Friday, September 7, 2012

PCS Redo: What I would have packed in the Express Shipment

We have been in Japan for over a month now, have gotten placed in military housing, and are receiving our Household Goods (HHG) in 3 days (THANK GOD!). So, that means we've been living with just the items from our Express Shipment - also known as Unaccompanied Baggage (UA) - for the last two weeks that we've been in military housing. Next time we PCS, I am going to be packing a few more things. And, I hope my updated list helps you if you are getting ready to PCS too - especially overseas.

Here, you will find my former list. Items that you see in bold are items that I didn't pack, but would definitely pack if I had it to do over again.

(1) Queen sheet set, 2 pillows, 2 pillow cases (
**DO NOT, for the love of god, put your pillows in Space Saver bags. Ours did not fluff back up and I had to break down and buy some new ones.**)
(2) Twin sheet set, 2 pillows, 2 pillow cases
(2) Twin comforters/blankets
(1) Down comforter
(2) Quilts
(3) Sleeping bags
(2) Formal dresses (just in case)

Hangers (My clothes have been sitting in piles at the bottom of my closet for weeks now.)
(2) Adult towels
(2) Child towels
(2) Washcloths
Shower rod
Shower rings
Girls’ shower curtain
Hair Clippers

Extra Toilet Paper (The first thing my oldest child did, upon walking into our new home, was to go take a poop in the bathroom. And we had NO toilet paper.)
Aircraft carrier
Toy Story Imaginext
Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head
Toy computer
Disney Princesses/Barbies
Large floor puzzles
Dress-up Dolls
Workbooks and crayons
Board games
Variety of children’s books
Musical instrument set

If you have children, include as many toys as you can. I thought we had a pretty good list here, but my girls have gotten horribly bored with these few toys after a few weeks.
Living Room:
Rotating fan
Small black fan
(2) Throw pillows

TV (Why in the heck did we NOT pack our one and only tv? We borrowed one from my husband's office, but weren't able to use it for long.)
(1) Large skillet
(1) Small cookie sheet
(1) Spatula
(1) Wooden spoon
(1) Large mixing bowl
(1) Small mixing bowl
(1) Silicone muffin cups (to be used on cookie sheet)
(1) Toaster oven
(1) Medium pot
(1) Oven mitt

(1) Colander
(1) Large glass measuring cup
(1) Small glass measuring cup
(1) Set of measuring spoons
(5) Towels
(5) Washrags
(4) Plastic plates
(4) Plastic cups
(2) Coffee mugs
(4) Forks
(4) Spoons
(4) Knives
(4) Blue plastic bowls
(4) Green plastic bowls
(1) Medium cutting board
(2) Cutting knives

(1) Small cooler tote
(1) Pair of scissors
Glass bowls/plates (At least one or two. I didn't pack anything that I could put in the microwave!)
MY CROCK-POT (Good god! What I could have been cooking all this time!)

Small tool box (This has come in REALLY handy, believe it or not.)
(2) Extension cords
Extra household cords (chargers, A/V, etc.)
Bank deposit slips/envelopes

Printer and ink (There are so many forms you need to fill out for the military. It would have been nice to have had our printer all this time for printing things and making copies.)
(2) Adult camping chairs

(2) Child camping chairs
Small Bissell vacuum
Shark Steam Cleaner
(4) Beach towels

Professional Gear:

Medical books/folders
Some professional clothing

Before we even arrived in Japan, we were visiting family for a month. And during that time, we received an email saying that our HHG had arrived in Japan on July 18th. We were so excited that our stuff had arrived before we did! But when we called the Property Office to schedule a delivery of our furniture upon our arrival at military housing, the dude LAUGHED AT ME on the phone. He said our stuff was still out at sea and probably wouldn't arrive for a month. The lesson we learned is that you never know how long you'll be surviving on your Express shipment, so pack well! I hope this list helps you decide what to bring and I hope your goods arrive quickly! Good luck!

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