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Find Out How To Do A DITY Move: Get The Ultimate Guide

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When it comes to military relocations, a DITY (Do-It-Yourself) move stands out as a popular choice for many service members and their families. This self-move option, while offering more control over the moving process, can often be daunting for those unfamiliar with its intricacies.

At Military Movers, we understand the challenges and rewards of a DITY move. Whether you’re considering this option for the first time or have undertaken it before, our comprehensive guide aims to simplify the process for you.

From understanding the basics to mastering the art of efficient packing, we’ve got you covered. Dive in to discover invaluable insights, expert tips, and a step-by-step roadmap to ensure your next DITY move is smooth, efficient, and cost-effective.

Understanding DITY Moves

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Every military family at some point considers the option of a DITY move. But what exactly does it entail, and why is it becoming increasingly popular among service members?

1. What is a DITY Move?

A DITY move, also known as a “Do-It-Yourself” move, allows military families to take charge of their relocation process. Instead of relying entirely on government-contracted movers, families can move their belongings themselves and potentially earn reimbursement for their efforts. This type of move offers more control over the moving process and can be a financially beneficial option for many.

The term “personally procured move” or PPM is often used interchangeably with DITY. It signifies that the service member has personally procured or arranged the moving services, whether by renting trucks or hiring a commercial moving company.

2. Benefits of Choosing a DITY Move

Opting for a DITY move can offer several advantages. Firstly, it provides military families with greater control over their belongings, ensuring that items are packed and transported with care. Additionally, by managing the move themselves, families can often save on moving expenses and even make a profit if they stay under the government’s allocated budget.

Moreover, a DITY move can be empowering. It allows military families to take charge of their relocation, ensuring that their household goods are handled with the utmost care and attention. Plus, with the potential to earn back some of the upfront costs, it’s an option that’s financially appealing to many.

3. When is a DITY Move the Right Choice?

While the idea of managing one’s move can be enticing, it’s essential to evaluate whether it’s the right choice for your situation. If you’re someone who values control over the moving process and has the time and resources to plan and execute the move, a DITY move might be ideal. It’s especially beneficial for those who have had past experiences with lost or damaged items during military-contracted moves.

However, it’s crucial to consider factors like the estimated weight of your belongings, the distance to your new duty station, and whether you have the necessary packing supplies and resources. If you’re confident in managing these aspects, a DITY move can be a rewarding experience.

4. DITY vs. Government-Assisted Moves

A traditional government-assisted move involves the military contracting a commercial moving company to pack, transport, and unpack a service member’s belongings. While this option offers convenience, it often lacks the personal touch and attention to detail that comes with a DITY move.

On the other hand, a DITY move requires more effort from the service member and their family but offers more control and potential financial benefits.

It’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of each option. While government-assisted moves offer convenience, they might not provide the level of care and attention that many military families desire. DITY moves, while more labor-intensive, can offer a sense of accomplishment and potential financial rewards.

5. Common Misconceptions About DITY Moves

Many misconceptions surround DITY moves. Some believe that it’s a way to make a quick profit, while others think it’s more hassle than it’s worth. The truth lies somewhere in between. While there’s potential to save money, it requires careful planning and execution.

Additionally, not every DITY move results in financial gain. It’s essential to be realistic about expectations and understand that while there’s potential for profit, there’s also a significant amount of work involved.

Another common misconception is that DITY moves are only for those with minimal belongings. In reality, with proper planning and resources, even larger households can successfully execute a DITY move. The key is to be well-prepared and understand the intricacies of the process.

Preparing for Your DITY Move

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Embarking on a DITY move requires meticulous preparation. From gathering packing supplies to setting realistic timelines, every step is crucial to ensure a smooth transition to your new duty station.

1. Collecting Essential Supplies

Before diving into the packing process, it’s essential to gather all necessary supplies. This includes sturdy boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, and labeling materials. Remember, the safety of your belongings is paramount, so investing in quality packing supplies can make a significant difference.

Additionally, consider the unique needs of certain items. Fragile items, for instance, might require special packaging to ensure they remain intact during the move.

2. Organizing and Decluttering

Before packing, take the time to declutter and organize your belongings. Not only does this reduce the volume of items to move, but it also provides an opportunity to get rid of things you no longer need. Consider donating unwanted items or hosting a garage sale. This step can make the packing process more manageable and can even result in some extra cash.

3. Setting Realistic Timelines

A successful DITY move requires careful planning. Set a realistic timeline for each stage of the move, from packing to transportation. Allocate sufficient time for each room and consider factors like work commitments and family responsibilities. A well-thought-out timeline can reduce stress and ensure that you’re well-prepared for moving day.

