Top 5 Tips for Surviving a PCS

Lifestyle, Parenting, Traveling with Kids / Monday, October 16th, 2017

Who else gets hella stressed during a big move? After six moves over the last 10 years, it doesn’t get easier. Add two kids under 4 and a dog and you’d think I had a recipe for disaster. Oh, and did I mention I was doing all this sans husband? Right! He PCS’d earlier in the summer and was fully integrated at work. He came down to visit a few weekends to help get a few things done pre-move which helped. But surviving a PCS alone with kids is hard.

Top tips for PCS

Top Five Tips for Surviving a PCS

Set aside items you do not want packed.

The movers will pack literally everything in your home. Ahead of time pack your bag as well as the kids bags, grab any important documents and anything you deem important enough to take with you. Make sure these items are separated from the rest of your furniture and identified to the movers as not being packed. I like to find an empty corner of the house or use the ledge of the fireplace to house the items we would take with us.

Have the beds/bedding packed last.

Packing usually takes a few days. With the last day being the day they take apart large furniture. Make sure they create a linen box for you so you can keep your linen. Despite the house being all packed up, I still prefer to live amongst boxes than at a hotel with two little ones. Surviving a PCS with young kids is all about making them comfortable. Have you ever stayed in a hotel with kids?? Mine especially, do not want to sleep in a hotel its all play play play. We will have enough hotel stays during our 4-day drive that staying in the house was worth it.

Prepare the kids…a lot.

Depending on the age of your children a PCS could really weigh on them. They’re leaving the familiarity of the life they’ve known for the last few years and are moving away from friends.  Talk to them ahead of time. Explain what this transition will mean. Then talk up their new location, their new school with new friends, all the fun activities to do and explore.



No better time to declutter than during a PCS. As you approach moving day get rid of items you don’t use, need or want. Donate clothing or sell toys. Remember you do have a weight limit.

Have a plan for the kids.

The last thing you want is your little ones running around while the movers are there. Trust me it does not work! There is so much going on and little ones tend to want to be in the action. We typically keep our kids in daycare until the day we plan to drive. This way I drop them off at daycare and am home to be apart of the moving process kid free. Trust me you’ll be happy you did.

Have a long drive ahead of you? Take a look at my tips for road tripping with kids found here.


Have you PCS’d recently? What are your tips for surviving a PCS?

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