Military spouses endure a lot. Moving every 2.5 years is one of many sacrifices they make along with new jobs, new schools and new neighbors. If you’re facing a permanent change of station (PCS), planning your inevitable move can raise many questions along with your anxiety.
The good news is that the military will pay for your spouse to move as long as you live in the same home together. Depending on the amount of leave you have, your spouse may be the one making most of the moving arrangements. Preparing smartly, asking the right questions and hiring the right moving company can make your military move “mission accomplished.”
Two Types of Military Moves
There are two types of moves you can make in the military:
- Standard move. This is where the military makes all the necessary arrangements and moves your belongings for you. There are no costs or logistics.
- Personally procured move (PPM). You make your own arrangements and either hire movers or move your belongings yourself. The military allots you a budget based on the weight of your belongings and the distance you travel. This allotment covers your gas, food and lodging along the way. Payment usually comes in the form of reimbursement which may not be immediate.
Each type of move has its advantages. Standard moves are less stress, less physical work and less guesswork. PPMs allow you more flexibility. You may be able to pocket some of the costs by doing it yourselves or hiring professional movers to handle your move.
How to Plan for Your Military PCS Move
One of the many inherited military spouse jobs is organizing your move. Hopefully before you tied the knot, you learned what a PCS move in the military is. Now you have to learn how it works. Regardless of which type of military move you are making, here are a few tips:
- Plan early. This includes everything from hosting a yard sale to packing to researching schools and jobs in your new home.
- Save money. If you are planning a PPM, you may have to front many of the costs yourself and get reimbursed later. Cars break down, things get lost or broken and there are many unforeseen expenses when setting up your new home.
- Save receipts. Save records of every expense from your move. The military often requires exact proof. The more thorough you can be, the better you’re covered.
- Stay flexible. There are many benefits to being a military spouse, but the many surprises might not count in that category. Timelines and even destinations can change quickly. Stay open to the fact that you’re at the mercy of your spouse’s commanding officers. Plan well, but be ready to shift when you need to.
Remain on top of your move. Use the PCS checklist to understand all the steps you’ll need to take. You can download the My Ultimate PCS app to track everything related to your move. There might be aspects or steps to your move you weren’t aware of.
How to Make Your Military Move Go Well
As with any life change, moving a military family successfully involves careful planning and experienced movers who know how to take care of service members.
Bekins has been handling government and military moves for decades. We know the upheaval a new assignment can cause, and we want your family to transition as seamlessly as possible. To make your new assignment go well, we offer a full menu of moving-service options:
- Packing and shipping. If you’re overwhelmed by the idea of getting all your personal belongings from A to B, why not let us do it? We offer full-service packing and shipping including fragile and specialty items.
- Storage. Don’t want to take everything with you? Living on base? Is your new home smaller? We can safely and securely store your items until you’re settled or when you eventually need them.
- Packing supplies. Doing it yourself but running out of tape and patience? Let us provide all the boxes and bubble wrap you need to finish in time.
- Personal agent. Every Bekins move is overseen by an agent. Your Bekins agent is your personal liaison for every aspect of your move. They’ll help you pack, find storage and schedule a moving van. Have a question? Ask your agent.
Military PCS Moves Handled with Care
Let Bekins be part of your moving regiment. Contact us today to get in touch with an agent who can help start planning your military relocation today. We’ll be ready when your papers come down to make sure officers and spouses alike get the snafu-free move they deserve.