4. Budgeting for Your Move

While a DITY move offers potential financial benefits, it’s essential to budget carefully. Consider all potential expenses, from truck rentals to packing supplies. Additionally, factor in potential unforeseen costs, such as vehicle maintenance or additional storage containers. A detailed budget can help you stay on track and maximize your savings.

5. Researching and Choosing the Right Moving Company

If you’re considering hiring a moving company for certain aspects of your move, it’s crucial to do thorough research. Look for companies that offer military discounts and have a track record of serving military families. Read reviews, get multiple quotes, and ensure that the company understands the unique needs of a DITY move.

6. Understanding Military Move Policies

Before embarking on a DITY move, familiarize yourself with the military’s move policies. This includes understanding the reimbursement process, weight allowances, and other essential details. Being well-informed can help you navigate the move smoothly and ensure that you’re compliant with all regulations.

Read More: Tips for Making a Temporary House Feel Like Home After a PCS Move

Packing Like a Pro

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Packing is arguably the most time-consuming aspect of a DITY move. However, with the right techniques and a systematic approach, you can ensure that your belongings are safe and ready for transportation.

1. Essential Packing Supplies

Investing in quality packing supplies is crucial. This includes sturdy boxes, bubble wrap, packing paper, and quality tape. For fragile items, consider special packaging or boxes designed for delicate belongings. Remember, the safety of your items during transit largely depends on how well they’re packed.

2. Room-by-Room Packing Guide

Approach packing systematically, tackling one room at a time. Start with rooms that are least used, such as guest rooms or storage areas. As you progress, move to more frequently used spaces. This approach ensures minimal disruption to your daily life and allows you to pack efficiently.

3. Labeling and Inventory Management

As you pack, label each box clearly. Indicate the room it belongs to and a brief description of its contents. This not only helps during the unpacking process but also ensures that you can quickly locate items if needed. Additionally, maintain an inventory list. This can be invaluable for insurance purposes and for keeping track of your belongings.

4. Special Considerations: Fragile and Valuable Items

Fragile items require special attention. Use ample padding and ensure they’re securely packed. For valuable items, consider taking photos before packing. This provides a record of their condition and can be useful for insurance purposes.

5. Efficient Packing Techniques

Maximize space by using efficient packing techniques. For instance, use clothing or linens as padding for fragile items. Nest smaller items inside larger ones and fill gaps with packing paper or bubble wrap. Efficient packing not only saves space but also ensures the safety of your belongings.

6. Safety Precautions during Packing

Safety should always be a priority. Avoid overloading boxes, as this can lead to injuries during lifting. Use proper lifting techniques and ensure that pathways are clear to prevent tripping hazards. Additionally, keep essential items, such as medications or important documents, separate and easily accessible.

On the Move: Transportation Tips

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Once everything is packed, it’s time to hit the road. Whether you’re driving a rental truck or using a moving company, transportation is a crucial phase of the DITY move process.

1. Choosing the Right-Moving Vehicle

Selecting the right vehicle for your move is essential. Consider the volume of your belongings and choose a truck that offers a bit of extra space. Remember, it’s better to have a little extra room than to run out of space. Additionally, familiarize yourself with the vehicle’s features and ensure you’re comfortable driving it.

2. Safe Driving Tips for Large Vehicles

If you’re not accustomed to driving large vehicles, take some time to get acquainted. Understand the vehicle’s dimensions, blind spots, and turning radius. Practice driving in an open area before hitting the road. Additionally, plan your route in advance, avoiding roads with low clearance or tight turns.

3. Managing Costs and Reimbursements

Keep track of all expenses related to transportation. This includes fuel, tolls, and any additional fees. Remember, proper documentation is crucial for claiming reimbursements. Additionally, understand the military’s policies regarding weight tickets and ensure you comply with all requirements.

4. Dealing With Unexpected Challenges

No move is without its challenges. Whether it’s a flat tire or unexpected weather, be prepared to handle unforeseen situations. Keep an emergency kit in the vehicle, including essential tools, first aid supplies, and snacks. Additionally, have a backup plan in place, such as roadside assistance or alternate routes.

5. Route Planning and Overnight Stops

If your move spans multiple days, plan your route in advance. Consider factors like traffic, road conditions, and potential overnight stops. Book accommodations in advance and ensure they offer parking for large vehicles. Additionally, prioritize safety, especially when parking the truck overnight.

6. Vehicle Maintenance and Precautions

Before embarking on your journey, ensure the vehicle is in good condition. Check essential components like brakes, tires, and lights. If you’re renting a truck, ensure you understand the company’s policies regarding maintenance and breakdowns. Taking these precautions can prevent potential issues on the road.

Read More: Dealing with PCS Moves: Helpful Strategies for Military Spouses

Unloading and Settling In

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After the journey, the next phase is unloading and settling into your new home. This phase, while exciting, requires careful planning to ensure a smooth transition.

