It can be tough to wrap your mind around what needs to be accounted for before, during and after your move. Add the complexities that come with a Permanent Change of Station (PCS), and your move just doubled in complication and logistical challenges.
Utilizing checklists to help you manage your move is a great way to reduce stress, remain organized and ensure no stone is left unturned. If you have been thinking about taking a structured approach to moving, then you may want to use a PCS toolkit to help you out!
Our AHRN’s military relocation professionals want to help make sure your PCS goes as smoothly as possible. A detailed home inventory, as discussed in this article, paired with a PCS process checklist, are both tools essential to streamlining the moving process.
Why Use a Home Inventory Checklist?
For moving purposes, a home inventory list can serve as added security in case items are damaged or lost. By handing your mover(s) your inventory checklist, you are essentially covering yourself in case any of your items show up broken at your new location.
On the off chance that movers lose something along the way, you also have proof that the item existed and went missing on their watch. Home inventories are especially significant for military families since frequent moves up your chances of having items damaged or lost.
Benefits of a Complete Home Inventory
- Keep track of your belongings before and after a PCS move
- Inform your decisions regarding insurance coverage
- Expedite claims processes after an emergency
- Reduced chance of items being damaged or mishandled during a move
Hopefully, you make it through your PCS move without anything being mishandled or broken! However, if an incident does occur, your insurance company will want a comprehensive list of items lost or damaged before they reimburse you. Therefore, home inventory is definitely worth the time and effort it takes to compile.
Home Inventory Best Practices
Creating a home inventory takes a bit more effort than simply listing the name of your possessions. You’ll need to be as specific as possible, making sure you record the exact condition of everything you own. Home inventories can be either written or digital; although, most people find that having a digital copy is more convenient as it is less likely to become lost.
What to Include For Your PCS Home Inventory
- Name of item: Give each item a specific title, such as “dining room table,” “lamp,” or “70-inch TV.”
- Condition of item: Give a brief and honest description of each item’s condition. You’ll want to list scratches, dents or any other factors that may depreciate an item’s value. It’s also equally important to mention if something doesn’t have any damage.
- Brand and description: Write the main descriptors of your item, including color, size, etc. If the brand of your item is important to its cost, make sure to mention that within the description as well.
- Purchase details: The date, cost at purchase and estimated current value of each item will be information that is much appreciated by your insurance company if you ever need to file a claim.
- Serial number: If applicable, list the serial number of your item within the home inventory. This will serve as further proof that you owned the item. Most electronics, appliances, firearms, power tools and jewelry will have some sort of serial number to report.
Additional details you may consider for certain possessions include antique history, manufacturer, or country where the was purchased. If you are still paying for something, note the debt holder, the amount of remaining debt on the item, the monthly payment amount, and other relevant details.
When it comes to creating a comprehensive home inventory, military relocation specialists recommend that you include as much information as possible! The more details you provide, the more likely you are to receive back the compensation you deserve if an incident occurs.
Home Inventory Checklist PDF
Utilizing an actual written checklist, rather than relying on your memory, is the best approach! For items such as electronics and appliances, it’s best to use your phone to record videos of them working as “proof” that they were in good condition before your move.
Also, don’t forget to check your garage, attic and inside of your vehicles for any possessions you may have overlooked. AHRN’s printable home inventory template is a thorough, reliable, and free way to make sure no item goes undocumented!
It’s even a good idea to get your PCS checklist sorted and organized! The Department of Defense’s (DOD’s) military moving professionals at Plan My Move offer custom interactive and printable PCS checklists. This way, you can plan your move in the way that works best for you and your military family.
Do you have pets that will be coming with your CONUS or OCONUS move? Review our Moving With Pets: A Complete Guide for Furry Friends in a Military Move for helpful tips, advice and PCS-specific information you’ll need to know about moving your pets.
Use AHRN For Your PCS Move!
From Camp Pendleton in California to USAG Ansbach Army Base in Germany, we all can use a little extra help to prepare us for a PCS move. Here at AHRN, we are committed to helping you connect with military housing resources.
To get started, simply register at AHRN, calculate your BAH and we will connect your Housing Profile with listings that match your needs! Throughout our site, we also have a wealth of tools and resources available to make your PCS military move a breeze.