PCSing is a part of military life. I’m confident to say that all military spouses will most likely endure at least one PCS depending on when you linked up with your spouse. And if you’re lucky, you might have more PCSes than you can count with one hand.
To me, a PCS isn’t the hard part. It’s all well and good to start another adventure at a new location. Sure, it’s a little scary at first, but it’s actually fun when you start to let loose and explore! The hard part is the process to get to your new location.
First, your spouse gets orders. Then, you panic a bit. Finally, you start planning. Bing, bang, boom. Getting you and your family at your new duty station becomes a focus, which is why this very critical task gets brushed aside. I’m talking about putting together a household goods inventory.
A household goods inventory is extremely helpful for all families, especially military families because of the frequency of moves. If your home inventory is properly documented, it can save you headaches from PCS damage claims or worst – missing goods.
Wondering how and when to get started?
Keep reading to learn more about how to put one together, but I also wanted to stress that NOW is the time to get started. I encourage you to either, start or update your home inventory, despite where you are on your PCS timeline. As a matter of fact, it might be a little easier on you to put one together without a PCS in mind.
I say that because it also helps to have a household goods inventory in case of any other emergencies that happen in between moves. I hope it never happens to anybody, but theft, fire, floods, etc. are a reality. A household goods inventory would help with insurance claims as well.
This week in NextGen MilSpouse’s You Got This: 52 Challenges to Make 2016 Your Bitch, I encourage you to grab a notebook, pen, your laptop and camera to put together a comprehensive household goods inventory.
Week 12 Challenge: Do a Household Goods Inventory
Challenge Details: Use our handy dandy worksheet to help you get started on your family’s household goods inventory. I suggest purchasing a new notebook with pockets that you’ll promise to keep in a safe and unforgettable place. On our worksheet and your notebook, notate your important and high-dollar goods along with their cost and condition. Keep receipts or copies of receipts in the notebook pockets. And most importantly, take photo documentation with a camera.
Your Deadline: March 28
Bonus points for sharing a photo of you getting your home inventory game on. Use the hashtag #2016IsMyBitch on Instagram and Twitter to show us how you’re handling your household goodies.
OK, we are now to the point where I elaborate on the “how.” Use the 3 tips below to get you on the right track to assembling a solid comprehensive household goods inventory.
Tip #1: Tackle room by room.
I have a confession.
I didn’t even start a household goods inventory till last year myself.
I didn’t even think about it till I heard horror stories about families losing out on goods that weren’t recorded.
I’m not going to lie, it is a little overwhelming at first. You walk into your house and you see stuff…a lot of stuff. I live in a two-bedroom home and I feel like I have a lot.
But, don’t let the amount of stuff you see discourage you. If you break up your time room by room, it manages your time a little better and allows you to focus per room. It will also help with organizing.
Bonus tip: If you didn’t get a chance to do inventory before your move, get to it when you’re unpacking each room! As you open boxes and put stuff away, you can add to your household goods inventory list to keep up-to-date.
Tip #2: Don’t leave anything out.
As you are listing items from each room, write a short description of the condition or maybe the date of purchase, whichever works for you. Ideally, you would want to add the price of the item as well, but a ballpark figure would work too. Think of it this way, you want to be as accurate as you can be for the purpose of a claim. The closer you are to the current cost, the better your claim can be to reflect your item’s worth.
Don’t forget to list items inside your jewelry box and especially don’t forget your electronics! Take pictures of EVERYTHING. For anything that operates, take video to prove that it works. If you’re PCSing, save the videos for shortly before you move that way it can be proven to work at the time of your move.
Tip #3: Ask for help when you need it.
We are so lucky to have several resources at our disposal to help us with PCSing. NextGen even has an awesome post that gives you a rundown of must-have tips and tricks. I was first encouraged to start a household goods inventory from AHRN.com’s PCS Toolkit. AHRN.com also has a video series that outlines the importance with suggestions as well.
Get help from your fellow military spouses around you too. They are your best resource and can offer as much help as they can!
Bonus tip: Invite your military spouse friends for a wine and household inventory night. The more hands you have working for you the faster you can get ′er done.