Home isn’t a place, but the people around you. Few people understand this saying as much as military families. However, when you or your spouse receives new orders for a PCS, the idea of having to pack up and move all of your possessions across the country (or sometimes world) can seem daunting. While some military members choose to let the military handle their move, others prefer to take the PPM/DITY route. Here are seven tips for a smooth and successful PPM:

Visit the moving office

The military is big on acronyms and procedures, and these can make your move more confusing if you aren’t aware of their meaning. As soon as possible, schedule an appointment with your nearest Personal Property Transportation Office (PTO). Here you can fill out necessary forms, get approval for your PPM move and ask any questions you have.

Get in touch with someone already stationed in the new location

It’s tough to find the perfect new neighborhood in a city you’ve never visited. Don’t pick a house simply because of it’s location to the base or because rent is cheap. Use personal and professional connections to get in touch with another military member stationed in the new city. They’ll likely know where the popular places are for military families to live, which school districts are the best and more.

Keep a binder specifically for PCS paperwork

The key to a successful PPM move is keeping track of all your paperwork. Don’t wind up having to pay for parts of your move yourself because you didn’t have the correct documentation for reimbursement. Make it a habit throughout the entire moving process to keep every receipt and document in a binder. This includes payment receipts for rental vehicles, packing materials, gasoline and highway tolls. It’s also a good idea to have some extra copies of you or your spouse’s orders on hand.

Take pictures of everything

This tip is a safety net for your possessions during your move. Take pictures of all of your belongings before you pack them up as proof of their pre-move condition. Now, if anything happens to an item, you can get reimbursement from the military to buy a replacement. While you’ve got your camera out, also take pictures of your old housing before moving out. If your landlord tries to saddle you with unjust damages or fees, you now have documentation to help your case.

Store stuff away for overseas deployments

If your new station is overseas, you may find it’s easier to store your furniture and other household items away while you’re out of the country. While this means you’ll need to purchase some duplicates in the new location, you won’t have to deal with the stress of getting your possessions shipped to a foreign country. UNITS will deliver a storage container to your home so you can easily load it up on your own schedule. We’ll store it safely away until your next PCS.

Ask neighbors to watch kids and pets

On the day of your move, your house will likely be a chaos zone. Doors will be left open, boxes will be all over the place and your attention will be divided. Keep your kids safe and entertained by scheduling a play date with neighbors while you’re loading up your UNITS container. Don’t forget about your pets either. Ask a friend to watch your cat or dog at their house for the day.

Call your previous utility companies a month later

Any time you move from one home to another, make it a habit to double check with your old utility companies. Surprise bills may have been mailed to your old address, and you’ll have no way of knowing you owe money. One past due electric bill can wreak havoc on your credit score. About one month after your move, call up old utility companies and ensure all payments have been made.

While moving may be par for course for most military families, we strive to make the process as easy and stress-free as possible for those who serve. Call us today to learn about the UNITS military discounts and locations.

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