For those in the military, moving is just another part of the job. As a military spouse, I’ve had this experience more than once, and it’s always stressful. But, it is possible to make moving easier. Just keeping in mind that you chose your significant other and the military lifestyle with full knowledge of its ups and downs, is a great way to keep things in perspective. Simply put, you really do love that military guy or gal! And, wherever he or she is going, you’re going, too. So let’s get going.
To begin with, the military recommends starting the moving process as soon as you or your family member receives a permanent relocation order. The earlier you request a date to move from your present home to your new one, the better your chances are of getting the date you want and the smoother things will go.
Relocation Benefits Available to Military Personnel
Meet with the transportation office on your military base right away. Make sure you get the information you need and forms the military requires to process your move. Inquire about benefits that may be available and your family, including Dislocation Allowance pay for miscellaneous expenses, and temporary housing allowances.
For example, if you can be reimbursed for motel stays and meals during travel. Motel allowances are for reasonable accommodations and meal allowances are based on three squares a day, at reasonable diners, for every family member. You may also be eligible for vehicle rental expenses.
If you’re moving across the ocean, a flight on a military “jumper” (pre-scheduled flights for military supplies that have room enough for your belongings) may be available to carry your furnishings to your new residence. If a jumper is not available – it may not be during times of war – the military will reimburse you for the cost of the move. Your mover, however, must be “approved” and the move must be supervised by a military inspector.
If you are moving out of military accommodations and into civilian residence, a different set of rules applies. Nevertheless, the military will reimburse you for moving expenses.
Moving is stressful, but obtaining the financial benefits you’re entitled to as a member of the military can make things a lot easier.
Military members can choose whether they want the government to move their belongings for them, or to do it themselves. The Do It Yourself (DITY) program lets service members move their possessions and pays 95 % of whatever it would have cost the state to ship everything.
Before packing, consider discarding items you no longer use by having a yard sale or making donations to Goodwill or another charity. You can even consider selling some of your possessions on eBay if you feel comfortable with online selling.
I recommend that you create a photo album of all your valuable items. This will come in handy if you have to document the condition of your property prior to your move and prove that damage occurred to your property in transit. Additionally, separately bag enough clothing, toiletries and other personal items, including your children’s pillows or favorite stuffed animals, to meet your needs in the event that your property arrives late to your destination.
Finally, gather your important documents such as birth certificates and social security cards and pack them separately in an easily accessible carrying case, so you’ll have them available in case you need them.
Your New Home
Find out all you can about your new community prior to moving. You’ll want to know everything from the weather to the local attractions. If you have children, find out about the school system and identify local activities that you and your family might get involved in once you’re situated. Share exciting facts you discover with your spouse and children. Build the anticipation. The more your children look forward to living in your new home, the easier moving will be for them.
The military website emilitary.org suggests you start building a support network immediately after moving to a new town. Meet new people by volunteering, visiting your neighbors and joining local organizations and clubs.
In the event that you have problems or need answers about your new home or the moving process, speak to your installation transportation office or personal property shipping office. They should be, your number one support resource.
Military life and military relationships can be incredibly rewarding. But, they require commitment and a willingness to work together as a family to make life great. Follow these suggestions to help make your move run smoothly.