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Get The Best Tips For A Successful Do-it-Yourself Military Move

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When it comes to moving, military families often face unique challenges that can make the process seem overwhelming. From dealing with the logistics of a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) to the emotional toll of leaving behind friends and a familiar environment, there’s a lot to handle.

However, a do-it-yourself military move doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With the right planning, organization, and resources, you can successfully navigate your move and start your new chapter with ease.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about executing a do-it-yourself military move, from understanding your entitlements and benefits to packing and transporting your belongings safely. So, whether you’re a seasoned military mover or facing your first PCS, read on for valuable insights and tips to make your move as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Planning and Organizing Your Move

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When embarking on a personally procured move, the foundation of a successful transition lies in meticulous planning and organization. Here’s how you can ensure everything is in order before the big day.

1. Creating a Moving Timeline

Setting a clear timeline is crucial for any military move. Begin by marking important dates, such as when you need to vacate your current residence and when you can move into your new one. This will give you a clear picture of the time you have and help you allocate tasks efficiently.

Additionally, consider the time required for tasks like obtaining weight tickets or coordinating with a transportation service provider. A well-structured timeline can alleviate the stress of last-minute rushes and ensure a smoother move.

2. Important Documents to Keep Handy

Always have essential documents like your orders, identification, and any paperwork related to your personally procured move (PPM) accessible. These documents are often required when liaising with the local transportation office or when claiming reimbursements.

Moreover, keeping a folder with all relevant documents can be a lifesaver. It ensures you have everything at your fingertips, whether you’re dealing with a moving company or the defense personal property system.

3. Researching Your New Duty Station

Familiarizing yourself with your new duty station can make the transition easier. Look into the amenities, schools, and other facilities available. This research will help you decide what to take with you and what can be procured locally.

For service members, understanding the layout and regulations of the new station can also be beneficial. It can aid in quicker acclimatization and reduce the initial feeling of being overwhelmed.

4. Preparing for the Move With Children

Moving can be especially challenging for children. Discuss the move with them, highlighting the exciting aspects of the new location. This can help in building anticipation and reducing anxiety.

Additionally, involve them in the packing process. Giving them tasks, no matter how small, can make them feel included and more in control of the situation.

5. Handling Pets During the Move

Pets, like humans, can find moving stressful. Ensure you have all the necessary documentation for your pet, especially if you’re moving overseas. Familiarize yourself with quarantine regulations if any.

On the day of the move, keep them in a quiet and comfortable space. Once you arrive at your new home, set up a familiar space for them with their toys and bedding to help them adjust.

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

Packing and Protecting Your Belongings

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Packing is arguably the most labor-intensive part of a do-it-yourself move. Ensuring your household goods are packed securely can save you a lot of heartache later.

1. Essential Packing Supplies

Investing in quality packing supplies can make a world of difference. Sturdy boxes, bubble wrap, and packing tape are essentials. For fragile items, consider special packaging or even hiring a commercial moving company for those specific items.

Remember, the safety of your belongings during transit largely depends on how well they are packed. So, don’t cut corners when it comes to packing supplies.

2. Tips for Efficient Packing

Start packing well in advance. Begin with items you seldom use. Labeling boxes based on the room they belong to can make unpacking easier. Also, creating an inventory can be invaluable, especially when dealing with the defense personal property system for reimbursements.

While it might be tempting to pack everything, consider decluttering. Not only does this reduce your moving expenses, but it also gives you a fresh start in your new home.

3. Protecting Fragile Items

Fragile items require extra care. Wrap them individually in bubble wrap or newspaper. When placing them in boxes, ensure there’s no empty space that allows for movement. Label these boxes as ‘fragile’ so that they’re handled with care.

It’s also a good idea to keep these boxes separate and, if possible, transport them in your privately owned vehicle where they can be monitored closely.

4. Maximizing Space in Moving Boxes

Efficient packing means maximizing the space in your boxes. Fill gaps with clothing or soft items to prevent movement. However, be wary of making boxes too heavy, as this can make them difficult to transport and increase the risk of damage.

