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Settling In

Print Your Moving Checklist (.pdf format). A couple of hole-punches and it will be ready for your Moving Binder!
Family Support

  • As a parent help your children stay in touch with old friends through letters, phone calls, and e-mails.
  • As a family, continue family rituals and celebrations (Easter egg hunts, birthday traditions, holiday meals, etc.).
  • As a parent, recognize that each child is unique and adjusts to change at different rates and in different ways.
  • As a parent give your children plenty of hugs and extra attention.
  • As a parent encourage them to make new friends by getting involved in clubs, sports, scouts, church groups, etc.
  • Get involved: church groups, synagogues, YMCA and activity clubs, etc. enable socializing. If a couple of months have gone by and your child seems unusually troubled, ask a doctor, guidance counselor, or principal if you need a referral. Signs that your child may need help: unusual academic difficulty; ongoing irritability; trouble with peers; changes in sleep or eating habits; a generally despondent mood. Give them time; this behavior can last for 4-5 months for teens.
  • Listen closely to your children and let them know you are interested in what they have to say. Your children may express their feelings through certain behaviors (throwing tantrums, becoming withdrawn, acting tired, fussy, or angry, wetting the bed, etc.).
  • If you've moved away from older relatives, make an effort to call or write . Tell them how the move is going and find out how they are.
  • Make some time for yourself. This is especially hard when you're unpacking and settling in to a new home, but it's as important now as ever. Order takeout food occasionally. Take some time off from unpacking to go for a walk by yourself, read a good book, or rent a movie you've been wanting to see.
  • As a family, seek professional help, if needed. You can find a list of Family friendly counselors on MilitaryAvenue under Health, Counselors.
  • For children and adults, it takes time to feel at home. With your understanding and patience, your children will be reassured that, after a while, things will get easier; everything won't feel so new; and that home is, after all, wherever the family is.
Your Furry Family Member
  • The best way to move small mammals such as mice, gerbils, guinea pigs and hamsters are to keep them in the car with you and in their normal container. Take their water bottle out to avoid it leaking and soaking the bedding. At rest stops, check the animal and place the bottle back in the cage so it can drink.
  • Maintain a comfortable, steady temperature while traveling in the car with pets even if it means parking your car away from the rest rooms to get it under the shade of a tree. These little critters are comfortable at about the same temperatures people are so if you are cold or hot, they are too.
  • Make sure pets are secured the day of arrival. Put cats and small dogs in carriers. Tie larger dogs outside if possible.
  • Take your dog out for a walk around the neighborhood as soon as possible. This way he will know where home is and will become familiar with his new surroundings.
Planning Ahead
  • Revise your will and other legal papers to avoid longer probate and higher legal fees.
Moving In
  • Upon arrival, report to command. Let them know where you'll be staying and what your permanent address will be. Complete any required check-in processing.
  • If you are an active servicemember, you will be given the telephone number of the transportation office at your new duty station. You should contact the office as soon as possible, and provide them with a phone number where the member or designated representative may be reached.
  • If you are a servicemember making use of the destination Household Goods Office, contact them to arrange for delivery of personal property.
  • Arrange for phone, gas, and electricity to be connected.
  • Contact the family center relocation manager and the housing office at your new base for assistance getting settled. Many family centers have Loaner Closets that will help you get through until the movers arrive.
  • Before the moving van arrives, clean the hard-to-reach places in your new residence.
  • Know in advance where to place each piece of furniture. The mover is required to place each piece only one time.
  • If household goods are in storage, notify the transportation office of new address and arrange delivery.
  • Be there to meet the movers at your new home.  Check off each item on the carrier's inventory list. Check for damage claimed by the carrier by piece and make notes on the spot. You'll need to sign the inventory and the Statement of Accessorial Services Performed (DD619-1). Sign nothing that is blank.
  • At time of delivery, you are entitled to the reassembly of all items that were disassembled by the carrier. In addition, you are entitled to have everything unpacked, with packing materials removed from the residence, unless you specifically waive this service.
  • When the movers arrive, check their inventory against the one you made prior to departure -- they should match.
  • Set up the beds first, then the kitchen.
  • Let your children decide how to arrange and decorate their new room. Perhaps they can purchase one new thing for their room, or they can do a total change and get an updated décor. This is one of the big bonuses of moving!
  • If you rented a truck take back the rental truck with a full tank of gas
  • Recycle or store moving boxes
Your New Community
  • Child Proof your new home
  • Get local emergency numbers and post them
  • Test security and smoke alarms in your new place
  • Make a fire evacuation plan
  • If you bought a home off-base change the locks on all your doors
  • Register your children in school. The sooner they start school, the sooner they will get to know children their age.
  • Above all, listen. Try to be there when your kids get home after the first day at their new schools, even if it means having to leave work early that day. Regularly ask how things are going, and take time to listen. Sometimes kids have a hard time opening up; spending relaxed time together may help them to bring up whatever is on their minds.
  • Be on the look-out for neighborhood kids, and help introduce your children to them. If it's comfortable for you and your children, invite some of the neighborhood kids over for pizza or a video.
  • Visit nearby parks, libraries, museums, YMCAs, and other interesting places.
  • Take the time to find a new church in your area that your family can call home. You can find a list of churches under Worship Services on MilitaryAvenue.
  • Try to line up some activities in which your child can participate after the move: a sports team, music lessons, art classes, a scouting troop. Not only will activities like these keep your children involved; they'll also help them to feel like part of a group - an important aspect of settling in. Try to sign up for more than one activity in case one falls through or doesn't go well. You can find a list of some activities like dance or martial arts under Fitness on MilitaryAvenue.
  • Buy or get a subscription to the local paper to keep up on local events, or stay tuned to MilitaryAvenue. You can find a calendar of current events at each installation.
  • Check the pilot lights on the stove, water heater, incinerator and furnace.
  • If you have moved to a new state, register your car and get a new driver's license as soon as possible.
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