Whether you're retiring or involved in a Permanent Change of Station (PCS), Temporary Additional Duty (TAD) or Temporary Duty (TDY), moving is a necessary evil you'll have to face. When you're required to relocate in the military, moving can be an extremely stressful process for you and your family. Fortunately, unlike most moves you've probably made in the past, it’s possible the government will either pay for a contractor to pack or move your belongings, or you can embark on the reimbursable Do It Yourself (DITY)/Personally Procured Move (PPM) programs. Benefits of moving your belongings yourself, rather than using the assigned government contracted movers, include making money and the ability to take control over your moving process.
If you make the decision to move yourself, you have to make sure you do so in a way that you're comfortable with. Before you make any big decisions, determine what's more important to you– to save yourself money or time; the PPM program can be attractive to both penny-pinchers and efficiency appreciators.
However much it would cost the government to move your belongings, they'll give you 95% of that price to move yourself. So if you are naturally a thrifty person and don't mind doing some of your own heavy lifting, you can potentially walk away with a lot of money at the end of the move. Using your own vehicle(s) and packing your own belongings are two cumbersome but cost effective ways to save money.
One of the main perks of moving yourself is just that – you yourself make decisions about the process. You don't have to worry about government contractors moving your belongings at the time that's convenient for them, you can hire whomever you would like and you are even allotted extra time off for the actual process.
You have a few options as far as how to transport your belongings. You can either rent a truck, pay someone else to drive a moving truck (but you load and unload your belongings) or use your own vehicle. Paying someone to drive a rental truck can save you the hassle of driving across the country if your move is taking you far away. If you have small children or you also need to transport two (or more) cars, this can also be a particular migraine-reliever.
When should you arrange the date with your movers? How early should you reserve your storage unit if you're moving to a smaller space? No matter what decisions you make about moving yourself, you should certainly read the DITY checklists, which include comprehensive guides of what to do in the months leading up to your move. For example, you should decide about three months out whether or not you're up for the challenge of a DITY move.
Military personnel are known for having to make several moves during their service. Chances are, some who's stationed with you now has recently moved. Ask for advice and what problems they ran into. You can also look online to see examples, like how Aaron and Pam survived their latest DITY move.
Moving with pets? Read more about how to ease the transition for your furry companions.