Stranger than Fiction - Real PCS Stories from the Field – Part 1


WARNING some of these stories should be read with caution for families who are currently awaiting a PCS! Some of them are so unbelievable, you cannot help but cringe. The Facebook group “Lost During My PCS…Help” is full of posts searching for lost household goods shipments, tips for PCSing and stories from military spouses sharing their experiences with various military moving companies. I asked the military families in this group to share their strangest experiences with their household goods pack out.


Here is what a few military spouses had to say about their strangest PCS experience:


Kari: Our first PCS ever, the packers packed my husband's taxidermy mounts in a cardboard box. They quickly left soon after, as the house was completely packed. Later that day we realized they had used a box that could not fit through any of our doors! Along with our fabulous driver, we were forced to unpack the box, move everything outside, and repack the entire box. We still laugh to this day about it.


Jennifer: I collect Santas. Well, I had two or three boxes full of various sized ones, about 8 inches or shorter each one. They were upstairs in our attic, all already individually wrapped and carefully stowed away…We finally (weeks later) get our stuff and I noticed many of the boxes were labeled "Santa"...that's it, nothing else. I guess they thought it'd be funny to take one or two of the Santas and put them in with random items like pillows from our bedroom, kitchen supplies, etc. One box labeled "Santa" didn't even have one in there. That was the worst move to date, by far!


Kelly: I had candy in a candy jar - sour patch kids snack size bags. I found a bag in each kitchen box on the top


RN: Last move I came downstairs to find the packers using my dishes to eat their lunch. Promised to

wash before packing them.


Becca: We found a pumpkin in our baby stuff. A perfectly good six month old pumpkin. The movers had to have gone downstairs and outside to get the pumpkin off our porch and bring it upstairs into the baby's room and pack it into a box filled with her newborn stuff and keepsakes. It was buried and wrapped inside the box with only baby stuff.  We didn't open it right away when we got to Japan so it sat in transit for two months then another four in our storage room here. It was still perfect on the outside and not molded but definitely weird.


Alexis: Our first move, the packers took the shower head off my guest bathroom rental house and packed it. I had to run to Home Depot and get a replacement before my final inspection....


Rachel: Our movers packed a vase with fresh flowers and water still in it into a box with all my pots and pans so that when it arrived everything was all wet and molded


Megan H: They packed a large thing of coconut oil (forgot I had it), and it leaked. They re-packed the box at the warehouse, packed the coconut oil back in it, put that box on top of our love seat that wasn't wrapped all the way and you guessed it, it leaked and ruined our love seat


Heather: My movers packed a bag of potatoes...the pantry was not to be packed at all. The potatoes liquefied and the maggots were everywhere! It was stored for over a year which is why the entire pantry was off limits. And the movers from our last move put a couch cushion inside the washing machine and packed it like that....


Donna: They once cut the cord to a lamp because they couldn't figure out how to take it apart. Yes, the power cord.


Emily M: Our packers put 1 of 3 lawn mower bags (from our riding lawn mower) inside our armoire. Why? Why only 1? Why any?


Brandy: Our most recent move we had a box labeled "for the movers only" opened it up and there was my wedding dress. Not sure what that was all about.


Laura S: My cat got packed into a dresser. Survived even though she was in storage for 2 weeks


Next week, I will share more unbelievable moving stories. I am thankful for a group of military families willing to share their experiences. I hope that the more we know, the harder we can work to try to prevent these types of snafus from happening to our household goods (or pets!)


Have you had a strange moving experience?


Related Posts :

The Moving Games MVP: Most Valuable Possessions (Never let the movers pack these things)

4 Tips to Prevent Lost Boxes

My Duty Station Hotlist


About the Blogger: Briana Hartzell is a Navy spouse, mother to two beautiful girls (3 years and 1 year), a former full time USAA employee and a graduate of Texas A&M University. Briana writes at Being Briana, a blog focused on the joys that military life and parenthood can bring.