Remember, while it’s essential to maximize space, it’s equally crucial to ensure boxes can be lifted without strain.

5. Labeling and Inventorying Your Belongings

A well-labeled box can save you hours during the unpacking process. Clearly mark each box with its contents and the room it belongs to. Additionally, maintaining an inventory can help keep track of your belongings, ensuring nothing goes missing.

This inventory can also be crucial when claiming reimbursements or if you need to liaise with your transportation service provider about any lost or damaged items.

Transportation and Delivery

Once everything is packed, the next step is ensuring it reaches your new home safely. Here’s how you can ensure a smooth transportation process.

1. Choosing the Right-Moving Vehicle

Depending on the volume of your belongings and the distance of your move, you might need a specific type of vehicle. Consult with transportation service providers to find the best fit. For those doing a partial DITY move, ensure the vehicle can accommodate your needs.

Remember, it’s not just about fitting everything in. Your belongings should also be easily accessible in case you need something during the journey.

2. Loading and Unloading Tips

Loading a moving vehicle requires strategy. Place heavier items at the bottom and distribute weight evenly. This not only ensures the safety of your items but also makes the vehicle easier to handle.

When unloading, reverse the process. Be especially careful with boxes labeled ‘fragile’. If you’ve hired a moving company for transportation, supervise the process to ensure everything is handled with care.

3. Ensuring the Safety of Your Belongings

Safety is paramount. Use straps to secure items, preventing movement during transit. If you’re transporting valuable items, consider getting them insured. This provides an added layer of protection in case of any unforeseen incidents.

Regularly check the condition of your belongings, especially during longer moves. This can help in early detection of any issues, allowing for timely intervention.

4. Tracking Your Shipment

If you’re using a commercial moving company, they’ll likely provide tracking services. This allows you to monitor the progress of your shipment and be prepared for its arrival.

For those doing a personally procured move, consider using apps or tools that allow for tracking. This can provide peace of mind, knowing your belongings are on track.

5. Unpacking and Setting Up Your New Home

Once your belongings arrive, the unpacking process begins. Start with essentials and then move on to other items. Setting up your new home can be time-consuming, so take it one step at a time.

Remember, this is your chance to set up your home just the way you want it. So, take your time and enjoy the process.

Adjusting to Your New Duty Station

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Moving is just the first step. Once you’re in your new home, the adjustment process begins. Here’s how you can make it smoother.

1. Connecting With the Military Community

One of the best ways to adjust to a new duty station is by connecting with the local military community. They can provide insights, support, and even friendship. Many bases have community centers or groups that organize events, making it easier to meet new people.

Remember, these are people who’ve been in your shoes. They can provide invaluable advice and support during your adjustment period.

2. Exploring Your New Surroundings

Take the time to explore your new surroundings. Whether it’s finding the local grocery store or discovering a new park, getting to know your new environment can make it feel more like home.

For military members, understanding the layout of the base can also be beneficial. It can help in reducing the initial overwhelm and make daily tasks easier.

3. Finding Local Resources and Support

Every duty station has its own set of resources and support systems. Familiarize yourself with these. Whether it’s a medical facility or a school for your children, knowing where to go can make life easier.

Additionally, many bases have support groups for spouses or families. These can be invaluable, providing a sense of community and understanding.

4. Helping Your Family Adjust

If you’ve moved with your family, remember that everyone adjusts at their own pace. Regularly check in with your loved ones, ensuring they’re coping well. Organize family outings or events to create new memories in your new home. Remember, communication is key. Discuss any challenges and work together to find solutions.

5. Staying Connected With Loved Ones

Moving often means leaving behind friends and loved ones. However, in today’s digital age, staying connected is easier than ever. Regular video calls, messages, or even old-fashioned letters can help bridge the distance.

Remember, while it’s essential to adjust to your new environment, it’s equally crucial to maintain connections with those you’ve left behind.

