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Military Moves - What You Need to Know

Monday, March 27, 2023
A military family enjoying their time together in their new home after PCS move

Military moves occur around every three years with the goal of moving military families closer to service members' new stations. Also known as a PCS (permanent change of station) moves. The move can be from state to state or even to a brand-new country. But, if it is your first move you may find it a touch daunting. Even if you have experience, it is still daunting. However, we have compressed what you need to know about military moves in this article to give you either a helping hand or a friendly reminder.

What Military Move Type is Best for You?

A father in a military uniform hugging his two kids as they put a cap on him excited to see their dad

When it comes to PCS moves there are different types of moves that suit different types of families, and even situations. There is the Traditional military move, where the moving company is approved by the military. Furthermore, this moving company is responsible for getting to your current home, packing up all the items you wish to move with, and moving your items, as well as your family to your new PCS home.  

The military covers the costs of this. However, there can be additional fees (hidden costs) that you would have to cover out of your own pocket. But, these are quite rare to come across. 

An unfortunate downside of this, outside of the potential hidden costs, is that items can become damaged, stolen, or even lost due to some moving companies' negligence. While they are approved by the military there is still a possibility that things can go wrong.

A military family enjoying their time together in their new home after PCS move

The other options when it comes to military moves are PPM (personally procured move). This was also referred to as a DITY (do it yourself) move. As the latter suggests this type of military move will require you to not use the military-approved moving company but instead do it yourself. This means planning, researching, packing and even hiring a moving truck, etc.  

Or you can hire a moving company to do it all for you. This is referred to as a Partial PPM/ DITY. However, you would have to pay for it out of your own pocket, obviously. On the plus side, the military will dish out to cover the cost of the moving company. Furthermore, you can pack and move your more important items in your own vehicle.

And, the military can pay a small fee for this depending on the weight of what will go inside your vehicle. Therefore, you can hire a moving company that you trust to take care of everything. But, if something goes wrong, it comes out of your budget.

Starting the Moving Process

A military women looking for military relocation options online to smoothly change her station

Military moving is nothing without planning. And, once you decide what type of military move you would want to use, and if you are going for the latter options, which moving company you work with. After these decisions, as you figured, it is time to get the moving process started.  

The first step of any moving process is to get all your paperwork done, and sorted out. The most important, and useful one when it comes to planning out your moving process, is the service member’s report date. This will tell you when you have to be at your new station. And, from there you can work backwards to figuring out your moving-in date, your travel time, your move-out date, and packing etc.  

You can pay a visit to your local TMO (transportation office) to file a move request. It is also here that they will look over your date, and the moving company you want to work with. They can even talk to you about which of the expenses can/ will be reimbursed.

Prep for the Moving Day

A low angle shot of a statue in front of the American Flag

The idea of using the traditional military move option is that the moving company comes in and packs up and moves all your items. However, you can lend them a helping hand by doing the packing yourself. Or at least to pack up the important or delicate items before they arrive. Furthermore, arranging your current home in a way that can make the moving day process go a lot smoother and faster can also be a huge help. Not only to the movers but also to your family.  

If you decide to pack your items, then you would have to leave the boxes unsealed and open. This is so the movers can check, without unpacking, what is in what box. This is part of their job, and they also do it because of their insurance inventory. They will tape up the boxes and load them on the truck when all the checks have been done.  

Another way to prep for the moving day is by labeling all your boxes so that you know what goes where. This will make unpacking a lot easier in your new home. Saving you a lot of time. Remember to pack your children's or pets’ areas last. Furthermore, you would also want to make a travel bag for each family member. This is what will go in the vehicle with you.

