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NEWS | May 2, 2013

On the move, Part 3: Receiving household goods

By Staff Sgt. Wesley Farnsworth 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the last of a three-piece series designed to answer the question: "What are the top moving claims mistakes?" This installment familiarizes the reader with receiving household goods .

A seemingly impossible task has been accomplished: after receiving permanent change of station orders, your entire life is now taped-away in cardboard boxes, and you are left staring at empty rooms in your house, with some anxiety building toward what task to accomplish next.

Although you have found a place to live at your next assignment, your journey isn't complete. After making the trek to a place far, far away, you must then await the delivery of your household goods.

While the entire PCS experience can be stressful, Service members can complete their move on a high note by taking the necessary steps to ensure their shipment of household goods runs smoothly.

U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Delroy Barnett, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command platoon sergeant of the year, recently experienced the logistics of a PCS. After winning the title of drill sergeant of the year, he moved to Fort Eustis in January 2013 to begin his next assignment.

"My PCS went very smoothly," Barnett said. "I followed the information given to me and didn't have any problems."

Barnett began his PCS journey like many Service members, having orders in hand. After accomplishing all the preliminary steps for the shipment of his household goods, he then took the first step in ensuring a successful delivery by logging into his Department of Defense Personal Property account at There, he found resources and support to manage his delivery, as well as found tips to ensure his household goods arrived safe and sound.

The movers arrived at Barnett's house and packed his household goods for the move from Fort Sam Houston, Texas, to Virginia, and instructed him to keep in contact with them throughout the move.

"I talked to my shippers every day on the phone to find out where they were in the trip," Barnett said. "Once I had my address here in Virginia, I was able to let them know and immediately arrange for the delivery of my belongings."

Because Barnett followed the guidelines provided to him by the shippers and the Transportation Management Office, he said he had a successful moving experience.

According to Hillman Jackson, Fort Eustis TMO manager, after a Service member submits a delivery request, they should expect a wait of approximately 14 days before household goods are delivered. If the PCS is to an overseas assignment, the wait time will typically be 45 to 60 days for household goods, and 30 days for any unaccompanied baggage, such as clothing sent separately.

On delivery day, Jackson said there are a few basic things that users can do while waiting for the movers to arrive to ensure delivery goes smoothly.
"Ensure pets are put in an area so as not to interfere with the movers. This will allow you concentrate on the move, not on the pets," he said.

Jackson also suggests having at least one other person there to help handle the inventory. To ensure you received all of your goods, check off each item on the inventory sheet as it's unloaded, and perform an initial check for damage.

Damaged boxes should be opened, and any damaged items should be annotated. Any items identified as damaged should be set aside for further inspection after unloading and annotated on the carrier's forms before they leave.

Finally, the carrier is responsible for removing all empty boxes before they leave, Jackson added.

For Service members like Barnett, utilizing the resources and helpful tips provided by TMO can help ensure the shipment process runs smoothly, so your new house can quickly feel like home.

For additional information, visit, contact the Langley TMO office at 764-7868 or contact the Fort Eustis TMO office at 878-4664.