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Avoiding Common Mistakes In Military Moves: Things To Watch Out For

Relocating is a significant part of military life, and while it comes with its own set of challenges, it’s crucial to navigate this process smoothly. Whether you’re an active-duty service member or a veteran, moving can be a daunting task, especially when you’re juggling the demands of military service.

Over the years, many military personnel have faced common pitfalls during their moves, leading to unnecessary stress and complications. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve deep into these common mistakes, offering insights and tips to ensure your next military move is seamless.

With our expertise at Military Movers, combined with real-life experiences and feedback from service members, this blog post aims to be your go-to resource. So, before you embark on your next relocation journey, let’s explore the common mistakes in military moves and how to avoid them.

Understanding the Unique Challenges of Military Moves

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Military moves are unlike any other. The demands placed on military families and the nature of their relocations present unique challenges.

1. The Nature of Military Relocations

Military relocations, often initiated by PCS orders from the government, are a frequent occurrence for many military families. These moves are not just about changing homes; they involve transitioning to a new duty station, adapting to new environments, and, often, understanding different cultures.

Military members are expected to be agile, ready to move at a moment’s notice, making the nature of these relocations inherently challenging.

For military spouses and children, these moves can be especially taxing. Leaving behind friends, schools, and familiar surroundings can be emotionally draining. However, understanding the reasons behind these relocations and the bigger picture can help in making the transition smoother.

2. Emotional and Logistical Challenges

The emotional challenges faced by military families during a move are profound. Military spouses often bear the brunt of organizing the move, from coordinating with the transportation office to ensuring that personal property is safely packed and transported. The uncertainty of what lies ahead, coupled with the stress of leaving a familiar environment, can be overwhelming.

Logistically, there’s a lot to manage. From getting a rough estimate from moving companies to ensuring that important documents like birth certificates are safely stored, the list is exhaustive. Military members must also liaise with their transportation command to ensure that all aspects of the move are covered.

3. The Importance of Preparation

Preparation is key to a successful military move. This involves not just physical packing but also mentally preparing oneself and the family for the move. Early preparation can help in getting a better deal from moving companies, ensuring that the moving day goes smoothly and settling into the new home faster.

Military families should also be aware of their weight allowance and make sure they don’t exceed it. Overpacking can lead to additional costs, and underpacking might mean leaving behind essential items. It’s a delicate balance that requires careful planning and consideration.

4. Balancing Military Duties With Moving Tasks

For active military members, balancing their official duties with moving tasks can be a Herculean task. While the duty station might be changing, the responsibilities don’t pause. This means juggling between official tasks, coordinating with the transportation office, and ensuring that the family is well-prepared for the move.

Military spouses often step in to manage the bulk of the moving responsibilities. From booking the moving truck to ensuring that all personal property is accounted for, it’s a significant undertaking. Collaboration and communication between the military member and their spouse are crucial during this period.

5. Dealing With Short-notice Relocations

Sometimes, military families receive PCS orders with very little notice. These short-notice relocations can be particularly challenging, as there’s limited time to prepare. It’s essential to have a checklist in place and perhaps even a “go-bag” with essential items for such situations.

Booking moving companies at the last minute can be expensive. However, early preparation and having a list of preferred companies can help. Military families should also liaise with their transportation command to understand their entitlements and get any necessary approvals in place.

Read More: OCONUS Military Moves: Preparations and What to Expect

12 Common Mistakes to Avoid During Military Moves

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Relocating is a complex process, and mistakes can happen. However, being aware of common pitfalls can save time, money, and stress.

1. Failing to Plan Ahead

Planning is crucial for a successful move. Military families should start by understanding their PCS orders, liaising with the transportation office, and getting a rough estimate of the move’s cost. Without a plan, families can find themselves overwhelmed, leading to costly mistakes and oversights.

It’s also essential to book early, especially during peak moving seasons. Last-minute bookings can be expensive and might not guarantee the best service. Military members should also ensure that they have all the necessary approvals in place before the move.

2. Overlooking Important Paperwork

Important documents like birth certificates, PCS orders, and other official paperwork should be safely stored and easily accessible. Losing these documents can lead to delays and additional stress. It’s a good practice to have both physical and digital copies of all essential paperwork.

