It is no secret that moving is a deeply stressful time for military and veteran families. You are usually left somewhere between “What do I do now?” and “There is so much to do!”. Regardless of where you fall in processing it all, here are the top five things you should do during your move.
Active Duty? Set Up Your Move on DPS
The absolute first thing to do is to set up your move on the Defense Personal Property System (DPS) to schedule your move with a transportation company. Even if you plan on moving yourself independently, the military still needs to know how you are moving. During the DPS process, you will be able to see exactly what your PCS entitlements are and what you need for any reimbursements.
Purge and Take a Detailed Inventory
Think of this part as a good spring cleaning. Take time to clean out your home room by room. A good rule of thumb is if you did not use or wear it at your current location and it holds no sentimental value, chances are you won’t use it at your new home. If you are limited on time, focus on clothes, linens, kids’ toys, and kitchen items.
While you are doing the purge, this is also a great time to create or update your detailed inventory. Having your own home inventory is important so that you know what you have but also for use in the event of a claim due to theft or damage. This list is vital for not only any claims you may have to undertake with the moving company but also your private insurance company.
Pre-Pack Your Belongings
You may be wondering why you need to pre-pack when the movers will pack for you. You don’t necessarily need to pre-pack your entire home, but it can be helpful to pre-pack certain things. Think of this as the move pregame - setting you up for all the fun! For instance, you can use scented trash bags on your hanging clothes to keep them fresh, or use Ziploc bags for Legos, small toys, and office supplies. When it comes time to pack, it will be easy to simply put the bags into boxes, and easy to unpack later on too!
Take the time to go through and unpack every single box when it arrives at your new home. Doing so will allow you to identify anything that might be broken so you can file a claim for it, and also ensure that everything did arrive. A bonus is that while unpacking/opening boxes you may realize there are things that you do not need and can get rid of to create more space.
Active Duty PCS Moves: Fill Out the Customer Service Satisfaction Survey
When all the steps to your PCS are complete, the last thing you should do is log into DPS and complete your customer satisfaction survey. This is vital information for the Department of Defense as it gives them a look into the true experience of your PCS. The results of the survey are read and evaluated by TRANSCOM members who then use that feedback to shape any business rule changes that need to be made. The method of how shipments are awarded to moving companies is also impacted by the results of the survey, as it accounts for part of their best value score. When you take a survey, it is important to be honest about your experience as it will impact many other military families.