August 3, 2012

Understanding the Military's DITY Move Calculator

Military couple

If you are approaching your first military move you will want to gain a solid understanding of the military DITY move calculator. The DITY move calculator is a tool for estimating both the costs of a military DITY move (also known as the Personally Procured Move, or PPM) and the anticipated reimbursement for that move.  You can think of the DITY move calculator as an app or a piece of easy to use software.

In every case, as you approach a DITY/ Personally Procured move you should begin by meeting with a counselor from your base’s personal property office.  Don’t act without approval since this might result in a failure to be reimbursed for the move.

At this meeting you’ll learn what your moving limits are.  These are based on your rank and years of service, among other factors.  You’ll learn what your maximum allowable moving weight is. You will also be shown the Government Constructed Cost (GCC), which is the amount it would cost the government to move your personal property in a full-service government procured move. This gives you an idea what you might save making a DITY move.

The DITY moving calculator comes into play as a tool to estimate the weight of your personal property and the expense to move it.  The DITY move calculator tabulates all the criteria involved, including time, distance, rank, family members and other factors. The results give a solid, accurate estimate of the cost of your individual move. This will inform you of how much to allocate for a DITY move including out-of-pocket expenses and what additional moving services you may be able to purchase.  Based on the results from the DITY move calculator, you’ll be able to decide if a full-service government procured move is better or if you can manage a DITY move to come out ahead.

If you do choose a DITY move, 1-800-PACK-RAT's portable storage units can help you move quickly, safely and with the most flexibility for temporary storage. The all-steel, weatherproof containers are low to the ground, so they are a breeze to load. And you get to leave the driving to us, which means more time to spend with your family or exploring your new home. Members of the military always receive a discount with promo code MILIME10.

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October 22, 2010

Get Out Your DITY Move Calculator and Start Planning Your Move

Moving is an inherent part of being in the military.  Most military families make a permanent change of station (PCS) every 2 to 3 years and that does not include temporary duty assignments (TDY) or deployments.  Members of the military and their families get very good at moving.  In fact, many of them successfully make do it yourself (DITY) moves for many of their assignments.  With proper planning and tools like a DITY move calculator, doing a move yourself can actually make you money. 

If you are in the military, the government will pay a professional moving company to pack and move you.  For most assignments, you could alternatively choose to handle the move yourself.  That means you could either hire a professional moving company of your choosing, or utilize portable storage containers, a rental truck or your personally owned vehicle (POV) to do the move yourself.  The government will reimburse you for 90 percent or more of what it would have cost them to move you.  Get out your DITY move calculator, because your wallet could benefit if you are willing to do the legwork involved. 

The first thing to do before you start plugging away with an online DITY move calculator to find out how much you could be reimbursed, is to make an appointment with your transportation management office (the name differs from service to service) on base.  During that counseling session, your moving options will be discussed.  The government will not reimburse you if you make an unauthorized DITY move.  Additionally, you will find out what your maximum allowable weight limit is.  That limit, which is based on things like rank and number of dependents, is key when you start working with figures via a DITY move calculator.  The government will not pay for anything above that weight limit.  You can either work with the counselor at that initial appointment or use an online DITY move calculator to estimate what you would be reimbursed for a DITY move.  Take those figures from your DITY move calculator and compare them with the amount of work involved with handling a move yourself.  If you and your family are up for it, start planning. 

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September 10, 2010

Things to Keep in Mind When Facing Your First Military Moving Experience

Moving is part of military life.  Most military families move (called a "PCS" or "permanent change of station") every 2 to 3 years, which adds up to a lot throughout a career.  Dependents and members of the military get so good at moving that they could write a handbook on military moving.  But when you are facing a PCS for the first time, it can seem overwhelming.  There are so many horror stories of what can go wrong, that it is no wonder first timers get nervous.  The first thing to note is that most moves happen without any major issues.  Yes, there is a risk that something could get damages or broken, but that risk is there with any move.  Take a deep breath and start drafting a to do list.  Being prepared will greatly reduce your anxiety and increase the likelihood of a smooth military moving experience. 

For most PCS locations, you have three methods you can choose for military moving.  The first option is to have the government handle everything.  That means that they will find, hire and pay for a professional moving company to pack, transport and unload everything for you.  The second option is a do it yourself (DITY) or personally procured move.  This method of military moving means that you handle everything yourself.  You can pack and transport everything yourself via your personal vehicle, portable storage containers or rental truck.  Or you can find and hire a professional moving company of your choosing.  For DITY military moving, the government will reimburse you for roughly 95% of what it would have cost them to handle the move.  The third option is a partial DITY move, which is a combination of the first and second options. 

Before you decide which option you would prefer for your first military moving experience, make an appointment to see a counselor at your transportation or personal property office and take your orders with you.  Without the proper authorization and paperwork, you may not get reimbursed for a DITY or partial DITY move.  And there are some locations where DITY moves are not an option.  The last important piece of information that will be covered during your counseling session is your maximum allowable weight limit.  That weight limit is based on rank, number of dependents and location of your PCS.  It is vital that you always keep your weight limit in mind, regardless of how you choose to move.  The government will not cover any military moving expenses beyond that maximum allowable weight limit. 

Once you have had your military moving counseling session, the task ahead will seem a lot less daunting.  Your counselor will have covered what military moving options are available to you, your maximum allowable weight limit and how much you can be expected to be reimbursed if you handle all or part of the mover yourself.  Weigh all your military moving options with what you and your family can handle, regardless of how enticing the reimbursement amount looks to you. 

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