Should you do the DITY move?

PCS
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Lauren Matia Deal

Every military family has thought about doing a Personal Procured Move (PPM) or DITY move at some point along the way. Was it the time the screws to the crib were lost, or you had to sleep on the air mattress for the 14th night in a row? For our family, it was when only half of our HHG arrived at the new duty station. We had a dining room table with no chairs, office chair without a desk, box springs sans the mattress. It took another two weeks to get the issue resolved. Two weeks! And after hearing PCS horror stories from other military families, we realized how lucky we were!


We vowed to do a full DITY move, ok fine PPM, the next time. It went so well we have never looked back. Here are our tips to maximize preparation time and minimize move time.

DITY MOVE: COLLECT BOXES FROM FELLOW MILITARY FAMILIES

Summer isn't the only time military families PCS. If you know orders are coming in the next year, it's helpful to start collecting free supplies sooner rather than later. Mattress and wardrobe boxes are the best. If you get "surprise orders" you can still put out a PSA on the local Facebook pages and see if anyone has any boxes left over that they are willing to unload. Liquor stores have lots of boxes they will let you take off their hands, and they frequently come with dividers in the wine boxes. Can we say makeshift dish packs?

GET ORGANIZED

Dedicate a space in your house where you can put all the packed up boxes. A garage is an excellent option if you have one! Pack up one room at a time starting with the least used room and work backward. It's also a good opportunity to donate any items you haven't used for an extended period. Military families don't spring clean; we PCS clean! Label the boxes with the items inside and drop off location at the new house. (i.e. "Christmas Decor- Storage Room" or "Books and Awards-Office") Stack your boxes in your dedicated space as you go.

GETTING TO YOUR NEW DUTY STATION

You have a few options here and can decide what works best for your situation. Some families choose to use a service like U-Pack and have their HHG shipped for them. This is a great option! If you want to haul the load yourself, Penske and U-Haul offer military discounts. We suggest renting a dolly and some moving blankets with your truck. Your larger furniture items are better off covered, and the dolly is a life saver. You can also elect to tow your car behind the truck. The inside of the car being towed doubles as storage and can be packed with last-minute boxes, suitcases or even houseplants.

LOADING DAY FOR YOUR DITY MOVE

Have your boxes neatly organized in the garage so you can back the POD or moving truck right up to it. It won't take much time to load with everything organized and a few feet away. Ask your friends for a solid 3 hours of their time to help lift and load. After the truck is packed, feed them as a thank you like you would the military movers. Also, make sure to put a good lock on the back of the truck to prevent anyone from breaking in. It is sad to say, but a packed truck is sometimes too tempting for some.

TRAVEL SMART

The truck is loaded, the house is cleaned, and all things not in the truck are packed into the car being towed, or a secondary vehicle. If you are as OCD as we are, you have mapped out your route to be a door to door military move!

Things to consider when traveling include: the speed governor on many moving trucks doesn't allow the truck to travel much over 60 mph, so it'll be a nice steady drive. Traveling with kids can be a challenge so make sure to find the local Chick Fil A's with indoor playgrounds. Stop at parks along the way for some much needed time outside of the car. If it's an option along your route, hotels on military bases add extra security which is a consideration since your entire life is in the moving truck. Many hotel chains offer military discounts and pets stay for free at La Quinta. Don't forget that kids eat free at many places. Sure, you get a daily per diem, but free is free!

UNLOAD AND RELAX!

You've traveled smart and have arrived at your new duty station! Since you probably don't know a ton of people yet, you could look into hiring some hourly movers to help unload. Maybe you'll end up with neighbors who come over and offer to help with the heavy furniture like we did! Your boxes are clearly labeled with where to put them, so it'll be easy to offload. Now you can unpack at your speed and not have to worry about what is missing or broken.

FILE AWAY ALL RECEIPTS

All branches, except the Navy, are encouraged to use the Government Travel Card for PCS expenses. We recommend still filing away the receipts for proof of purchase or in case of any discrepancies with finance or transportation. If you have a service member like mine, an After Action Report (AAR) will be in order to see how we can do better and maximize our money next time.

TREAT YO SELF!

Once you get the reimbursement for the move and per diem, do something fun as a family as a reward. Military moving is hard work, and you deserve to celebrate your accomplishment. Put some money in savings or maybe replace the one item that you broke along the way. The sky is the limit with your extra cash!

Moving your entire home by yourself is not easy, but you CAN do it. If you love to control every aspect of everything, like me, you might even enjoy the process!

This post was sponsored by PCSgrades

The Army is working on developing an alternate fitness test for soldiers with permanent injuries that prevent them from completing the new Army Combat Fitness Test.

Read More Show Less

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum only came out on May 17, but the titular hitman is already gearing up to lay siege to theaters in 2021.

On Monday, Lionsgate announced to fans in a cryptic text message that, "You have served. You will be of service. John Wick: Chapter 4 is coming May 21, 2021," according to Polygon.

Read More Show Less

In a scathing letter, a top Navy legal official on Sunday expressed "grave ethical concerns" over revelations that government prosecutors used tracking software in emails to defense lawyers in ongoing cases involving two Navy SEALs in San Diego.

The letter, written by David G. Wilson, Chief of Staff of the Navy's Defense Service Offices, requested a response by Tuesday from the Chief of the Navy's regional law offices detailing exactly what type of software was used and what it could do, who authorized it, and what controls were put in place to limit its spread on government networks.

"As our clients learn about these extraordinary events in the media, we are left unarmed with any facts to answer their understandable concerns about our ability to secure the information they must trust us to maintain. This situation has become untenable," Wilson wrote in the letter, which was obtained by Task & Purpose on Monday.

Read More Show Less
Riley Howell

Riley Howell, the Army ROTC cadet shot and killed while restraining an active shooter at UNC Charlotte on April 30, was posthumously awarded the ROTC Medal of Heroism earlier this month for his heroic sacrifice, the Army announced.

Read More Show Less
(U.S. Air National Guard/Master Sgt. Matt Hecht)

Editor's Note: This article by Hope Hodge Seck originally appeared onMilitary.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

The head of naval aviation has directed the creation of a new process for approving and reviewing pilots' call signs after two African-American aviators at an F/A-18 Hornet training squadron in Virginia filed complaints alleging racial bias in the unit, from which they said they were unfairly dismissed.

In a formal endorsement letter signed May 13, Vice Adm. DeWolfe Miller, commander of Naval Air Forces, said he found the two aviators, a Navy lieutenant and a Marine Corps captain, were correctly removed from Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106 out of Naval Air Station Oceana due to "substandard performance," despite errors and inconsistencies discovered in the grading and ranking process.

However, Miller said he did find inappropriate conduct by instructor pilots who did not treat the pilots-in-training "with appropriate dignity and respect," using discriminatory call signs and having inappropriate and unprofessional discussions about them on social media.

Read More Show Less