BrianaHartzellUSAA's avatar User  BrianaHartzellUSAA PCS Blog | ‎06-30-2014 09:20 AM

The Independence of a PPM Move



Personally Procured Move (PPM), formerly known as The Do-It-Yourself (DITY) move, is an optional moving method that allows you to be reimbursed by the government for moving your own belongings. My husband and I did our first DITY move because we were living in two different cities; he was in Corpus Christi, TX and I was in San Antonio, TX. We needed to get all of belongings to Kingsville, TX (all of these cities are within a 4 hour radius). Since the Navy would only pack us up from Corpus where my husband was stationed and we can all guess who had A LOT more stuff (me!), we decided that in order to make the most of our move; we needed to do it ourselves.

The first step is deciding whether a PPM is right for you and your family. Before applying for your move, talk to the Public Transportation Office counselor on your installation. They will be able to educate you on weight limits and travel allowances. Make sure the entire family is willing to put in the work it takes to pack and move all of your belongings. I had to remind myself I agreed to the DITY move when I was helping bring boxes down three flights of stairs from my San Antonio apartment.

The way I see it, if you choose to, there are some MAJOR advantages of doing it yourself:

- You decide when you would like to move. No need to schedule around the busy packers demands. This allows you and your spouse to pack and move things at your own pace. You can use some of your travel time to sight see or visit friends and family.

-You eliminate the worry of another person handling your belongings and decrease the risk of something being lost or broken. I personally did not wrap all of my Tupperware with butcher paper like our last movers! I did however, take extra care of an antique desk we own and carefully packed some of our other sentimental treasures.

At this point, five years, two homes, a dog and a baby after our first PPM…I would not choose a full DITY move. This is a personal decision. I prefer a partial DITY. We have always chosen to pack some of our belongings, like special heirlooms or items that are priceless to us. By maintaining possession of these items, I eliminate the stress and worries about their location, whether they will be damaged and eliminate the possibility of them getting lost. Also, remember there are certain items that the movers will NOT pack (batteries, light bulbs, many liquids). There are also some items I recommend you ALWAYS pack yourself, such as your most valuable personal (non replaceable) items, important documents and items you will need while in transition (air mattresses, clothing, paper plates, etc.).

Whatever you decide, make sure to talk with the Personal Property Transportation office on your installation. They will provide you with the most up-to-date polices and standards for your move.

Please share your PPM or partial DITY stories and tips in the comments! Good luck with your move!

Additional Resources:
Official policy and guidelines for PPMs
You can read about the specific types of DITY moves as well.
Information and resources from Military by Owner about a DITY Move
8 Steps to a Smooth DITY from

Related story:
Pros and Cons of a PPM

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