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Getting Ready to Move: 2 to 3 Months in Advance

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

Family Support
  • Throughout the move, stay as upbeat and calm as you can; a good plan makes this possible. Your own mood will impact other family members, especially babies, who are particularly sensitive to their mother's feelings.  With older children, it's important to be honest about some of the uncertainties you have, but also to be generally optimistic about the move and the positive ways it will affect the family.
  • Reassuring children while preparing to move: As a parent, give your children plenty of hugs and extra attention.
  • If you are able to, before you move take your children to your new home and explore the new neighborhood and town or city together. If this isn't possible, take pictures of your new home, the schools your kids will attend, a nearby park, and anything else that would be interesting to them.
  • Reassuring children while preparing to move: As a parent, help them share their feelings about the move through talk, play, drawings, etc.
  • Reassuring children while preparing to move: As a family, discuss how we may all feel lonely at first but will soon make new friends.
Special Spouse Concerns
  • Spouse should compile or update resume. Not sure where to start? Find a local resume service in the employment section of MilitaryAvenue.
  • Spouse may now use employment preference with Federal government
  • If your spouse has a job, s/he should give required notice of termination and get a referral letter. Your spouse should also update his/her resume for finding a job at your new location.
Your Furry Family Member
  • Check the status of your pet inoculations and licenses. Get a copy of your pet’s medical records. Be sure to check the regulations for bringing a pet into the new city/town/state.
  • If your pet is on any medication be sure to have an ample supply so you won't run out before getting settled in your new location. Also discuss with your veterinarian whether your pet should be tranquilized during the move. If so, get enough to try it out prior to the move to be sure the dosage works properly.
  • Keep your pets' routines as regular as possible as you prepare to move. If you normally feed, exercise or play with them at a certain time, continue to do so. During the final crunch of moving, you may find it works best to keep your pet either at a friend's house or a kennel, reducing the chance of your pet getting upset and running away, or in the case of cats, hiding in a box about to be shipped.
Planning Ahead
  • Tag all items going into storage. Mark on the sides of the boxes the rooms in which you wish them to go.  You may want to mark which boxes you want to be first off the truck.  These "early out" boxes should contain the items you need to help you set up housekeeping immediately--linens, dishes, tableware, etc.
  • Notify your credit card companies of your new or temporary address.
  • Notify your stock broker or investment counselor of your new or temporary address.
  • Back up important computer files - do not pack these if you don't have to (carry with you).
  • Pack a first aid kit to bring with you on the trip.
  • Check expiration dates on major credit cards you plan to use during travel.
  • Decide which fragile, irreplaceable, valuable or other important items you plan to take with you in your personal vehicle and which ones can be safely packed for the carrier to transport.
  • Check the transit coverage of your home owners or renters insurance policy to see what protection you may have for your move
  • Do not clean your upholstered furniture before moving. Moisture could cause mold if furniture must be placed in storage. 
  • Contact your insurance company about protection for auto(s), home and household storage, and high-value items. Need a new insurance company? You can always find one at MilitaryAvenue
  • If you have a car, truck or auto, be sure that all maintenance and repairs are taken care of now.  Be sure you still have your proof of insurance for the car.
  • Make sure all stickers from previous moves have been removed from furniture.
  • Update vaccinations and inoculations as required
  • Start using up canned foods, spray paints and other consumables.
  • Organize family records in a Travel Records Kit; make a special tab for it in your moving Day Planner, with legal, insurance, medical and financial information.
  • If you own a firearm, plan for proper storage or obtain proper permits to ship overseas
  • Make a list of people and organizations you need to notify about your move. Start to notify a few every day. They should include doctors, dentists, charge accounts, clubs, insurance companies, magazine subscriptions, accountants, broker/investment adviser, schools, friends, relatives and religious institutions.
  • Do not place any more mail order purchases.
  • If current driver's license will expire while abroad, renew it before departure
  • Plan your route of travel, including any stops for vacation or R & R. Make hotel/motel reservations along the route as needed. For driving directions to the new duty station call your relocation manager or visit MilitaryAvenue’s interactive maps found on each base.
  • Have Power of Attorney or Letter of Authorization drawn up for unforeseen circumstances.
  • Obtain a change of address kit at your local post office.
  • Take care of necessary medical, optical and dental appointments. Make arrangements to forward records and check immunizations
Military Matters
  • Contact TMO and schedule counseling session on transportation
  • Review finances and check with Military Pay or Travel Pay to see if you are entitled to advanced pay or other benefits
