Whether you’re a seasoned PCSer or a newbie, the most helpful tip you’ll get while PCSing is to keep things organized during the move. And by organized, I mean REALLY organized.. like you can find any document with your eyes closed! (ok, well maybe not to that extent, but close!) So what better way to keep all those ducks in a row than with a PCS binder.
I’ve put together the top 5 things you need in order to have a successful PCS binder.
Let’s get to it…
PCS binder must-haves
- 1) Binder
Yes, I know this one is a no-brainer but hear me out! When I first tried to put my PCS binder together, I opted for a 1 inch binder and I thought everything would fit; WRONG!
Go for the 2 inch binder! Believe me, you will have A LOT of documents & material in this binder.
- 2) Dividers
You will need to separate your documents in order to find things quickly. I like to use dividers that you can label, it makes things easier when you go to search for a specific document.
So something like this would be perfect, just make sure they’re customizable (the kind that come with paper so you can write on the tabs).
Now, you can divide your PCS binder into sections that best fits you and your family.
I divided our family binder into these sections:
- Birth Certificates
- Medical Documents/Clearance
- Pet Documents
- School Documents
- POA/Legal Documents
- Housing Documents
- In Transit Documents
- Personal Documents
The beauty of the PCS binder is that it is totally customizable!
Remember, the goal is to make this binder work for YOU, so divide and label it with as much or as little dividers as you want.
- 3) Pencil Pouch
No, not for pencils, but for your passports! You’ll want to make sure you have your tourist & no-fee passports in a secure place in the binder.
The best thing to do is to get a pencil pouch that has a zipper so you can insure that it won’t slip out, and opt for a clear plastic front instead of mesh since mesh can easily break.
- 4) Sheet Protectors
Yup, just plain ol’ sheet protectors. These are really important to insure that none of your documents get ruined.
I ended up using about 50 or so sheet protectors for all of my documents. You can also group some documents together (per family member) into one sheet protector (font and back facing), such as medical documents or school documents.
- 5) Checklist
There is a lot to remember when it comes to PCSing, so it’s always helpful to make a list of all the documents for the move; such as medical documents, certificates, clearances etc.
And there you have it!
Make sure to keep this binder in a safe place! Before you reach the last week or so of departure, run through you binder and checklist one more time to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.
I hope this helps you as you prepare for your upcoming PCS. Safe travels, and enjoy your journey, friend!
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