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Limitless Contributor

At Army Wife Network we get all sorts of moving questions. It inspires us to create pages of resources & even columns written on the topic. This is an excerpt from a recent Field Problem(tm) that I thought would not only help you but inspire you to add your own MOVING TIPS to share. Enjoy! I'd like to get advice or tips on moving (especially your first move) in the Army. Can you help? First things first, your husband should get his orders for PCS (Permanent Change of Station) and then set up an appointment with Transportation. Typically, you have three options: (1) Let the military hire a civilian moving company to pack and move you all at the military's expense; (2) DITY move; (3) partial DITY move which is a combination of (1) and (2). From this appointment, he will learn the regulations for moving, entitlements, allotments, pet and vehicle shipment, unaccompanied baggage policies, etc. Basically he will learn what is covered, to whom, and to where. He will give Transportation a date to have the movers come pick up your household goods. Then, he will give them a date to deliver the goods. They can hold them in storage until you confirm the housing arrangements if you do not have them in advance. You can also attend this appointment. In fact, we encourage you to. Statistically, men are “big picture”; women “sweat the small stuff.” You can be sure that the success of your move is in the details, and at that meeting is where you will get the specifics detailing your particular move. It is well worth your time to attend. In the meantime here is some good advice we have gathered from other spouses as well as from our own experiences: • Notify your children’s school of the upcoming PCS about 3 months out or as soon as possible. • Call the veterinary clinic and find out requirements for moving your pet. • Update your military ID card, driver’s license, and Power of Attorney before you leave. • Plan your route to the new location and book temporary accommodations for your travel and arrival at the new location. • Start and keep a household inventory including serial numbers of all electronics and appliances. And, take pictures. • Have your post office hold your mail until you know your new location. • Separate “do not pack” items (like valuables) from the items the movers are going to pack. • Gather your important documents (medical records, marriage license, military ID, children’s school records, vet records, several copies of orders, etc.) and hand-carry them to your next station. • Show the movers where the bathroom is and where to find snacks and drinks. (They pack nicer for you). • Carefully review your household inventory BEFORE signing it. • Don’t confuse assertiveness with rudeness — that will get you nowhere but with a bunch of broken items. Our first times, we did not realize that it would be so hard to leave one “home” to go someplace we were so excited to get to. Unfortunately, it does not ever seem to get easier. Hopefully, you will find something you love at each station that is just hard to let go. As you go on through your husband’s career with the military, your moves might flow better in terms of knowing what is going to happen next, but it is never easy to leave. Going new places and seeing and doing new things is exciting. Not knowing what is around the bend is stressful. So take your time, do your research, and do not be afraid to ask for help NOTE: This question came in from Amanda a military spouse who's husband is a SPC in the US ARMY stationed at Fort Stewart, GA so it is written as a response to her. There is still a lot to learn from this even if you are a male military spouse or a spouse from a different service.

4 REPLIES

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I've found that some pre-packing on my end has been helpful. I bag all of our clothing & linens in plastic bags & seal them....incase the boxes get wet in transit your clothing doesn't. This is good for stuffed toys too. I also put all of my silverware & any kitchen utensils in plastic boxed...saves having them wrapped in paper & then needing washed.
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Ive moved 3 times in the last year, and I have found it easier to keep the stuff you dont use on a regular basis or often but still need, in bins labeled. That way its already packed and you dont need to go through it again. I have all my bins labeled and ready to go. Kitchen stuff, bathroom stuff. This helps I found out this last time of moving, because you just take the bin to the kitchen and put everything in it. Same as the bathroom. Recycle is key, saves you money! Keeping all necessary paperwork is an awesome idea I have all our important docs in two different binders in plastic sheets.
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I have moved over 15 times in our 18 years in the military. Being prior service myself I have really learned to be organized.. Having everything pre-sorted before your packers come in is key and makes packing easier and items less likely to be damaged.. I also used the vacu seal bags in the canvas totes to hold all linens, winter coats, throw blankets, pillows. They are easy to lable and great to store items in when not is use. I also place scented sachets in each one (they sell them at Cracker Barrel and Kirklands and Bed Bath and Beyond) Makes everything smell fresh and clean.. That is a great idea about the utensils. You can do the same thing with your spices. Just find a plasitc container that is tall enough for your tallest spice. I use two, one for baking spices and one for regualar cooking spices. Other wise you are stuck unrolling each and everyone and who has time for that. Also, offering snacks, lunch and drinks makes your movers and packers feel appreciated and work more efficiently. One more thing.... I also use a letter size accordian file folder to hold all important documents (DD93,SGLI,Will) and have them seperated and labeled for each family member.. Example, shot records, birth certificate, latest school physical, all under one person.Makes it so much easier no matter what dr's appts, school registration everything is right there in your accordian binder. Plus, in case of an emergency you know where everything is. I use one in my vehicle too. Helps keep track of maintenance.. Okay enough rambling from me... Happy Moving !!!
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My fiance and I are hard pressed with what we need to do before we move... He's still in AIT so TRADOC is shuffling their feet with assigning orders. We have two weeks from when he graduates to get everything organized... including our wedding! Are there any tips for this? I know the Army won't honor an engagement but two weeks is NEVER enough time for paperwork to go through and I'm worried about the entire situation.