1. Efficient Unloading Strategies

Unloading efficiently can save time and effort. Start by unloading essential items, such as furniture and large appliances. Then, tackle one room at a time, using your labels and inventory list as a guide. This systematic approach ensures that items go to their designated places and reduces the chances of misplacing things.

2. Organizing Your New Home

Once everything is unloaded, the organization process begins. Start by setting up essential rooms, such as bedrooms and the kitchen. Use this opportunity to declutter further and arrange things in a way that suits your new space. Remember, a well-organized home can offer a fresh start and set the tone for your time at the new duty station.

3. Post-Move Checklist

After the move, there are still tasks to tackle. This includes updating your address, setting up utilities, and familiarizing yourself with the new area. Create a post-move checklist to ensure you don’t overlook essential tasks. This can help you settle in more quickly and start enjoying your new home.

4. Addressing Damages and Losses

Despite best efforts, damages or losses can occur during a move. If you notice any damaged items, document them immediately. If you used a moving company, understand their claims process and ensure you file within the stipulated timeframe. Being proactive can help in addressing any issues promptly.

5. Getting Acquainted With Your New Location

Moving to a new duty station offers an opportunity to explore a new area. Take the time to get acquainted with your surroundings. Visit local attractions, try out restaurants, and engage with the community. This can help you feel more at home and make the transition smoother.

6. Seeking Local Support and Resources

Remember, you’re not alone in this journey. Seek out local resources, such as military support groups or community centers. Engaging with fellow service members and their families can offer invaluable support and insights. Additionally, utilize resources offered by Military Movers to ensure a smooth transition.

Why Choose Military Movers: Your Trusted Partner in DITY Moves?

Navigating a DITY move can be a daunting task, but with the right partner by your side, it becomes a seamless experience. Enter Military Movers, a dedicated moving service tailored specifically for the unique needs of military families.

  • Expertise in Military Relocations: With over two decades of experience, we understand the intricacies of military moves, ensuring a hassle-free transition for you and your family.
  • Advanced Technology: Our state-of-the-art satellite tracking technology ensures real-time tracking of every shipment, giving you peace of mind.
  • Tailored Services: Whether you’re looking for packing supplies, storage solutions, or full-fledged moving services, we’ve got you covered.
  • Transparent Pricing: Say goodbye to hidden fees and surprise costs. Our transparent pricing ensures you get the best value for your money.
  • Client Testimonials: Don’t just take our word for it. Our satisfied clients vouch for our exceptional service, making us the preferred choice for military relocations.
  • Comprehensive Services: From local to long-distance moves, packing to unpacking, and temporary to permanent storage solutions, we offer a wide range of services to cater to all your moving needs.
  • Dedicated Support: Our team of experts is available round the clock to assist you, ensuring a smooth and stress-free move.
  • Military Discounts: We value the sacrifices made by our service members. As a token of our appreciation, we offer exclusive military discounts for various services.


Embarking on a DITY move is a significant decision that comes with its challenges. However, with the right information, resources, and partners, it can be a rewarding experience. Military Movers is committed to simplifying the relocation process for service members, ensuring a seamless transition to your new duty station.

With our expertise, advanced technology, and dedication to client satisfaction, you can rest assured that your move is in safe hands. So, whether you’re considering a DITY move or any other relocation service, reach out to Military Movers. Let us be your trusted partner in this journey, ensuring a smooth and stress-free move.

Ready to make your move? Contact Military Movers today and let us simplify your relocation process.


What is the difference between a DITY move and a government-assisted move?

A DITY move, or “Do-It-Yourself” move, allows military families to manage their relocation, potentially earning reimbursement for their efforts. In contrast, a government-assisted move involves the military contracting a commercial moving company to handle the entire relocation process.

How can Military Movers assist in a DITY move?

Military Movers offers a range of services tailored for DITY moves, including providing packing supplies, storage solutions, and transportation services. Our team of experts is available to guide you through every step, ensuring a hassle-free move.

Are there any financial benefits to choosing a DITY move?

Yes, by managing the move themselves, military families can potentially save on moving expenses and even earn a reimbursement if they stay under the government’s allocated budget for the move.

How can I ensure the safety of my belongings during a DITY move?

Investing in quality packing supplies, using efficient packing techniques, and choosing a reliable moving partner like Military Movers can ensure the safety of your belongings during transit.

What should I consider before deciding on a DITY move?

Before opting for a DITY move, consider factors like the estimated weight of your belongings, the distance to your new duty station, available resources, and the potential financial benefits. It’s essential to weigh the pros and cons to determine if a DITY move is the right choice for your situation.

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.