How I organized my PCS Binder-with Printables

Hello friends! This post is long overdue, and I am sorry. I do have a good reason though lol. I was going to share my PCS binder and the printables, but I wanted to make sure it worked. I didn’t want to share my DIY and it be a total disaster. We finally made it to Iwakuni, Japan two days ago, and I am exhausted.  I have never flown overseas before and hopefully I won’t have to do it again anytime soon lol.

When you pcs overseas you will need to organize all important state documents, medical and dental records, school transcripts, medical area clearance and etc. I thought I was going to lose my mind if my husband handed me one more piece of paper to get signed.


A few months ago my husband received orders to Japan. I immediately started researching and to my surprise I didn’t find much on Iwakuni or how to better prepare myself. If you are moving overseas you NEED to get organized! You are about to be handed several packets, to-do list and receipts that you need to keep track of. I am very thankful to the few military blogs I found informing me to keep my binder with me at all times! Do not send your papers over with HHG, or checked baggage. –> Let’s jump right into the Dugan’s pcs binder =) The above image is my binder cover. I used picmonkey but you could easily use Microsoft word or any program. You don’t have to create a binder cover, but I thought it added a cute little touch. I also used my binder cover to announce to social media that we were moving!  I used a 3 inch ring binder.  Even though my binder was adorable and matched perfectly, I wish I would have gotten a binder with a zipper. I was the crazy lady a few times with my papers falling out. So make sure you keep your binder organized lol. We are a family of four and I do not recommend getting a binder smaller than 3 inches! My binder is full to the brim with papers.

The first thing you see when you open my pcs binder is a pencil bag. I kept washi tape, pens (blue and black), highlighters and a pair of scissors. I did take the scissors out before our flight for security reasons. You will want to carry this with you on the plane. I needed to use this binder before getting on my AMC flight and entering Japan. So keep it close by.

I also used pencil bags for our passports. I know Tjmaxx has adorable passport cases at a reasonable price! We haven’t gotten our travel passports, only government passport. I will be purchasing cases so I can carry them in my purse. Our passports were needed several times. I would have loved if I could safely secure them in my purse. No one told me what was needed until I got up to the checkin counter. It was very very early in the morning, and you don’t want to be searching your bags or sorting through papers to find the right paperwork. Stay organized and remain calm! You can do this!!!

Right before our move my phone kicked the bucket. Dead. I had to sign in to all of my apps and accounts. I couldn’t remember any of them. I spent two days unlocking accounts and going back and forth through my email. I couldn’t risk that happening while traveling. This binder has a lot of important information in it, like I said before “keep it close!” On my contact sheet I wrote down important numbers that I might need during the move. Ex. Banks, housing, TMO office, Doctors and etc. I didn’t know if I would have data or wifi available.

I divided the binder into sections to make it easier to sort through. ( military/orders, important papers, medical, school, and etc). You will need to make copies of everything! I made six copies of each birth certificate, ss card, wedding certificate and etc. At the airport the attendant asked for my husbands hard copy orders, he started highlighting and then ask “oh, this is a copy right?!” Thank goodness it was. But please, make copies! To organize my SS cards I used a baseball card sleeve. I had a few left over from organizing my boys pokemon binders. You can find them {Here} .

Moving overseas you’re about to have a lot of expenses. You will want to keep track of your receipts for Ipac and/or your taxes. To organize my receipts I used a pocket binder. I couldn’t find the exact one I wanted so I hole punched this little organizer found at Walmart. Just a little tip when printing printables, I love using Office Depot. You can upload online and pick up in store, or you can go into the store and upload them. For these printables I used matte card stock paper. The color is more vibrant and the quality is amazing!

I love love love check lists! I need to write everything down or I will forget it! I created a 3 month, one month, one week and moving day To-Do checklist. Now we didn’t know we were moving until 2.5 months prior, so I had a lot crammed into my three month to-do list. lol I definitely recommend getting your pets quarantined and medical area clearance way before then.

If you have a pet and you think you will be heading overseas, then start the process now. You don’t have to have orders and it takes months. I unfortunately did not get to finish the process. Our wonderful Achilles was attacked by a rattlesnake a month before we left. Pictured below is Achilles with my five year old son! Wasn’t he stunning?? I still can’t believe he isn’t with us anymore. Anyways! Sorry to get sappy on ya. I found quite a bit of information online about quarantining pets for overseas. You can also head to your vet on base!

Thank you for stopping by my blog! I am excited for you and your new adventures! I am fairly new to being overseas, but if you have any questions please comment below! If you are a veteran spouse and have any advice I would love love to hear it =) I will be updating the blog as I learn and venture out into Japan.

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