Military Relocation- Once you receive your Permanent Change of Station (PCS) Orders, you will have plenty on your mind regarding your relocation. Often times, these orders come with little notice and relocating your pet can have requirements that involve some time and planning. Whether you decide to relocate your pet with you or relocate your pet to stay with a family or friend during your employment, we can help !
Your biggest challenge is going to be getting things packed up and gone and doing it with the least amount of hassle as possible. The Army does make it easy to get started on this quest with the ubiquitous transportation briefing. Your first milestone will be getting a copy of your orders to the new duty location. Absolutely NOTHING can happen without this valuable document. With this in hand, you can schedule your transportation briefing and all the other appointments you will need.
Don’t have your orders yet? Don’t fret that either. There are a few things you can do ahead of time, so when you DO get them, things will run ever so smoothly for you and your family.
MILITARY MOVE AND CHANGE OF STATION
Once you know you will be moving, there are a few tips to help you get organized. Chances are that you have kids to relocate and settle into new schools and of course PETS ! There are a few more logistical challenges when moving an entire family – here’s a few tips:
If you are renting, check your lease and make sure you give advanced notice of your departure (I wouldn’t do this until I physically had orders in hand…less chance of plans being changed and you having to move prematurely); if your lease has a military clause regardless of the time frame before you move, you can get out of your lease early (remember that the next time you rent; ask for a military clause)
To make things easier, there are some things that can be done at this early stage. Keep the following information in a lightweight binder or notebook which will go with you when you move.
Make a list of accounts with phone number and addresses that are going to be stopped when you move, such as telephone, electric, cable, and the newspaper
Make another list of accounts where you will forward the mail, such as your mobile phone, any magazine subscriptions, insurance, mortgages, investments, credit cards and bank accounts
I also recommend doing the following:
Try to find out as early as possible who your sponsor will be at your next duty station; they can send you housing and school information, maps and brochures; feel free to ask about hotels and also restrictions for pets and any other requirements you may have
Get a forwarding address you can use; it’s usually the headquarters address for your new unit; verify this with your sponsor; you will use this address when you fill out your forwarding mail form at the post office before you move
IF YOU HAVE PETS, start researching the requirements online; what shots and health records are needed and are there any quarantine requirements; if your pet has never been in a crate, I suggest getting them used to it now; most pets love the safety and security of a crate if they get used to it beforehand. Read our guidelines on purchasing the proper travel crate here- Crate Measurements
If you have other pets, such as fish or houseplants or anything else living you will not be taking with you, start giving away or selling that stuff earlier rather than later
If you own your house and will be keeping it, start advertising on the sites below about 6 months out; as it gets closer to your move date, start advertising in the newspaper and other avenues you can think of; identify who you are going to have manage your property. Trusted neighbors can watch over your home for a nominal fee than if you hired a realtor or a property management company (which typically charges 10% of the rent).
If you are selling your home, now is the perfect time to start de-cluttering it and getting it ready to show; start asking around for referrals to find a good realtor
Make a list of furniture and stuff you want to get rid of and at least start getting rid of it . One option is “long term storage” – basically your stuff is roped off in a big warehouse with other service members’ stuff who also went overseas. If you have family heirlooms or special items you don’t want to take overseas, make arrangements with a close relative to keep them for you while you are gone
Try to get the kids excited about the new duty station; focus on the positive; go online and look at photos and travel sites; contact the travel bureau there and request brochures and activities for the kids through the mail
If you are going overseas, make sure everyone’s passport is current or will be when you move; check everyone’s shot record too
Don’t forget collecting your childrens’ school reports and any other records they may need
For those of you that like to keep up with the smaller details- keep a binder with:
Orders and Moving Information (keep a handful of copies of your orders in here as well as the moving paperwork from your movers and any other paperwork dealing with your move)
Housing Info (housing info and contacts at your new duty station; if you are buying a house, that kind of stuff goes in here)
To Do Lists (Create a generic cleaning and check-out list to use every time you move
Moving Expenses (Keep all receipts for food, lodging and travel in here; Even if the military pays for your move, keep track of what you are spending)
Home Repairs (if you own your own home, any home repairs or maintenance needing to be done go here)
Rental (if you are going to rent out your home, keep a move-in checklist here, as well as your rental contract and any other renter paperwork)
Schools (anything that has to do with the old school or new school goes in here)
When you collect up all your medical records before you leave, just put them in a big envelope with a clasp.
If you are going overseas, you are also going to have to think about your vehicles. Will you sell one or put it in storage? You are authorized to ship one vehicle over to most duty stations (in other words, the military pays for it). Identify an early date when you want to start trying to sell that extra vehicle. A vehicle needs to be driven to be maintained, it will lose its value, you will incur costs and the negatives outweigh the positives. Get rid of it.
RELOCATING YOUR PETS !!!! Of course you can do this on your own, especially for US Domestic moves, but the international moves can be a bit more challenging, with each country having their own set of requirements for importing pets. It’s best to reach out to a Professional Pet Relocation Company to help with all the details of the move regarding your pet. If a pet enters a country with improper documents and vaccines, they will be shipped back to the origin country at the owner’s expense.