Military families should also ensure that they have all the necessary permissions and approvals in place. This includes liaising with the transportation office, understanding their weight allowance, and ensuring that they are compliant with all regulations.

3. Neglecting to Declutter Before Packing

Over the years, families accumulate items, some of which might not be essential for the new home. Before packing, it’s a good practice to declutter and get rid of items that are no longer needed. This not only reduces the moving cost but also ensures a fresh start in the new home.

Military families should be mindful of their weight allowance and ensure that they don’t exceed it. Overpacking can lead to additional costs, and underpacking might mean leaving behind essential items.

4. Not Researching Moving Companies

Not all moving companies are created equal. It’s essential to research and find companies that have experience with military moves. Reading reviews, getting recommendations from other military families, and understanding the terms of service can save both money and stress.

Military families should also ensure that they get a written estimate from the moving company. This helps in avoiding any hidden costs and ensures transparency. Liaising with the transportation command can also provide insights into preferred service providers.

5. Ignoring Insurance and Valuation Coverage

Moving involves risks. Items can get damaged, lost, or stolen. It’s essential to understand the insurance and valuation coverage offered by moving companies. Military families should ensure that their personal property is adequately covered and understand the claim process.

It’s also a good practice to take photos of valuable items before the move. This provides evidence in case of any disputes and ensures that claims are processed smoothly.

6. Mismanaging Time and Schedules

Time management is crucial during a move. Military families should have a clear schedule in place, factoring in packing, transportation, and settling into the new home. Last-minute rushes can lead to oversights and mistakes.

It’s also essential to coordinate with the moving company and ensure that they are on schedule. Delays can lead to additional costs and inconvenience. Military members should also liaise with their duty station and ensure that they have all the necessary permissions in place.

7. Forgetting to Notify Essential Contacts

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A move is not just about changing homes; it’s also about updating essential contacts. Military families should ensure that they notify their bank, utility providers, schools, and other essential contacts about the move. This ensures a smooth transition and avoids any disruptions in services.

It’s also a good practice to have a list of essential contacts in the new location. This includes emergency services, utility providers, and other vital services. Being prepared can save time and stress during the settling-in period.

8. Overpacking and Not Labeling Boxes

While it’s essential to ensure that all items are packed, overpacking can lead to additional costs and inconvenience. Military families should be mindful of their weight allowance and pack accordingly. It’s also crucial to label boxes clearly, indicating the contents and the room they belong to.

Proper labeling ensures a smooth unpacking process and helps in organizing the new home. Military families should also ensure that essential items are easily accessible and not packed deep inside the moving truck.

9. Not Considering Storage Options

Sometimes, the new home might not be ready, or there might be a delay in the move. In such cases, storage options become essential. Military families should research storage facilities, understand the costs, and ensure that their items are safely stored.

It’s also essential to understand the terms of service, insurance coverage, and access protocols. Having a clear contract in place can save both money and stress in the long run.

10. Underestimating Moving Costs

Moving can be expensive, and it’s essential to have a clear budget in place. Military families should get a rough estimate from moving companies, factor in additional costs like storage, and ensure that they are prepared financially.

It’s also essential to understand the entitlements and benefits offered by the government. Military members should liaise with their transportation command, understand their weight allowance, and ensure that they are compliant with all regulations.

11. Failing to Prepare for Emotional Challenges

Relocating, especially for military families, is not just a physical move but an emotional journey. Many families underestimate the emotional toll of leaving behind friends, familiar surroundings, and the comfort of a known environment.

It’s essential to acknowledge these feelings and seek support when needed. Military families can benefit from joining support groups, seeking counseling, or simply having open conversations with their loved ones about their feelings. Preparing mentally and emotionally for the move can make the transition smoother and less stressful.

12. Not Making Provisions for Pets

Pets are an integral part of many families, and their needs during a move are often overlooked. Relocating with pets requires additional planning, such as ensuring they have the necessary vaccinations, understanding quarantine regulations (especially for overseas moves), and making travel arrangements that prioritize their safety and comfort.