  • If you are an active duty servicemember, contact your military pay office to recertify Basic Allowance for Quarters (BAQ) and have sign-off on your PCS.
  • If you have a military ID card, check the expiration date and update it if necessary.
  • Update your Relocation Budget. Determine what the total cash outlay you will need during your move. Include items like lodging you may normally charge. Determine whether you have the cash to carry you over the moving/travel period. Include utility deposits, closing on new home, accommodations and meals, and pet expenses in your consideration. If you don't have enough savings to carry you, you may have to take advance pay, which you have to pay back. Consult your base pay and finance office for details. However, we urge you to use this option cautiously and only after consulting with your family center personal financial manager and the base pay and finance office.
  • Confirm with your relocation manager that you understand the packing and shipping regulations, including those pertaining to pets.
  • If you are using a commercial carrier, schedule pickup and delivery dates with your carrier and arrange storage, if needed. If you have any questions, ask your relocation manager for help.
  • Arrange for pre-inspection and final inspection of quarters you will be vacating
  • If possible, plan and make a house-hunting trip. Your commander may authorize a permissive TDY for house hunting, but remember, you will pay all expenses related to the trip.
  • Make sure your relocation manager knows if you plan a DITY move and make sure your moving vehicle will be large enough to hold your household goods.
  • Write down reporting dates and addresses at new duty station and post on your refrigerator.
  • Check with your local out-processing office for up-to-date procedures for military personnel and dependents
  • If you are making a DITY move, begin packing a few boxes each day.
  • Contact any friends you may have in the new location. Request a sponsor at the new station and make contact when one is assigned. Update your address book with this information.
  • Once you have PCS orders in hand, your new command will assign a sponsor to assist in your transition to the command and new duty station. If you have not heard from your sponsor in a reasonable amount of time, contact your new command to find a point of contact to help you before you arrange your move. If the command has a web site, become familiar with its contents. The information may prove invaluable throughout your decision process and save you the trouble of moving items that you'll not be able to use at your new duty station.
  • If you plan to use a commercial carrier for your move, provide your current TO with your estimated shipping weight. Let TO know if you'll be shipping a private vehicle.
  • Ask your current transportation office (TO) about moving options. Discuss your moving options with your family and assess their effect on everyone.
  • Contact your current installations housing office and give notice of intent to terminate
  • Provide your future Housing Office with two copies of your orders and complete any advance application for housing at new location
Your Current Community
  • Cancel all local deliveries and services, such as newspapers and garbage collection.
  • Retrieve any developed film, dry cleaning or other items.
  • Retrieve all items you have loaned out.
  • If you are moving from a high-rise apartment building, be sure to reserve the freight elevator for moving day.
  • Decide where you will spend your last night in your current location.
  • Remember to pack a local phone book to bring with you to your new home.
  • Give away plants that you can't take with you.
  • Take clothes to be dry-cleaned.
  • Make necessary repairs to your current home, and clean it prior to inspection by the base housing office, commercial leasing agent or prospective new owner. Take a burden off your shoulders by contacting a local cleaning service found on MilitaryAvenue under “Home and Garden”.
  • Contact your current utilities to end service on the day after you move. Arrange for the final utility bill(s) to be sent to your new address.
  • Close out any local charge accounts.
  • Schedule transfer of school records and ask for any letters from current teachers that could be helpful establishing your child in the new school.
  • Set a moving date and notify your civilian landlord or your base housing office when you intend to vacate the premises. Arrange for temporary lodging to fill any nightly gaps.
  • Let clubs/organizations that you belong to know you are leaving. Transfer your membership if possible.
  • Decide what things you want to leave behind. Hold a garage/yard sale. Donate what isn't sold to charity and, if you itemize, take the deduction.
Your Future Community
  • If you have school-age children, check school schedules and enrollment requirements at your new location.
  • Find education programs and resources for any special needs your children may have.
  • Verify your schedules with real estate agents, landlords, and arrange interim housing if needed
  • If necessary, open up an account and a safe deposit box at a bank at your new location. You will find a comprehensive list of local banks on MilitaryAvenue under ‘Finances’.
  • If you haven't established an address in your new location, obtain a P.O. Box in the new area.
  • Plan the furniture layout in your new home/apartment.
  • Set a budget for the amount you can spend on a new house
  • Moving Overseas? Find out about electrical outlet standards at new assignment
  • Moving Overseas? Apply for official passports and tourist passports
  • If you plan to buy a home at your new location, contact an agent at your new assignment. You can easily find one at MilitaryAvenue. Real Estate, Agents.


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