Relocation Special Edition – Tips to make the move

***image1***Moving to another military installation doesn’t have to be difficult. People can follow the tips below to make their move.

Eight weeks or more before a move
– Visit the family support center to obtain information about your next duty station.
– Schedule a meeting with a relocation specialist to plan for the move. Ask them what benefits you are entitled to (this differs depending on marital status).
– Make lodging arrangements at your current duty station. Call your unit Finance Office for details on temporary lodging expense entitlements.
– Call lodging at your next duty station to reserve up to 30 days “arriving PCS.” Check whether pets are allowed.
– If you are planning to live on base at the new location, contact the base housing office for an advance application.
– Notify the KMC Housing Office, rental agent or landlord of your PCS orders and when you plan to vacate. If the lease contains a military clause, this notification must be made in writing.
– Research your new area. Obtain information on religious institutions, driver’s licenses and car registration, local utilities and schools and enrollment. Visit the SITES Web site at, for additional information on your new duty station.
– If a dependent has special education or medical needs, they must to be enrolled in the Exceptional Family Member Program.
– Examine your homeowner’s insurance policy to see if your household items are insured during the move. Consider supplemental insurance to cover the move.
– Create a “relocation budget.” A relocation budget sheet can be found at Military Assistance Program’s Web site at Consider utility deposits, home closing costs, travel expenditures and vehicle servicing. Consult your finance office for more information.
– If you plan to purchase another home at your next duty station, ask your agent for referrals or find more information on renting, buying or applying for a mortgage on the Internet. Budget and arrange financing for the new home.
– Call your sponsor at your new duty station when one is assigned to you.
– Schedule a house hunting trip. Permissive temporary duty may be granted for up to 10 days. It must be signed by your unit commander. If you go house shopping without the children, bring back pictures and mementos of the new location and discuss it with them.

Five weeks before the move
– Inventory all your household items by room, garage, closet, etc. – Estimate the value of your household items for insurance purposes. A videotape of the contents of each room can be particularly useful in creating an indisputable visual record. Record all serial numbers.
– Decide what will be moved and what should be sold at a garage or yard sale. All unsold items can be donated to charity.
– If you have a new mailing address, complete a change of address form at the post office and send them to friends, family and anyone else who sends you mail regularly. If you don’t, acquire a post office box at the new duty station and use that as your new mailing address.
– Begin notifying people and companies about your move, including friends, relatives, banks, lawyers, accountants, religious organizations, insurance companies, subscriptions and creditors.
– Complete the necessary driver’s license and registration change forms and mail them. Change voter registration to reflect your new mailing address.
– Organize your family records in a travel records kit (a sample of a kit can be found on the Mapsite Web site at http://dticaw.dtic.
mil/mapsite. Your kit should contain: birth certificates, social security numbers, military and insurance ID cards, a copy of your children’s medical, dental and optical records, school transcripts and referral letters, marriage and divorce papers, pet immunization records, expense log book, PCS orders (30 copies), copy of wills, serial numbers, financial records, including a list of stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other financial investments, bank account and credit card information, car registration and title, adoption papers, letters of credit from previous utility companies to waive utility deposits, passports (if applicable), servicemember’s last Leave and Earnings Statement, and spouses résumés, certificates, professional licenses and transcripts.
– Complete all scheduled dental and optical work and exams. Arrange to get any necessary immunizations and obtain a copy of your medical, dental and optical records and put them in your travel records kit or have them forwarded.
– Establish new bank accounts and safe deposit boxes at the next duty station.
– Arrange for homeowner’s, auto or renter’s insurance coverage for the new duty station.
– Schedule to have your current utilities canceled the day after you move. Forward the final bills to your new address. Arrange for the utilities to be turned on the day before you arrive.
– Begin packing household goods. Label the boxes according to each room of the house with different colored pens. Mark each box with a different number. Consider taking very fragile or irreplaceable items with you in your personal vehicle for safekeeping. After each box has been packed and marked, leave it open so the moving company can repack the contents if necessary and assume responsibility for the safety of the items.
– Create a written record of every box and the contents of each. On your record highlight the numbers of the boxes you want to come off the truck first so you can have the movers place these in an accessible place in the moving van. These boxes should contain items necessary for immediate housekeeping, such as tableware, bedding and dishes. Also, mark “storable” boxes for infrequently used items.
– Contact your finance office to verify your Basic Allowance for Quarters will be continued at the next duty station. Check with travel pay for benefits or entitlements. Consider your mode of travel when discussing Advance Travel pay.

Two weeks before the move
– Confirm all moving arrangements. If necessary, arrange for someone to care for your pets or children on moving day.
– Pack suitcases and other necessary items for the trip. Set out any toys for the trip and prepare a first aid kit for the road.
– Set aside items that will be necessary once you get there (just in case you arrive before the movers do), such as essential dishes, pots and pans, toiletries, light bulbs, cleaning supplies and toilet paper.
– Finalize the moving schedule with the Traffic Management Office at your current and future base.
– Settle any outstanding bills. Cancel newspapers. Return any outstanding library books or borrowed goods.
– Pack final boxes and thoroughly clean the house for final inspection by landlord or the KMC Housing Office.
– Empty safe deposit boxes of valuables.
– Obtain cash and travelers checks for the trip.

Moving day
– Place travel records kit and valuables in your car.
– Take the children to childcare and take the pets to a safe location.
– Plan to be present when the movers arrive.
– Supervise their work carefully as they inventory and tag your furniture and record its condition. Review paperwork with moving company employees before signing. Obtain a legible copy of the inventory list.
(Courtesy of