I particularly like Labor day because it creates an extended weekend. I prefer to use this time to hang out with family and friends, but it would also be a great time to get a start on your next DITY move. To me, the military version of a move that you complete yourself will always be called a DITY (do it yourself). Officially, these moves are now referred to as Personally Procured Moves (not as catchy or easy to remember as DITY).
There are two types of DITY moves. First, there is a full DITY (also known as Personally Procured Move (PPM)) where you move ALL of your belongings. The other options is a partial DITY, where you move only SOME of your belongings. There are advantages to both, below is my breakdown of pros and cons of a full DITY.
Pros: You wrap and box all of your belongings. This gives you a chance to get rid of things you don’t need, have perfectly organized boxes and the ability to pack valuables very carefully.
Cons: You purchase the boxes and packing paper. You are doing all the labor, so if you break something there is no chance for reimbursement or compensation.
Pros: You do not have to wait for the government procured movers and packers; you receive more time to move your belongings when you move it yourself.
Cons: It takes A LOT more time for you to pack your belongings and furniture than the professional movers. If you do not have housing secured at your new post, you are not going to have the storage options you would if the military procured movers were in possession of your belongings.
Pros: You have the opportunity to make 95% of what it would cost the government to move you, plus some travel expenses.
Cons: If you are not careful or do not plan accordingly, you could spend more effort and money than the government has allotted.
When you apply for your move, talk to the Public Transportation Office counselor on your installation and they will be able to educate you on weight limits and travel allowances, to make sure your plan is eligible for reimbursement. Upon arrival at your new duty station, you must submit a claim to the transportation office within 45 days of completing your move. Your claim should include DD Form 2278, DD Form 1351-2, certified weight tickets (empty and full), PCS orders, and receipts for rental equipment, fuel, tolls and fees for weight tickets.
I personally 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). And 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 full or partial DITY stories and tips in the comments! Good luck with your move!