June 28, 2011

10 Military Moving Tips

Moving is part of your life when you are in the military.  Most military families move every two to three years.  That adds up to a lot of packing, unpacking, addresses collected, tears shed and transitions made by the time many families separate from the military.  You do get better at military moving the more you do it.  But it is never easy.  You always have to get organized, prepare and take care of your personal to do list. 

10 Tips for Military Moving:
1.  Start early. 
As soon as you hear rumors that you may be PCSing, get to work.  It never hurts to get your house in order, even if your military moving plans change a bit.
2.  Lighten your load.
Get rid of the things you do not need or want.  The government will only pay to move the things that fit within your military moving maximum allowable weight limit.  The rest will have to come out of your pocket. 
3.  Meet with your transportation office.
As soon as you receive orders, make an appointment with the transportation on base.  This meeting will cover all the details you need to know before you make any military moving decisions, such as whether you are authorized to make a DITY move, your maximum allowable weight limit, etc. 
4.  Know the requirements.
Know what paperwork and forms you need to take care of and the deadlines.
5.  Do not do anything you are not authorized to do.
If you are not authorized to make a partial or full DITY move, do not make one.  You will not be reimbursed.  Read through the list of allowable household goods, so you know what the government will not pay to move. 
6.  Keep a moving file.
Military moving, like most things with the military, requires lots of forms.  Keep track of all contracts, requirements and proof of expenses in one place, so you will have everything you need.
7.  Keep your own records.
Take digital photos or video of all the belongings that will be part of your military moving adventure.  They will come in handy should you need to make a claim.  Likewise, keep your own inventory list as things are loaded onto the truck.
8.  Turn in expenses.
Not only will you need to keep track of expenses in order to be reimbursed, you need to turn them in by required deadlines. 
9.  Pay attention to what you are signing.
You are responsible for the things you put your signature on.  Read things carefully.
10.  Be smart about your personal items.
Put all important family documents in one folder.  Passports, birth certificates, marriage license, immunization records, vehicle titles, etc.  Decide who will be in charge of that folder during your military moving process.