For people in the military, moving is simply part of the job. Most people know someone in a military family, and if you do, you know that they’ve lived in quite a few places. So what should you know about a move in the armed forces? What tips can you implement to have a successful move?
The military recommends starting the moving process as soon as you or your family member receives their permanent change of station order. The sooner you are able to request which dates to move out of your old home and into your new home, the better chances you have of getting those dates, especially in the peak moving months of summer.
The first step in this process can be taken in two avenues. Option one is to be given a relocation briefing at your local installation transportation office or personal property shipping office. This is your traditional route. Option two is available thanks to today’s technology. You can access www.move.mil to manage your moving process completely on your own. The Defense Personal Property System (DPS) site contains training videos and presentations to assist you in using their website.
The Surface Deployment and Distribution Command recommends that you create a moving calendar on your computer that contains links to critical moving processes, phone numbers and checklists. This is a good way to have a single resource to all of the information you will need through this months-long operation. Creating such a document will also help you become more knowledgeable on the entire move upfront, a good way to eliminate unnecessary surprises.
Once you’ve requested your moving dates, you will have an idea of when you might move, but don’t assume that those dates are set in stone, especially during those busy months. Your moving dates will not be confirmed until you’ve coordinated with the movers contracted to provide their moving services. If using www.move.mil, make sure your phone number and e-mail address are current, as you will be placed directly in contact with your moving company. It’s most likely that you will be scheduled to move on a weekday, so make sure to have enough flexibility to be available during normal business hours.
The Forces will give you a certain weight allowance for your move, so you’ll want to have a good estimate of the weight of your belongings. You can use www.move.mil for an accurate estimate. Navigate to the site and click the “DOD Service Members and Federal Civilians (DOD)” tab, click “Weight Allowance,” and then “Weight Estimator.” Once you’ve got your estimate, you might need (or want) to part ways with some of your things. This is a good way to “trim the excess fat” and decide what you truly need. If you keep from exceeding your weight allowance, you’ll save money that you otherwise would’ve had to dish out to ship more than your allotment.
In the event that you come across any issues, have concerns or need answers to any questions, contact your installation transportation office or personal property shipping office for support. They will be, and should be, your number one resource, but make sure to communicate frequently with your mover. With those tips in mind, you should be set for a successful move.