Reporting for Duty: 5 Moving Tips for Service Members


Though moving neighborhoods or towns isn’t uncommon to the average person or family, moving as a service member can present a much more daunting task, especially when assigned a cross-country relocation. 

That said, there are some ways to alleviate the pressure and make your move more seamless as military personnel. 

Plan ahead

Once you receive orders to move, you’ll know if you are set to undergo a permanent change of station (PCS) or temporary duty (TDY). A PCS requires a move of more than 20 weeks, whereas a TDY will take less than 20 weeks and often more than 30 days.

Understanding the type of move you’re subject to will help you gauge your packing needs. Your final destination will similarly dictate what personal belongings should be stowed away in storage. 

Remember, planning ahead can grant you ample time for shipping your vehicle to another state or finding a more space-efficient storage facility. Though this task might initially slip off your radar, booking auto shipping services is an essential step in executing a PCS or TDY move. 

Should you fall into the latter category, a temporary duty assignment will require that you take careful inventory of your belongings and prepare to live without your prized possessions for a certain period. Remember, some items might take longer than others to ship to your destination, so understanding these delays advances can save you the headache. 

How else can you ensure a mishap-free move? Check out the tips provided below. 

Prepare your family

If you have a family, you must prepare them for the upcoming move as soon as possible. Especially if you have children, telling them ahead of time will help them adjust quickly. 

One of the more valuable moving tips for service members with families is to schedule counseling services for you and your children. With the help of counseling and reliable support networks, you can ease moving tensions and ensure your children acclimate to their surroundings with ease. 

If you have pets, knowing how and when to transport your canine companions will also prevent disasters from striking.

Utilize your resources

Using your local Transportation Office and your local Personal Property Office will ensure you understand your orders and how you can move more efficiently. These resources can offer military-family-specific moving tips. That way, the process is less intimidating for service members on the move. 

To bridge any remaining informational gaps, take suggestions from moving companies and government websites, such as these expert-sponsored guides will give you an idea of what to expect.

Keep your essentials handy

When the time comes for you to move, remember to keep your most important paperwork and keepsakes with you at all times. Though you will pack most of your life away, keeping your identity cards, orders, and even your children’s school records on your person is vital for making this transition hassle-free. 

Keep calm

No matter what happens, it’s crucial to keep your stress levels to a minimum. As a service member, pre-moving jitters are to be expected. However, remaining flexible will shed new light on your family’s transition and remind your little ones this cross-country relocation is an adventure, even if it feels like it’s a nightmare realized. 

Wrap up

Planning ahead and using all the available resources at your disposal can help you become more comfortable in your move. Preparing your family members, gathering your essential items, and keeping calm through it all will ensure you execute the smoothest relocation possible.

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