes to packing and moving.

Understanding the Military Move Process

If your move is allocated to one of our Carrier Management Partners, then we have you covered for your next move in the CSRA.  

Choosing the right partners for military moves involves careful assessment and ongoing monitoring. Companies like ADSI Moving Systems are selected by the DoD based on specific criteria to guarantee top-notch service and reliability. Surveys are conducted by the Defense Personal Property Management Office to evaluate performance, customer satisfaction, and service quality.

After you’ve settled into your new duty station, taking a moment to fill out the surveys sent to you about your PCS experience is more important than you might think. These surveys are a critical tool used by the DoD to rank and evaluate carriers. Your feedback directly impacts which relocation partners are selected for future military moves, ensuring only the best continue to serve our military families.

By sharing your experiences, whether good or bad, you help improve the system and ensure high-quality service for your fellow service members in their future relocations. Your voice can really make a difference in the quality of PCS moves, so your input is key in upholding the standards expected by the DoD and the military community.

ADSI’s Commitment to Quality

At ADSI Moving Systems, we are dedicated to making the PCS process as smooth and stress-free as possible for military members and their families. As a United Van Lines company and proud local partner for military moves in the CSRA, our team of professionals is experienced in handling all aspects of military moves, from planning and packing to transportation and delivery. We are committed to upholding the highest standards of service and reliability, and we continuously strive to exceed our customers’ expectations.

If your move is allocated to one of our Carrier Management Partners, we’ve got you covered with expert advice, reliable transport services, and a smooth moving experience customized to your needs. So sit back and let us handle the logistics, so you can focus on embracing the next chapter of your military journey.