According to Move.mil, the Department of Defense’s moving portal, the DOD relocates more families than any other organization in America. Attorney George Sink Jr. states, “Having worked with veterans, I can attest to the fact that military families are constantly on the move.” These disruptions can be especially stressful for first-time movers, but there are ways to make the shift easier.
Step 1: Assess the move
Determine your orders. Are you assigned a permanent change of station (PCS) or temporary duty (TDY)? Knowing this affects how your household goods (and even your family) will be transported across the states. Furthermore, the type of orders and duration of the stay may determine if family members can come with you at all.
Step 2: Schedule your move
After receiving your official orders, sign into the Defense Personal Property System (DPS) and schedule your move. Have your documents handy and be prepared to answer questions about dates, locations, weights, and items. If you’ve moved before, you can check the weight of your previous move in your Move.mil account. During this time, do not pick a single moving date. Be flexible and give yourself plenty of options.
Step 3: Inventory
It’s dull and takes a large chunk of time out of your already-busy day. However, inventorying your household goods can ensure all your items arrive at the intended destination.
List the make and model, serial number, and a photo of all items.
Embed videos of each item’s working condition.
If you plan to have your car moved, be sure to document its condition and to fix any recalls. If there are recalls on your vehicle, it may not be accepted at the vehicle processing center.
Provide the inventory to the moving company and ensure it is in the organization’s system prior to the move date.
Step 4: Schedule a pre-move survey
Most companies will pay a visit to get a better idea of what they will be moving. During this meeting, representatives will double check everything documented in the DPS’s system. This should be completed well before the moving date.
Step 5: Organize your items for packing day
Before you move, organizations will send packers to box everything for you. Use the inventory you made to have items separated into groups and organized. Add signs so that you and the packers can quickly assess what should go where and what should not be boxed.
Step 6: Know what to expect on moving day
Always read through the inventory sheet provided by the company on moving day. If there is anything you disagree with, annotate it before signing. When you arrive at your new home, be aware that the moving company should reassemble and unpack items for you at no cost. Furthermore, be sure to ask that the company discard any packing material.
With a little planning, the pre-move jitters can become a thing of the past. Sit back, relax, and enjoy your new home.