For those of you who are facing a move during the holiday season, it can be tough.   Here is an article to ease the stress.


By Lalaine Estella Ricardo, Volunteer, National Capital Region

Relocating with ease

The official orders to move are coming! Do you wait to receive them before planning how you will pack up your household? Most experienced military families will tell you it is worth your while to start the physical and mental process of moving well before you get the official PCS orders.

The Department of Defense’s official portal,, is an excellent place to start. There are videos, checklists and resources to help you better understand an often complicated process of moving. “A successful move is not a matter of chance,” the website says, “It is the result of planning and hard work.” They believe that a good move depends largely on how well prepared you are when the transportation service provider (TSP) arrives.

It’s wise to invest some time up front in researching your responsibilities. What is expected of you during the moving process and what support you can expect from the
Military? Each branch of Service has its own list of helpful hints and tips. Here are tips to help you have a less hectic moving process:

  • Be realistic with your budget. A big move almost always brings out-of-pocket expenses that may or may not be tax-deductible or reimbursable. Start saving as soon as you get wind of a possible move. Create a system for keeping track of expenses and saving receipts.
  • Get rid of unnecessary items to avoid excess weight charges. Doing this sooner than later will allow you to schedule a yard sale or two if needed, or sell your  belongings online.
  • Take inventory of your possessions and valuable items using close-up photos or a video camera. If necessary, have your jewelry, artwork, antiques or special collections professionally appraised and insured. Keep the photos, video, and paperwork safe and separate from your household goods.
  • When you receive your orders, make an appointment with your transportation office to get the latest information and learn about your moving options. While this information is available online, it is helpful to discuss questions you may have in person.
  • Contact your transportation office as early as possible to increase the chances of having your household goods packed and moved on the dates you want. The summer is a busy time for movers, so you may not get the date you want. Choose several alternate dates that will also accommodate your needs and schedule.
  • Ask your TSP for a pre-move survey. This will help packers estimate your shipping weight and alert them to any items that may need special packing equipment. Flat screen TVs, marble tabletops, and oversized artwork, for example, require special boxes or crates for safe transport.
  • Do not pack expensive items or items of great sentimental value with your household goods. Pack valuables with personal belongings in suitcases, hand-carry them, or consider mailing them with a trusted carrier at your own expense.
  • Make necessary medical, dental, and optical appointments so that everyone’s medical needs are up-to-date.
  • Have enough prescription medication for at least a couple months before, during, and after your move. Take any records with you and keep in a safe place while traveling.
  • Veterinary appointments are necessary to “clear” pet(s) to move, a requirement especially if you will be moving overseas. Update your pet’s vaccinations and keep those records with you.
  • Have repairs and maintenance work done on your vehicles well ahead of your move.
  • Military ID card, passports and credit/debit cards should be up-to-date and won’t expire during the move or while traveling.
  • Clean and wash curtains, rugs, trashcans and other items. It is unpleasant to arrive at a new house and have to unpack dusty, moldy or smelly items that may have been sitting in a truck for weeks or crossing the ocean in a hot container.

Preparing to relocate might seem like the ultimate challenge, but using these tips and the numerous resources available to you could make your next relocation experience much more manageable.


This article is courtesy of the National Military Family Association