11 Tips for a Smooth Move While in the Military

11 Tips for a Smooth Military Move | The Enterprise World

Moving is a challenging experience for most people, but it can be even more demanding for military families due to their unique circumstances. Regular relocations, known as Permanent Change of Station (PCS) moves, are an integral part of a military career. To help ease the process and ensure a smooth transition, we’ve compiled an extensive list of tips for military families preparing for a move.

Here are 11 tips for a smooth military move:

1. Stay Informed and Organized

One of the key aspects of a smooth military move is staying informed and organized. Keep track of important dates, paperwork, and other essential information. Utilize checklists, calendars, and apps designed for military moves to help you stay on top of everything. Create a dedicated folder or binder for all your moving documents, including PCS orders, housing information, and financial records.

2. Start Planning Early

As soon as you receive your PCS orders, start planning your move. The earlier you begin, the more time you’ll have to research and gather important details about your new location, such as housing options, schools, and local resources. This will also give you ample time to declutter, pack, and coordinate with your new installation.

3. Explore Housing Options

11 Tips for a Smooth Military Move | The Enterprise World

Depending on your preferences and budget, you may choose to live on or off the base. Research housing options in advance and contact the housing office at your new installation for assistance. If you decide to live off-base, consider applying for a VA loan and working with a real estate agent familiar with smooth military moves. Make a list of your housing priorities, such as proximity to schools, work, or amenities, and share this information with your agent or housing office.

4. Familiarize Yourself With Smooth Military Move Resources

Take advantage of resources provided by the military to help with your move. The Defense Personal Property System (DPS) is an online platform where you can schedule and manage your household goods shipment. You can also access the Military Installations Directory to find information about your new location, such as base amenities, services, and contact information.

5. Understand Your Moving Entitlements

Military families are entitled to various benefits during a PCS move. Review your entitlements, which may include temporary lodging expenses, dislocation allowance, or monetary allowance for transportation. Familiarize yourself with the different types of moves, such as Personally Procured Moves (PPM), where you can move your belongings yourself and receive reimbursement, or Government-Managed Moves, where the military handles the entire moving process.

6. Communicate With Your Family

11 Tips for a Smooth Military Move | The Enterprise World

A smooth military move can be stressful for the entire family. Hold regular family meetings to discuss the moving process and address any concerns. Keep everyone informed about the upcoming changes and encourage open communication. Share your feelings and thoughts, and listen to your family members’ perspectives to help foster understanding and support.

7. Connect With Others

Join online forums, social media groups, or local clubs dedicated to military families. Connecting with others who are going through similar experiences can provide valuable advice, support, and friendship during the moving process. Reach out to your new unit or installation’s Family Readiness Group (FRG) to help establish a support network before you arrive.

8. Prepare for School Transitions

If you have children, research schools and educational resources in your new area. Contact the School Liaison Officer (SLO) at your new installation for assistance in finding appropriate schools and navigating the enrollment process. Obtain copies of your children’s school records and any necessary paperwork to ensure a smooth transition.

9. Be Mindful of Finances

11 Tips for a Smooth Military Move | The Enterprise World

Budgeting for a smooth military move is crucial. Ensure that you have enough savings to cover any unexpected expenses and track your spending. Take advantage of financial planning resources provided by the military, such as workshops and counselors, to help you stay on top of your finances. Create a moving budget that includes expenses like temporary lodging, food, and transportation.

10. Consider Your Pets

If you have pets, make arrangements for their relocation well in advance. Research any quarantine requirements, vaccinations, or documentation needed for your destination. Arrange for pet-friendly accommodations during your move and update your pet’s identification tags and microchip information with your new address.

11. Stay Positive and Flexible

Despite careful planning, unforeseen challenges may arise during a smooth military move. Maintain a positive attitude and be flexible, adapting to changes as they occur. Remember that a successful move is a team effort, and keeping your family engaged and informed will help make the transition as smooth as possible.

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