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Find Essential Tips For Long-Distance Military Moves

Moving is a challenge for anyone, but when it comes to military moves, the stakes are even higher. With frequent relocations, often on short notice, military families face unique challenges that require careful planning and preparation.

Whether you’re a seasoned service member familiar with the drill or a newbie just receiving your first set of orders, understanding the intricacies of long-distance military moves is crucial.

This guide aims to provide you with comprehensive tips and insights to ensure your next military move is as smooth and stress-free as possible. Dive in to discover how to make your relocation journey efficient, cost-effective, and hassle-free.

Understanding Military Moves

tips for long distance military moves, few tips

Military relocations are a unique blend of challenges and opportunities. With the right knowledge and preparation, these moves can be a smooth transition for service members and their families.

1. The Basics of Military Relocations

Military moves, governed by the defense personal property system, are a frequent occurrence for service members. Understanding the basics can make the process more manageable. The defense personal property system is designed to assist military members in relocating, ensuring that personal property is handled with care.

Transportation service providers play a crucial role in the moving process. They are responsible for ensuring that all your stuff reaches the new location safely. It’s essential to familiarize oneself with how the system works to make the most of the services provided.

2. Differences Between Permanent Change of Station (PCS) and Temporary Duty (TDY) Moves

PCS and TDY are two primary types of military relocations. While PCS is a long-term move, TDY is more of a temporary assignment. The transportation office plays a pivotal role in coordinating these moves, ensuring that all that stuff you’ve accumulated over the years is safely transported.

TDY moves are often shorter and might not require moving all your belongings. On the other hand, a PCS move is a more extensive relocation process, often involving a moving truck, a moving company, and the transportation of personal property to a new duty station.

3. Benefits and Entitlements for Military Moves

Military members are entitled to various benefits during their relocations. These entitlements, managed by the defense personal property system, ensure that the moving process is as smooth as possible. From allowances to reimbursements, these benefits are designed to ease the financial burden of the move.

One of the significant advantages is the assistance provided by the transportation service provider. They ensure that all those boxes are safely packed, transported, and delivered to the new house. This support is invaluable, especially when moving to a new empty house that needs to be set up from scratch.

4. CONUS vs. OCONUS Moves: What to Expect

Moving within the continental U.S. (CONUS) is different from moving outside it (OCONUS). While CONUS moves might be more straightforward, OCONUS relocations can be a bit more challenging, especially when considering international regulations and customs.

Regardless of the type of move, it’s essential to be prepared. Having a checklist, understanding the role of the transportation office, and knowing what to expect can make the process more manageable. Remember, the goal is to safely transport all your stuff to your new home.

5. Peak PCS Season: Timing Your Move Right

Late spring to early summer is the peak PCS season. During this time, many military members received their relocation orders. Timing is crucial, as moving during the peak season can be a bit more hectic.

However, with the right planning and coordination with the transportation service provider, even peak-season moves can be smooth. It’s all about understanding the moving process and ensuring that everything, from the moving truck to the personal property, is in order.

Read More: Military Move Safety Measures: Ensuring a Secure Relocation

Preparing for Your Long-Distance Move

toy bins, moving forward

Preparation is the key to a successful long-distance military move. From organizing personal property to coordinating with the moving company, every step requires careful planning.

1. Starting Early: The Importance of Pre-planning

The earlier you start planning your move, the smoother the process will be. Pre-planning involves organizing all your stuff, ensuring that essential items are easily accessible, and coordinating with the transportation office.

Starting early also gives you ample time to sort through all those boxes and decide what to take along and what to leave behind. Remember, a well-planned move is often a successful move.

2. Creating a Comprehensive Moving Checklist

A moving checklist is an essential tool for military members. It ensures that nothing is overlooked during the relocation process. From personal property to essential documents like birth certificates, everything needs to be accounted for.

A comprehensive checklist will also help in coordinating with the moving company. It ensures that all your belongings, especially valuable items, are safely packed and transported. After all, the last thing you want is to reach your new house and realize something is missing.

3. Organizing Important Documents and Paperwork

Documents like birth certificates, medical records, and other essential paperwork should be organized and kept handy. These documents are crucial and should be easily accessible during the move.

