There are those military spouses who are like Merry Maids when it comes to keeping housing onpost maintained. Then there are those who no matter how hard they try , their housing onpost just never looks like it did when they moved in. This doesn’t necessarily have to do with cleanliness but more with normal wear and tear by children and pets and just everyday living. Some can keep up with every spot and stain and some can’t.

Some housing onpost is just old, and no matter what you do it will always seem to look that way.

It’s Summer and it’s PCS season. One of the biggest stresses when PCS’ing from on post (on base) is passing the “military housing inspection“. PCS moves are already annoying, frustrating and depending on your situation , expensive. When clearing base there are many things your service member has to have signed off and cleared or they may possibly owe money. I personally know many people who have owed money to housing after their time was up including myself and believe me it wasn’t fun!

See that green paint behind us? It did not come with housing!
See that green paint behind us? It did not come with housing!

To help you alleviate some of that stress , here are a few tips that may help you along the way.

Don’t BS On The Carpets

Housing is infamous for sticking people about the carpets and rightfully so. Some people just destroy the carpets. The sucky part is many times they change the carpet anyway after you move but will still attempt to charge you. My advice is invest in a cheap carpet cleaner (available at PX for under $70) or if you really want to go a cheaper route click my  ————> “$1 Way To Remove Carpet Stains In Base Housing” video. Yes when you are ready to move you will probably still have to pay to get the carpets cleaned, but it is still important to maintain them while living there.

Keep Little Johnny Off The Blinds

I can’t tell you how many times I have rode past people homes onpost and seen the blinds destroyed. I get some of us have kids and kids love to pull on the blinds. Keep them away from the blinds! Blinds are super expensive because housing does not go to the local Walmart to replace them. Instead they have whatever contracted company they work with and I promise you will pay double or more to have them replaced. You can buy cord hiders so that the children or pets can’t mess with it. If push comes to shove , replace the blinds yourself if it’s truly your fault they are messed up. It’s better then having to come out of pocket when it’s time to move. Lastly if just a few slats are messed up you can by replacements ones from a store such as Home Depot or Lowes.

Use That Canon or Iphone and Be A Photographer

Housing will normally do a walk thru with you when you move onpost. Even if you have a newer house , take pictures of everything and make housing aware that you are documenting any damages already present. My husband and I have done this for every house we have lived in on and offpost. This protects you from being responsible when you are not. Keep a copy on a thumb drive and on your computer for future reference. Make sure the dates are on the photos as well.

Utilize The Service Section on Craigslist

It’s no secret most of us invest in professional cleaners right before we move out of our house onpost but what about while you are living there? I know we aren’t rich and I am not suggesting that people up and hire maid service weekly. That being said the economy is sort of bad and many people are looking for ways to make a buck. Lots of moms and wives are looking to clean homes for a few dollars. Here in NC I have someone come into my home once a month just to do the scrub down that tends not to get done during my every day cleaning. It costs me less then $60 and leaves me stress free and my house cleaner then I could ever get it. This keeps crud from building up and allows for less money to be put out at the end of your housing lease. Also always set money aside to have the house professionally cleaned after the packers leave. I can almost guarantee that this will ensure you pass.

 Don’t Paint

Most people don’t do this but you have people like my friend and I who were bored during deployments and decided to paint our whole downstairs. Hers was bright red and mine was green. It looked great until it was time to move. Let’s just say I think my husband hated me for like two days. Check out the 44 second to see how much of the house I painted at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Georgia.

The Move In Inspection and The Move Out Checklist

Lastly alot of passing the inspection starts from when you first move in. In addition to taking those pictures, make sure to keep a copy of your move in inspection form. I remember a situation where housing switched companies during my friends time at her base. Her original copy was lost. Luckily she had hers. Imagine if she hadn’t! In addition to that housing will give you a move out checklist and if I remember correctly , they came in right before the packers to give us a general idea of what we had to fix so that we would pass. Take heed to whatever they say and listen. This is your chance to rectify any issues and save a few bucks.

Hope you find this helpful and Happy PCSing!

What tips do you have for successfully passing the housing inspection?




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Krystel is the mom of two and an Army Wife. In addition to Army Wife 101 she is the Co-Founder of a digital media agency that connects brands with the military market. She has appeared on MSNBC ,FOX LA and formerly was a weekly contributor to HLN's "Raising America". She has written for various outlets including Sheknows and Lifetime and is a big fan of cupcakes and french fries.

27 Comments on Top 6 Ways To Pass Military Housing Inspection When PCS’ing

  1. Love this and your blog! Just had my first “move”. Fiance deployed and we had to “close up shop”. I simply hired a housekeeper to clean for us! So easy.

  2. Oh the thing that really sucks for me is that I never took photos when we first moved in. I noticed spilt nail polish on a bathroom sink drawer that was like that when we moved in and my husband told me not to worry about it. Its four years later and we might be moving soon and I’m still worried about it.

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  17. That’s a good tip to invest in a carpet cleaner. That way you can keep the carpet spotless for inspections. The military is really concerned with cleanliness and carpets are a target of a lot of dirt.

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