Military Moves with Shyft

 A man and a woman traveling in a car together while both are smiling excited about their move

It can include a toothbrush, change of clothes, PJs, towels, laptop, cleaning supplies, blankets, bed sheets, mobile, charger, etc. Anything that you will need for your first-night stay in your new home if you arrive late in the evening and will not have the energy to unpack straight away. Also, put these items in an area that says do not pack. If not, the movers will pack everything including your travel bag. Other things you can do before the moving day even arrives are to:

  • Host a yard sale. This will help you get rid of the items you do not wish to travel with while putting some money in your pocket. Likewise, you can donate or gift items, to make your packing easier, as well as decrease the weight of your items. This can also save you money on the move. 
  • Correctly dispose of chemicals and liquids before the moving day arrives.
  • Put aside and clearly label the military professional gear such as uniforms, books, awards, etc. This gear does not count toward the overall weight of the move, but it can be subtracted from the total certainly if it is labeled on the moving company’s inventory. 
  • Take photos of your items before you pack them. This is so you have a record of what they looked like before the move. It is a precaution in case something was to happen during transit. Certainly for your valuable items as well as your electronics. Also, make a note of the product’s ID so that if they get lost or broken you can file a claim if need be. 
  • Create a PCS binder which contains all your paperwork, and research the new station you will be living in. This includes your IDs, information about the new home, schools, etc. Keep this on your person at all times. 
A happy couple taking their dog for a walk in the snow
  • Keep your cords and the devices they go with together by packing them together or labeling them so. 
  • Also, take items off the walls, such as curtains, pictures, etc. The movers will not take items off the walls for you. Plus, throw out your trash before the moving day. This is so that you leave your current home clean, and that the movers will not transport your rubbish from one place to another. This has happened in the past. 
  • Furthermore, make sure that all similar items are in the same place such as kid’s toys, books, craft items, etc. This is so you know where everything is, and that the packing/ moving situation is organized.

Shyft Can Help with Your Next (or First) Military Move

 A military move getting done quickly as movers get the moving boxes out of the truck to unpack them in the new place

The best option for a military move would be the Partial PPM/ DITY one. This is because you choose which moving company to work with, and they will make sure the process runs as smoothly as it can. It may take you some time, and research, to find the best moving company for you. But, you do not have to do it alone. You can use Shyft to help you find the best moving company for your military move. Plus, Shyft will also organize your entire military moving process for you.   

Shyft is the world’s first tech-driven moving platform and to find out a lot more, you can visit the Shyft Moving website. It is also here that you can get in touch with us to learn more, as well as to start Shyft’s military moving process. Just fill out the short form and your new Move Coach will give you a video call at the time you say. Not before and not after. 

This initial call is done through the easy-to-use, and free-to-download mobile app known as 

Shyft Next. It is free. Plus, this initial video call does two things. The first is that you get to virtually meet your Move Coach and see them. The second and most important, is that your Move Coach will be able to create your inventory list through the app during this first meeting. All you have to do is to give your Move Coach a virtual tour of your current home, and they will create the inventory list while all this is happening.  

Furthermore, this list is 95% accurate and it will be sent to you within half an hour from the end of the video call. You can change the list to better reflect what you want to move with. Thereby, making it 100% accurate for your moving needs. You then send this 100% accurate list to your Move Coach.  

Two smiling women posing for a picture in front of a beach with a dog between them

It is with this list, as well as your moving information (no personal one) that will be presented to Shyft’s safe and secure move board. Here is where experienced moving companies that have been vetted by Shyft, come to bid on moving projects which can include yours. There are moving companies that work with military moves specifically.  

It is through this process that Shyft will collect three or more individual moving quotes and information. Which quotes are from different moving companies giving you a variety to choose from. You get to decide which moving company better fits your needs and get to know all there is to know about them. What is more, is that every moving quote is guaranteed and fixed. This means that if your inventory list changes, it will not affect your moving price. And, there are no hidden fees. What you see is what you will pay.  

Shyft is available to talk to you seven days a week. This is for answering your questions, putting your mind at ease, and for checking in on the moving process. 

And, we have one more convenient card up our sleeve: Home & Lifestyle. This is our secure marketplace where you can buy a bunch of items and services. All that is on our marketplace comes with a discount. Furthermore, all physical items that you order will be delivered to your new home instead of the current one. As you can guess, this will save you money. 

So get in touch with Shyft today and begin the process of your next, or first, military moving experience.

A man in military wear giving a toy to two little kids