It’s a good idea to have a separate folder or file for these documents. This ensures that they are not misplaced among all those boxes. Moreover, having them organized will save you a lot of time and hassle in your new location.

4. Deciding Between DIY and Government-Assisted Moves

Military members have the option to choose between a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) move, known as a personally procured move, or a government-assisted relocation. While a DIY move gives you more control over the process, a government-assisted move can be less stressful.

If you opt for a DIY or personally procured move, you’ll be responsible for organizing the moving truck, packing all your stuff, and ensuring safe transportation. On the other hand, a government-assisted move will have the defense personal property system coordinate most of the process for you.

5. Preparing Children and Pets for the Move

Moving can be stressful for children and pets. It’s essential to prepare them for the relocation, ensuring they are comfortable and at ease. Discussing the move with children, explaining the reasons, and involving them in the process can make the transition smoother.

For pets, ensure that they have a comfortable space during the move. Whether it’s in the moving truck or a separate transportation mode, their comfort and safety should be a priority. After all, they, too, are a part of the family and deserve a smooth move.

Packing and Loading Tips for Your Long-Distance Move

bed frames, military discounts

Packing is perhaps the most time-consuming part of the move. Proper packing ensures that all your belongings reach the new destination safely.

1. Essential Packing Supplies for Military Moves

Having the right packing supplies is crucial for a successful long-distance move. From sturdy boxes to bubble wrap, the right materials can make a significant difference. It’s essential to ensure that all your stuff, especially fragile items, is packed securely.

Investing in quality packing supplies can save you a lot of trouble in the long run. After all, the last thing you want is to open a box in your new empty house and find broken items.

2. Systematic Packing: Room-by-Room Guide

Packing systematically can make the unpacking process more manageable. A room-by-room approach ensures that items from the same room are packed together. This approach not only makes the packing process more organized but also helps in setting up the new house.

For instance, packing all kitchen items together ensures that you can set up the kitchen in your new home quickly. Similarly, having a separate box for essential items like toilet paper, toiletries, and some clothes can be a lifesaver during the first week in the new house.

3. Protecting Fragile and Valuable Items

Fragile items require extra care during packing. Using bubble wrap, soft cloths, and other cushioning materials can ensure their safety. It’s also a good idea to label boxes containing fragile items clearly.

Valuable items, on the other hand, should be kept with you if possible. If that’s not feasible, ensure they are packed securely and are insured. After all, some things are irreplaceable, and it’s better to be safe than sorry.

4. Maximizing Space in Moving Boxes

Efficient packing is all about maximizing space. Using boxes of the right size, packing items tightly, and filling empty spaces with soft materials can ensure that you use the available space efficiently.

Remember, the goal is to transport all your belongings safely. Efficient packing not only ensures safety but also saves you money by reducing the number of boxes and the space they occupy in the moving truck.

5. Ensuring Safe and Efficient Loading

Loading the moving truck is a crucial step in the relocation process. Items should be loaded in a way that ensures their safety during transportation. Heavy boxes should be placed at the bottom, while lighter ones can be stacked on top.

It’s also essential to secure the boxes to prevent them from moving during transit. Using ropes, belts, and other securing tools can ensure that all your stuff reaches the new destination without any damage.

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

Transportation and Delivery

tape hardware, movers arrive

Once everything is packed and loaded, the next step is transportation. Ensuring safe and timely delivery is crucial for a successful move.

1. Choosing the Right Transportation Service Provider (TSP)

The right TSP can make a significant difference in your moving experience. It’s essential to choose a provider known for its reliability and efficiency. After all, they will be responsible for transporting all those boxes containing your belongings.

Researching, reading reviews, and getting recommendations can help you choose the right TSP. Remember, the goal is to ensure that all your stuff reaches the new house safely and on time.

2. Tracking Your Shipment in Real-Time

Modern TSPs offer real-time tracking services. This feature allows you to monitor the moving truck’s location and get updates about the delivery. It’s a great way to stay informed and plan your schedule accordingly.

Real-time tracking also gives you peace of mind, knowing that your belongings are on their way and will reach the destination as planned.