Read More: Preparing for Your First Military Move: Tips for New Recruits

Common Challenges and Solutions

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Every move comes with its own set of challenges. Here’s how you can navigate them.

1. Dealing With Unexpected Issues

No matter how well you plan, unexpected issues can arise. Whether it’s a delay in transportation or a lost box, it’s essential to remain calm and find solutions. Remember, challenges are a part of every move. How you handle them can make all the difference.

2. Managing Stress During the Move

Moving is inherently stressful. However, managing this stress is crucial for a successful move. Take regular breaks, practice relaxation techniques, and ensure you’re getting enough rest. Remember, it’s okay to ask for help. Whether it’s from friends, family, or professionals, support can make the process easier.

3. Addressing Common Moving Mistakes

Common mistakes, like forgetting to label boxes or not keeping essential documents handy, can cause delays. Being aware of these can help in avoiding them. Remember, mistakes happen. Instead of dwelling on them, focus on finding solutions.

4. Tips for a Smooth Transition

A smooth transition requires a combination of planning, organization, and flexibility. Regularly consult your moving timeline to ensure you’re sticking to it, but also be prepared to adapt if required. Remember, every move is a learning experience. Take note of what works and what doesn’t for future reference.

5. Learning From Your Experience

Once your move is complete, take some time to reflect. What went well? What could’ve been better? This reflection can be invaluable for future moves. Remember, every move provides an opportunity for growth. Embrace the experience and learn from it.

Why Choose Our Services at Military Movers?

At Military Movers, we pride ourselves on offering a comprehensive suite of services tailored specifically to the unique needs of military members and their families. Our years of experience and dedication to excellence ensure that every move is handled with the utmost care and precision.

  • Personalized Moving Plans: Every move is unique, and we understand that. Our team works closely with you to craft a moving plan that aligns with your specific needs, ensuring a seamless transition.
  • Advanced Tracking Technology: With our state-of-the-art satellite tracking technology, you can monitor your shipment in real-time, offering peace of mind that your belongings are safe and on track.
  • Expert Packing and Unpacking: Our trained professionals are adept at packing and unpacking your belongings with care. From fragile items to bulky furniture, we ensure everything is packed securely and arrives in pristine condition.
  • Storage Solutions: Whether you need short-term storage while you settle in or long-term solutions, our climate-controlled storage facilities are equipped to safeguard your belongings.
  • Dedicated Support: Our team is available round the clock to address any queries or concerns. From the moment you reach out to us till you’re settled in your new home, we’re with you every step of the way.


Moving, especially for military members, can be a challenging endeavor. From the logistics of packing and transportation to the emotional aspects of leaving a familiar place, every step requires careful consideration. However, with the right guidance, resources, and support, this daunting task can transform into a smooth and stress-free experience.

At Military Movers, we’re committed to making this transition as seamless as possible. Our dedicated team, advanced technology, and comprehensive services ensure that you can focus on starting your new chapter while we handle the intricacies of the move. If you’re planning a move soon, reach out to us and let Military Movers be your trusted partner in this journey.


What makes Military Movers different from other moving companies?

Military Movers specializes in catering to the unique needs of military members and their families. Our understanding of military protocols, combined with our advanced tracking technology and personalized services, sets us apart.

Do you offer overseas relocation services?

Yes, we provide relocation services both within the United States and overseas. Our team is experienced in handling the complexities of international moves, ensuring a hassle-free experience.

How can I track my shipment in real time?

With our advanced satellite tracking technology, clients can monitor their shipments in real-time. Once your move is underway, you’ll be provided with access to our tracking system.

Are there any items that Military Movers doesn’t transport?

While we strive to accommodate all your moving needs, there are certain items, mainly hazardous materials, that we don’t transport. It’s best to consult with our team beforehand to ensure a smooth moving process.

Do you offer any discounts for active-duty military personnel?

Absolutely! We’re proud to support our service members, and we offer special discounts for active-duty military personnel. Please reach out to our team for more details.

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.