Okay, so when I approach a PCS, that first initial look is kind of like.... well....
Yeah, it's a whole heaping mess of "honey, here's our orders, and our transport dates... did you pick up the kids records?" Um... Yeah, hold on... somewhere.
THIS is my somewhere.
With everything swirling around us regarding this PCS, we're doing our best to organize what we can. Control isn't exactly something we have in spades, but hey, I'll use this little pink binder as compensation. Because in this little binder, everything fits into a neat little compartment and then I can close it up.
Maybe you're thinking:
This little wonder is something that makes our complicated PCS just a little more simple. The pink version is the 2nd we've gone through. Our trusty red one finally gave out. Boo. To be honest, this one isn't my favorite because it's missing some of the pockets we've grown accustomed to, and I might just sneak out and purchase another one because if anything, I am very much a creature of habit. But for now, it works, it's bright (a MUST in our house), and pink makes me happy.
So what do we keep in our PCS Binder?
1. Orders - Yup, those pesky little papers that says you're on the move. I usually have Jason print out about 20 of them, because you need them at the oddest times. To get out of leases, or cell phone contracts, and the movers need them. If you're headed overseas, you'll need them at the airport for your baggage, or heck, if you're flying anywhere to a duty station. It'll help you out with those over-stuffed bags. You never know when you'll need these, so I also scan them in and email them to myself. That way I can send them quickly from my smartphone if someone needs them that moment.
2. Transport - This is where you put all your information regarding the movement of your stuff. You know, your household goods and hold baggage. So appointment papers, any paperwork they give us when they show up, our weight tickets if we're doing a DITY. Then we make sure as they unpack, we pay close attention to what is damaged/broken, and we use this slot to keep records of all that in one place as well.
3. Storage - If moving Overseas, this is where we keep the info on everything we're putting into storage. But this PCS, we're using it to keep tabs on what's in our storage unit while we stage our house to sell. Also, because we need to store our things in Colorado before we buy our house, it will keep that info too.
4. Records. - You know... Birth Certificates, marriage license, passports, Social Security cards... yup, the identity theft jackpot. At this point, since everything is already out, I go ahead and make a copy of everything, and email it to myself. I also take a copy of Jason's ID, and our Power of Attorney (GET ONE), and email them to myself with orders in one PDF for easy "yes, I have authorization to talk to you about my freaking utilities." Sigh. Especially with our crazy PCS situation, I'll need a power of attorney to sell our house, and handle just about everything while Jason is at WOAC.
5. Travel - This is where I store all of our hotel reservations for the trip to our new duty station, or airplane tickets for OCONUS moves. This folder is with me at all times during a PCS (hence the DO NOT PACK), so when I keep gas receipts or anything regarding our travel (U-haul reservations, and such) in this little pocket.
6. School - Anything regarding the kids' school, from their records from our current duty station, to any forms I'll need completed to enroll them at the new one. If I know I need a physical to enroll them at our new duty station, I make sure to have that completed here, and then stick it in the pocket. PCS's are all about making sure things run as smoothly for the tiny humans as possible.
7. Drum - Anything random that we need while we're HERE.
8. Rucker - Anything we need pertaining to Jason's TDY in Fort Rucker.
9. Carson - Any new information we get about the new post. Because Colorado Springs is my home, this will stay pretty empty, but in other moves it's been full of "what to do while in..." lists, maps, language-guides... you get the gist.
10. Little Miss - Anything regarding what's going on with our Little Miss, since we'll start packing our filing cabinets where we keep her records/court papers.
11. We leave random compartments for anything we need to adapt! (Something tells me it will be hockey stuff... yup.)
There's our PCS Binder. It's great to have everything in one place, but it's also a PAIN IN THE A## to lose. My best advice? Keep it in one place, and one place only. Then, the day the movers are set to arrive, lock this bad boy in your car so it doesn't accidentally wind up in your household goods. Yup.
This one little slice of organzation makes me feel like we can get through this without tearing my hair out... or my husband's hair. But I can't stress enough - DON'T LOSE IT. This is the tiny something that makes this just a teensie bit less of a Pucking Mess. Yup.
So for just this minute, I feel totally and completely like an under-control, PCS Badass.
Yeah, I'll take it.