3. Understanding Delivery Windows and Schedules

TSPs usually provide a delivery window, indicating when you can expect your belongings to reach the new house. It’s essential to understand these windows and plan accordingly. Whether it’s about an hour or a day, being prepared can make the delivery process smoother.

Ensure that you are available during the delivery window. If that’s not possible, make arrangements for someone to be there to receive the shipment.

4. Handling Delays and Unexpected Issues

Sometimes, despite the best planning, things can go wrong. Whether it’s a breakdown of the moving truck or unexpected weather conditions, delays can happen. It’s essential to be prepared for such situations.

Communicating with the TSP, understanding the cause of the delay, and making alternate arrangements if needed can help you handle such situations better. Remember, the goal is to ensure that all your stuff reaches the new house safely, even if it takes a bit longer.

5. Unloading and Inspecting Delivered Items

Once the moving truck reaches the new house, the next step is unloading. Ensure that all boxes are accounted for and inspect them for any damage. It’s a good idea to have a checklist to ensure that nothing is missing.

If you find any damaged items, report them to the TSP immediately. Most providers offer insurance, and you might be eligible for compensation. After all, the goal is to ensure that all your belongings reach the new house in perfect condition.

Why Choose Our Services at Military Movers?

Military Movers is not just a moving company; we are a dedicated team that understands the unique challenges faced by our brave service members and their families. Our services are tailored to ensure that every military move is smooth, efficient, and stress-free.

Comprehensive Moving Solutions

At Military Movers, we offer a wide range of services to cater to all your relocation needs:

  • Local and Long-Distance Moves: Whether you’re relocating within your city or across the country, we have the expertise and resources to handle it seamlessly.
  • Overseas Relocations: Moving overseas? We’ve got you covered. Our team is well-versed in international regulations and customs, ensuring your belongings reach their destination without a hitch.
  • Packing and Unpacking: Our professional packers are trained to handle your belongings with utmost care. From fragile items to bulky furniture, we pack everything securely, ensuring they arrive at your new home in perfect condition.
  • Storage Solutions: Need a place to store your belongings temporarily? We offer both short-term and long-term storage facilities equipped with advanced security systems and climate control.
  • Real-Time Tracking: With our advanced satellite tracking technology, you can monitor your shipment in real-time, giving you peace of mind.

Dedicated Support for Military Families

We understand the sacrifices made by our military members and their families. That’s why we offer:

  • Special Discounts: Active-duty military personnel can avail of special discounts when shipping a privately-owned vehicle or moving a household.
  • Customized Moving Plans: Every move is unique. We work closely with you to create a moving plan tailored to your specific needs.
  • 24/7 Customer Support: Our team is always available to answer your queries, address your concerns, and provide assistance whenever you need it.


Relocating, especially for military families, can be a daunting task. But with the right support and resources, it can be a smooth and hassle-free experience. At Military Movers, we are committed to providing top-notch services tailored to the unique needs of our military clients.

Our team of professionals, advanced technology, and comprehensive services ensure that every move is a success. So, whether you’re moving within the country, overseas, or just need some expert advice, Military Movers is here to assist you every step of the way.

Ready to make your next move? Contact Military Movers today, and let us handle the heavy lifting for you!


What makes Military Movers different from other moving companies?

Military Movers specializes in serving military members and their families. Our understanding of the unique challenges faced by military families, combined with our comprehensive services, makes us the preferred choice for military relocations.

Do you offer services for non-military customers?

Yes, while we specialize in military moves, we are open to assisting anyone in need of professional moving services.

How can I track my shipment in real time?

With our advanced satellite tracking technology, you can monitor your shipment in real-time. Once your move is scheduled, you’ll be provided with a tracking number, which you can use to track your belongings.

Do you provide storage solutions?

Yes, we offer both short-term and long-term storage facilities. Our storage units are equipped with advanced security systems and offer climate control to ensure your belongings are safe.

What measures do you take to ensure the safety of my belongings during the move?

Our team is trained to handle your belongings with utmost care. We use high-quality packing materials and techniques to ensure everything is packed securely. Additionally, our moving trucks are equipped with safety measures to prevent any damage during transit.

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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