7 Packing & Moving Tips for Military Families

Taking on a move can be overwhelming for anybody, but military families for a move often have to take even more into account when gearing up for another move. Because families in the services move frequently, there tends to be even more for them to consider when gearing up to head to a new base. Whether you’re being moved for the first time or are well used to relocations by this point, we’ve got some of the best tips to make your next military moving experience easy and efficient.

Military Moving Tips

Whether a veteran or on active duty, military families tend to get new orders to move fairly often throughout the years. Being prepared and having a working strategy to make your move easy will make the transition to your new place that much easier. The following are some of our best tips for getting ready for a move.

  1. Decluttering Before a Move
  2. Because families in the military tend to move around a lot, many try to not acquire too many excess material items to avoid having to move them later on. However, if you’ve still managed to maybe build up more clothes or household items than you know what to do with, you should try making a habit of decluttering and purging unnecessary items often – and not just when you have to get ready for a move!

    To get yourself ready for moving or to make a routine of living a little bit on the side of minimalism (or just without excess items), make yourself and your family a schedule of when you regularly donate or get rid of things you don’t need or use.

    Having this schedule will save you from being unnecessarily overwhelmed when having to move again, and will keep you from building up too much in the first place. If you still have things left unpacked or untouched by the time your new orders arrive, you probably don’t need them too much! There’s no point in moving a box of items you won’t miss.

  3. Find the Best Moving Company for You
  4. Finding movers who have experience in moving military families for moving companies for veterans makes a huge amount of difference in the quality of your move and its efficiency. After all, especially if you’re headed over a long distance, having the best service on your side will let you tackle your move easily and without a lot of undue stress that can come with moving.

    If you’re looking for the best moving company for the military, see what Arpin Van Lines can do for you today. With over 100 years’ experience in the relocation industry and with extensive amounts of military moves under belts, we’ll make your move easy – no matter where you’re headed.

  5. Schedule Your Movers Early
  6. You should always schedule your movers as soon as you’re notified of your move – especially if it looks like you’ll be moving during peak season. To get this done, set up a meeting with your base transportation office as soon as you get orders, as well as a meeting with the family center at your new base. They’ll inform you of your relocation options, and will let you know of any military housing that is available. Additionally, they’ll give you resources regarding your move and new area and will give you a moving sponsor as well.

    Once you’ve gotten the details squared away with your base, it’s time to book your movers. Look for a moving company that has experience with moving military families. When hiring movers, you should also make sure that your reimbursement package will cover these expenses so that you don’t find yourself paying for your services yourself.

    When you hire your moving company early, you can lock in the ideal moving date and the best rate for your relocation. If you have to book a hotel near your new base while you wait to move into your new place, you should also lock this in so you’re not met with any unwelcome surprises upon arrival.

    If you have children, you should always also look into the schools your children can go to, and get school transfer paperwork out of the way early so they’re all set up for their first day. This is especially important if you intend to send your kids to a private school or an international school if moving abroad. Ask your new base’s family center for their military child care options or daycare options for younger children as well.

  7. Make Use of Military Resources
  8. For those who have never moved with the military before, the resources available to you for your relocation can sometimes be a little unclear. However, taking advantage of these resources will make a huge difference in how easy your move can be.

    Whether preparing for a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) or an Outside of the Continental United States (OCONUS) move, there are many resources available to you and your family to take on your relocation.

    Some of these tools include the Department of Defense’s Plan My Move tools, or the It’s Your Move program to make a budget and get information and support regarding storage or shipping for longer distanced moves.

    The Department will also have resources for you to pass along to your kids, including ‘Military Kids Connect’ which can help them meet other kids from similar backgrounds in your area and allow them to make friends easier. Military spouses can also receive educational or career opportunities and training through programs like the Military Spouse Employment Partnership.

  9. Get Organized
  10. To keep yourself on track and organized when gearing up for your move (whether a PCS or OCONUS), it will help you out immensely to make yourself a binder to keep track of paperwork, documents, and just checklists for your relocation.

    In your binder, you can store or keep track of:

    • Your moving orders
    • Housing paperwork (past and present)
    • Base contact info
    • Inventory of your household items
    • Moving schedule
    • Budget goals
    • Birth certificates
    • Insurance documents (car, house, rental, etc.)
    • Medical records
    • Government IDs and passports
    • Military IDs
    • Pet documents and licenses
    • Travel reservations or hotel bookings

    You can also make a separate checklist in your binder to keep yourself on track in your move. Your base might give you basic resources or a working checklist to keep you on track and on par with your moving schedule for both mainland and international moves. Even if you make your checklist yourself, just having one can make a huge difference in keeping you on track and to save you from being too overwhelmed or rushed during your relocation.

  11. Make an Inventory of Your Items
  12. Including an inventory of all of the different items in your home will make a huge difference in keeping track of what you have, what you need to pack, and what you’re leaving behind. This will also let you take notice of anything that may have been damaged or gone missing during the course of your move, which will let you make a claim easier and faster.

    It might seem arduous or unnecessary to keep track of every little thing, but it will make a huge difference in the grand scheme of things (and will be well worth it). Plus, you can reuse or just edit this list later on if/when you move again.

  13. Take Advantage of Military Discounts
  14. Our final tip in the grand scheme of things is to take advantage of any military discounts you can find. Many movers for veterans will offer discounts for military families or for those services in the military, but these discounts can go well beyond that.

    Military families can go above and beyond to save on everything from passport acquisition or renewal fees, plane tickets, fees associated with breaking leases, and even cancellation fees at the gym! There are also a lot of free items you can take advantage of for your family that varies from city to city. There are even resources like ACS Lending Closet, which will loan you and your family supplies for your home while you wait for your things to arrive with your moving company.

At the end of the day, no matter where your military move might take you, having the best packing and moving strategy on your side will put you ahead and make a huge difference in how stressful or stress-free your move is. Find the right veterans moving company in Arpin Van Lines, which will give you the best full-service moving experience from start to finish. Our experience in military moving and unparalleled customer service will also ensure that you receive the best services for the best prices and that your move is as successful and professional as possible.