Additionally, it’s crucial to help pets adjust to the new environment. This might involve setting up a familiar space for them in the new home, maintaining their routine, and giving them extra attention and care during the transition period. Failing to account for pets’ needs can lead to complications and added stress during the move.

Read More: How to Cope with Separation During a PCS Move: A Guide for Families

Why Choose Our Exceptional Services at Military Movers? a monster company, military headlines

At Military Movers, we pride ourselves on offering a comprehensive suite of services tailored to the unique needs of military families. Our expertise, honed over two decades, ensures that every move is seamless, efficient, and stress-free.

1. Local and Long-distance Moving

  • Expertise in Every Move: Whether you’re relocating within your city or across the country, our team has the experience to handle every detail.
  • Tailored Solutions: We understand that every move is unique. Our team will work closely with you to develop a custom plan that suits your specific needs.
  • Real-time Tracking: With our advanced satellite tracking technology, you can monitor your shipment in real-time, ensuring peace of mind.

2. Packing and Unpacking Services

  • Professional Packing: Our experts are trained in packing techniques that ensure your belongings are safe, secure, and ready for transport.
  • Efficient Unpacking: Once at your new home, we don’t just stop at unloading. Our team will help unpack and set up your space, making it feel like home in no time.
  • High-Quality Materials: We use only the best packing materials, ensuring that your items, whether fragile or robust, are well-protected.

3. Storage Services

  • Flexible Options: Whether you need temporary storage while settling in or a more permanent solution, we’ve got you covered.
  • Climate-Controlled Units: For sensitive items that require specific conditions, our climate-controlled units are the perfect solution.
  • Secure and Accessible: Our storage facilities are not only secure but also easily accessible, ensuring you can get to your belongings whenever you need them.

4. OCONUS Military Moves

  • Overseas Expertise: Moving overseas comes with its own set of challenges. Our team is well-versed in international relocations, ensuring a smooth transition.
  • Customs and Regulations: We’ll guide you through the often complex customs paperwork and regulations, ensuring your belongings arrive without a hitch.
  • Global Network: With partners around the world, we ensure that no matter where you’re headed, you’ll receive the same high level of service.

5. Special Discounts for Active-duty Personnel

  • Giving Back: In appreciation for your service, we offer special discounts for active-duty military personnel.
  • Transparent Pricing: We believe in clear, upfront pricing without hidden fees. The quote you receive is what you pay.
  • Dedicated Support: Our customer service team is always on hand to answer any questions, address concerns, and ensure your move is as smooth as possible.


Relocating, especially for military families, is more than just a physical move—it’s an emotional journey filled with challenges and opportunities. By understanding the unique aspects of military moves and being aware of common pitfalls, families can navigate this journey with confidence and ease.

At Military Movers, we are dedicated to ensuring that every move is seamless, efficient, and tailored to your specific needs. Our decades of experience, combined with our commitment to excellence, make us the ideal partner for your next relocation. Whether you’re moving within the country or overseas, trust us to be by your side every step of the way.

Take the next step with Military Movers! Reach out to us today for a free, no-obligation quote, and let us simplify your relocation journey.


What makes Military Movers different from other moving companies?

Military Movers specializes in catering to the unique needs of military families. With over two decades of experience, we understand the intricacies of military relocations and offer tailored services to ensure a smooth transition.

Do you offer services to non-military customers?

Yes, while we specialize in military moves, we are open to assisting anyone in need of professional moving services. Our expertise ensures a seamless move, regardless of your background.

How does the real-time tracking of shipments work?

We employ advanced satellite tracking technology on our moving carriers. This allows our clients to monitor their shipments in real-time, providing added peace of mind during the relocation process.

Are there any hidden fees in your pricing?

At Military Movers, we operate on a transparent pricing plan. The quote you receive is comprehensive, and we strive to eliminate hidden fees and surprise costs.

How can I get a quote for my move?

Simply reach out to us with your specific moving needs, and we’ll provide you with a free, no-obligation quote. Our team is always ready to assist and answer any questions you may have.

Mia Miller

Mia Miller, a true wordsmith, documents the journey of Military Movers through her engaging blog posts. She ensures that our stories, mirroring our commitment and dedication to facilitating military moves, reach a broad audience.

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