As an active member of the military, there’s a good chance you’ll get permanent change of station orders at least once during your period of service. But more than likely, you’ll find yourself making a PCS relocation every two to four years.
Moving can be a chore, and that’s especially true when you have to do it frequently. Packing up an entire house full of stuff, transporting your belongings hundreds or even thousands of miles, and settling into a new, unfamiliar area can be tough. Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do to make your military relocations as simple and stress free as possible.
Read on to learn the military moving tips every service member should know.
Choose How You’ll Move
When you get your official copies of your PCS orders, the first thing you’ll need to do is determine which type of move is best for your needs. You’ll choose between two move types:
Full-Service Military Move
When you choose a complete military move, the military will handle your entire relocation for you. To perform this type of move, you must register on Move.mil, and once you’re registered, you can choose your preferred dates for packing and household goods pickup on the site. Keep in mind that although you’ll select preferred dates, you’ll ultimately move on the military’s timeline.
Once your shipment of household goods is booked, the military will assign you a Transportation Service Provider (TSP), who will contract with a local military moving company. The TSP will reach out to you to confirm your move dates and personal information, and the local moving company will contact you to perform a pre-move survey.
When it’s time to pack up your home, the movers will arrive at your house and pack up your belongings over one to two days. When they’re finished, they’ll return with a moving truck, load up your belongings, and transport your household goods to a warehouse. The movers will hold your belongings in storage until you’re ready to receive them at your new station.
When you’re ready, the movers will deliver your belongings to your home, unload everything, and reassemble any furniture they disassembled for the move. If you don’t want to deal with the stress of planning a move or incur any surprise relocation-related expenses, a full-service military move is likely for you.
Personally Procured Move
Also referred to as a PPM or DITY military move, this type of move allows you to move your belongings on your own, work with a moving company of your choice, or do a combination of the two. If you’re looking for maximum timeline flexibility and more control over your move process, a PPM move is probably the best choice for you.
When you choose this option and your PPM request is approved, you’ll be responsible for arranging your entire move. You’ll keep record of all of your move-related expenses, and the military will reimburse you for 95% of your moving costs, up to the amount they would have paid for a complete military move.
While you’ll likely end up paying for some of your moving services out of pocket, you can also request a partial advance to help cover your upfront expenses. Certain moving expenses, such as a rental truck, moving supplies, or a portable storage container, can be paid for with a Government Travel Charge Card to help cut down on upfront, out-of-pocket costs.
Hire a Moving Company
Are you planning to do a PPM move? While you can certainly choose to rent a moving truck and handle your entire relocation by yourself, it’s likely in your best interest to opt for professional help from a local moving company.
Tackling a move alone is a LOT of work, and if you’re busy (who isn’t?), attempting to pack, load, and transport your whole house can be remarkably challenging.
To cut down on the work you’ll have to do, you can hire a moving company for full packing services, which will help ensure your household goods are properly and safely packed. You could also opt for furniture moving services to help prevent move-related injuries and damage to your belongings.
Or, you could choose to hire a moving company to handle your entire relocation — packing, loading, transport, unloading, and unpacking — if that’s a better fit for your needs.
With a PPM move, there’s no rule that says you must do all of the work, or even any of the work, by yourself. At the end of the day, you call the shots when you choose a PPM move, so whether you want a little bit of help or want the whole process taken off your plate, it’s totally up to you.
Check out 9 Things You Should Never Do When Hiring a Moving Company for must-know tips on working with professional movers.
Invest in Moving Insurance
If you're moving items on your own, ensuring your household goods are protected during transport is essential. If you don’t have moving insurance and something breaks, you’ll be liable for the damage, and if that something is priceless or very expensive, the emotional and/or financial toll can be devastating.
When you choose a PPM move and opt to handle the whole relocation yourself, you’ll likely need to purchase moving insurance through a third-party provider. But before you do that, review your renter’s or homeowner’s insurance policy as it may provide some degree of coverage for relocations. You’ll also want to check out our tips for moving your most valuable items for helpful ideas on protecting your belongings.
If you choose to hire a moving company to transport your goods, you’ll automatically get a type of moving coverage called released value protection. You can also choose to upgrade that coverage to full value protection, which provides more reimbursement in the event of item loss or damage.
If you’re opting for a full-service military move rather than a PPM, the military will ensure your household goods at full replacement or repair value. That means that if any of your belongings are lost or damaged in transport, the military will either pay for a replacement or pay to repair the item.
Resources to Help With Your Military Move
The Department of Defense provides several helpful resources that can make your relocation as safe, simple, and stress free as possible.
● Plan My Move, which is an online tool that can help you create a personalized checklist for your move. You can also find transportation, housing, and financial tips here.
● PCS and Military Moves, which is the DOD’s go-to resource for moving services and information.
● HOMES.mil, which lists housing options near military installations.
Hire a Military Moving Company Near Seattle
If you’re looking to make your upcoming military relocation as smooth and stress free as possible, let our team at Ed’s Moving & Storage in Tacoma help you out! We’re a veteran-owned company and have proudly facilitated thousands of moves since 1965.
To learn more about our services or get a preliminary moving estimate, feel free to give us a call today at 253-581-2446 or request a quick quote online, and we’ll be in touch promptly.