Every military family will often be required to relocate as a result of personal change of station (PCS). The following are things the service members and their families can do to make the moving experience better.

1. Visit the personal property office

Book an appointment with your personal property office. Before the appointment date, conduct some research to take the most of your session. Factors such as military regulations, personal situations, new duty stations among others may greatly affect your move, regardless of whether you have changed stations several times.

PPOs have numerous materials to help you in your research. The perfect source for explaining your responsibilities and basic entitlements is the “Its Your Move” Bulletin which is available online on many websites. One such website is the Australian Defense site which is full of useful links, helpful hints, guidance and news.

2. Contact Your Sponsor and New Command

With PCS orders in hand, your new command should assign a sponsor to help in your transition to the new duty station and command. A sponsor is very crucial, especially when you are planning to move to a remote location or overseas. A sponsor will orient you in some of the less obvious nuances of your new home. You should contact your new Command if in case you have not heard from your sponsor for a reasonable period of time.

3. Consider The Personally Procures Move(PPM)

PPM is an option to consider before finalizing on contractors. The government gets to pay you the amount of money that would otherwise pay a contractor to move you. A well planned and executed PPM can be very beneficial; you get to know where your valuables are packed an in the manner you wanted them. You also get some extra cash in return for your extra hard work. If you however fail to adequately plan your PPM, you will cater for the additional moving costs and any damages incurred.

4. Take Responsibility

You remain responsible for your move from start to finish. You should therefore be actively involved in the entire moving process. Make sure you know the regulations and make the necessary moving arrangements before the moving day so that you get the time to concentrate on the task at hand.

5. Figure Your Entitlement

The government has specified a maximum weight to cover and it depends on rank and personal situation. Exceeding the prescribed weight means that you will be responsible for paying the extra charges. Get a method of determining of your goods fall within your entitlement.

6. Find Out if you can Move That

Household Goods (HHG) are all your personal effects and home property. If the HHGs are within the weight entitlement, they should be moved at no additional cost. Some items, fro instance boats, are not classified as HHGs and may require you to share the moving expense. Some HHGs may also not be moved as part of PCS move due to local ordinances and carrier restrictions. Visit the Defense Transportation Regulations website for a complete guidance of determining what you can shift as part of your PCS move.

7. Decide What to do About your Pets

Moving pets is not considered as entitlement but rather a privilege and you may be required to share the moving cost. The Government allows you to move only two cats or dogs in travel cases. These should weigh not more than 100 pounds. Exceeding this requirements will require you to make alternative arrangements.

8. Get Prepared for a Clean Up after the Move Date

There are some obligations that will be required of you after the moving truck departs. One such obligation is restoring the vacated property back to its original condition. Make an estimate on the number of days you will require to to prepare the property.

9. Take Good Care of Important Papers

Moving paperwork are as important as physically moving your property. Ensure you have enough copies of PCS orders placed in a safe location. You should also consider the following:
– Insurance policies
– Inventory with photo or video documentation
– Letters of authorization
– Appraisals of expensive items

10. Lighten The Load

Ensure you sort all your belongings and get rid of the items you no longer need. You can sell, recycle, donate or throw them away. Such items add up to the overall weight of your goods and may require you to cater for additional costs, especially if you are concerned about your weight entitlement.

The most important things to consider prior to executing your PCS move are being conversant with the regulations and making forefront plans. The above tips will give you a piece of mind in making your move as smooth as possible.