This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Armed Forces Insurance. All opinions are 100% mine.
There is 1 topic that divides the military community into 2 camps.
It’s not religion, politics or foreign policy.
It’s the decision to opt for a Personally Procured Move (PPM), more commonly known as a DITY (Do-It-Yourself) Move.
Military families, who brave the paperwork of a PPM, are the ones that flatten, store and reuse their moving boxes after each PCS. They are the dedicated ones who pack a few boxes each night in the weeks leading up to their relocation date. They are the calm ones who don’t fret over when the moving truck will arrive at their new home. They aren’t concerned because they are the ones driving it.
DITY moving military couples are the ones who shake their heads and knowingly smile at each other when their neighbors complain about the insane packing decisions of their professional packers.
Want to complain about your trash that was packed and shipped to Kentucky? Look for someone who didn’t DITY.
The advantages of a DITY move are as numerous as the reasons to opt for professional movers.
Seek permission. Are you considering doing a DITY move this PCS season? Here are 6 essential steps to ensure that you keep your sanity during your DITY move.You can’t beg for forgiveness when it comes to a PPM. Once you decide that you want to do a DITY move, your service member needs to complete the proper paperwork at his or her Travel Management Office (TMO).
Your service member will be given a complete list of reimbursement costs along with the list of items that you will not be reimbursed for. For example, the cost of packing materials is included under a PPM. But if you buy a tow dolly, that item is not.
Information is power, so make sure you fully understand the specifics of a DITY move. You also need an accurate weight estimate of your household goods. Your TMO office has information on how to calculate your property weight.
Take your PCS binder to the next level. When you move, you need to have a PCS binder as your safe place for documents, receipts, military orders and forms to carry with you during travel. You don’t want to be hunting for a U-Haul receipt at the bottom of your purse when your service member needs it. Trust me.
Here is a list of necessary documents to keep in your PCS binder:
- DD 1351-2: Travel Voucher
- DD 2278: Application for DITY Move & Counseling Checklist
- Copy of PCS Travel Orders
- Certified Weigh Tickets, one for Gross (full) weight and one for Tare (empty) weight. TMO recommends that you tape each ticket to a piece of paper.
- Copy of Paid Rental Agreement
- Copy of vehicle registration when utilizing POV and/or boat/trailer
- Common Operating Personal Expenses (OPE)
Being organized and detailed are essential skills for successful DITY moving military spouses. By having your documents readily accessible, you won’t feel stressed when it’s time to get reimbursed for your moving expenses.
Reduce your costs as much as possible. With a PPM, the government pays you 95 percent of the total cost it would be for them to hire a moving company to take your household goods from point A to point B.
Smart DITY packers are the ones who post on Facebook in the month before their move “hey anyone have any boxes or packing paper that they don’t need any more?” If you live in a military community, I guarantee that as you are packing up, some other military family is unpacking their household goods. Save yourself a lot of time spent running around looking for free boxes from retail stores, by reusing another military family’s old boxes.
When reserving your moving truck, don’t forget to ask for a military discount. Many national moving companies offer discounts for active duty and National Guard members.
Aim to pack smarter, not harder. Look for anything that is box-like in your house and use it as a moving box.
Food storage containers? Fill them with small and loose items. If you have the original boxes for anything you purchased, put the items back in to those boxes. For example, pack the television in its original box and the computer monitor in its box.
Don’t pack towels and blankets in boxes. Use them to wrap your furniture and breakable items. Again, it goes back to packing smarter, not harder. Think creatively when you pack up your items.
Insure your move. The government is not liable for any loss or damages that occur during a personally procured move. Since you are the one packing your household items, you are the one responsible if your sofa cushion is ripped or the corner of your desk is cracked. Makes sense, right?
Now let’s talk worst-case scenario.
What if there’s a heavy thunderstorm while you are driving to your new duty station and while unpacking you discover that your moving truck roof had a leak and now your dining room table has water damage? Are those damages covered under your renter insurance?
What if you are in a traffic accident while driving your moving truck? Is that covered under your auto insurance?
You don’t want to face these worse-case scenarios without adequate insurance coverage. It is your responsibility to purchase the proper insurance to cover your rental equipment, including the moving truck, and your household goods.
Insurance doesn’t have to be a difficult or costly process either. For less than $15 a month you can protect your property while you are renting and during a PCS move. Renter insurance from Armed Forces Insurance will cover your belongings from theft, fire, vehicle accidents, mysterious disappearances, etc. during a move.
Give yourself peace of mind and sneak a free quote at www.afi.org.
Find friends who are willing to do the heavy lifting. Moving day will go smoother and faster if you can find 4 friends to help you. I recently helped my sister move into her new house and it was amazing how quickly you can load and unload a moving truck when you have 6 people.
While a PPM is technically a Do-It-Yourself move, you don’t want to do it alone. Ask your church group, workout buddies, neighbors and even a few high school football team members to help you with the heavy lifting.
Don’t forget to thank them with pizza and water. Free food is always the best payment when it comes to packing on moving day.
Moving yourself is a great option if you have the time, patience and motivation. As I said in the beginning, military couples who are dedicated to DITY moves often preach about the benefits of this PCS option.
Want more advice on a PPM? Hit up the NextGen MilSpouse Facebook page with your questions and concerns.