Deployed Overseas? Here’s What to Do with Your Stuff

Military families sacrifice much—from the personal safety of their deployed loved ones to the ability to keep their kids in the same school for longer than a couple of years. Immediately after receiving a permanent change of station (PCS), contact your servicing Transportation Office and request a counseling appointment. You’ll find out about reimbursements for hiring international movers based out of Charlotte, NC. You may have previously undertaken a CONUS (contiguous U.S.) PCS. Know that your benefits for overseas (OCONUS) moves will be different, and you should understand your options before contracting with an international moving company. military - deployed

Understanding Your Options

PCSing is difficult, so figure out what type of move you’ll make ahead of time. Military families may opt to have the military move them, or to be reimbursed for a DITY (do it yourself) or partial DITY move. (DITY moves are now officially called personally procured moves – PPM.) Before making plans, check your weight limit. Usually, the max weight limit is 18,000 pounds, but certain locations have much lower limits. If you’re going to Yokota, Japan, the military will only pay for 4,500 pounds to be shipped. You may choose to have international movers ship additional goods at your expense. Bear in mind that when the moving weight limit is this restricted, you can receive more reimbursement for the cost of storing items.

Identifying Prohibited Items

The military maintains a list of prohibited items that military families are not allowed to move with them. Even if you opt for a DITY or partial DITY, you’re prohibited from moving these items yourself, and seeking reimbursement for moving these items may result in fines or worse. Make your PCS less stressful by discarding the following items, or by putting them into a storage unit.

  • Hazardous materials (including paint, cleaning supplies, and automotive products)
  • Building materials (including scraps of wood intended for art and craft projects)
  • Privately owned live ammunition
  • HHG (household goods) for resale, disposal, or commercial use
  • Items that would be HHG, but are acquired after the PCS effective date
  • Any motor vehicle, including horse trailers
  • Personal baggage that is free to carry on commercial transportation

Deciding What to Store

Your first PCS is definitely a learning experience , and you’ll undoubtedly make some mistakes that you’ll avoid next time. One common mistake is not storing more items within CONUS before PCSing. It’s wise to store electronics, because of the different electrical currents overseas, and most large, bulky pieces of furniture, as overseas housing is typically far smaller than American housing.

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