Somewhere in Italy

californians figuring out life in italy one day at a time

staying organized with a psc

Aug 9, 2018

I will never forget when Jaime called me at 6AM on a random Tuesday and said, “we got orders to Italy.” Instead of confronting the situation head on, I decided to avoid reality and I went back to bed. 

It being our first PCS (permanent change of station), we clearly had no idea what we were doing and let’s be real, most of the time we still don’t. Not only is this our first PCS, but it’s also OCONUS (outside contiguous United States). OCONUS just happens to be a bit more complicated than moving between states. Checklists, important documents, appointments, passports, visas, household goods move, pet travel arrangements, uhhh, come again?

organized-movingPhoto by JESHOOTS.COM

After intense research, otherwise known as Google, we’ve learned the best way to attempt to stay organized is a PCS binder. What’s a PCS binder? It’s a one stop shop for all the important documents we’ll need for the move.

The long list of documents it includes are:

  • Birth certificates
  • SSN cards
  • Passports
  • Visas
  • Orders. This is the official piece of paper that authorizes our move to Rome.
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Special Power of Attorney
  • Medical and dental records
  • Veterinary records for the pups
  • House documents: mortgage, insurance, rental agreements
  • Moving documents: inventory of high value items, taking pictures and videos of all our furniture in case anything arrives damaged, moving contract
  • Travel documents: flights, hotel, other lodging expenses that will need to be reimbursed

Basically, if this binder gets lost, we will no longer exist.

organized-moving-binderPhoto by Thought Catalog

Outside of the documents listed above, there are a few other things we’ll need to take care of. We’ll need to make sure to change our address on things like bank accounts, subscriptions, and other important accounts, cancel all local accounts (gas, electric, gym memberships, etc.), and research where we want to live. Someone, please, pour me a glass of wine or as the Italians say, “vorrei vino, per favore!”

There’s no base in Rome, so we’re on our own to find housing. The benefit of living on base in a foreign country is that they provide temporary housing and we’d have an immediate community of other American military families. The benefit of not living on base in a foreign country is that we’re able to be fully immersed in the new country, it just comes with a huge learning curve served with a side of culture shock. Because there is no housing provided, we’re given up to 60 days food and lodging per diem. Jaime and I have been spending hours every week researching Rome and the different neighborhoods the city has to offer. We’re excited to spend those first two months exploring Rome and finding the perfect neighborhood for us. Any ideas or recommendations on neighborhoods we should look into? Let us know in the comments below.

Wish us luck and some sanity.


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