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Getting Ready to Move: The Final Month

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

  • During the move: As a parent, help them share their feelings about moving through talk, play, drawings, etc.
  • During the move: As a parent, encourage your children to ask questions and be available whenever they need to talk.
  • During the move: As a family, plan breaks during the move for fun activities and treats (favorite restaurants, swimming, playing games, riding go-carts, etc.).
  • Take the family for a farewell visit to some of the places that hold happy memories
  • Planning For the Move: As a family, turn challenges into adventures (have a picnic if the table is packed).
  • Try to stick to your routines. Have meals at the same times as always. If your kids nap, encourage them to lie down at the usual time. Keep to the normal bedtimes.
  • During the move: As a parent, explain to your children what will happen during the move.
  • Involve your kids in the packing. Older kids can put their own belongings in boxes, and kids of all ages will enjoy decorating the boxes containing their things. Doing so will also make finding your children's things easier once you're at the new house!
  • Arrange for someone to take care of your young children and your pets on moving day.
  • Confirm child care and pet arrangements if necessary.
  • Planning For the Move: As a parent, pack treat bags with snacks and favorite toys for the move.
  • Give a going-away party for your children.
Your Furry Family Member
  • Keep some form of identification on the pet at all times and be sure you have current pictures along with a written description available. This will reduce a lot of stress should your pet escape. If the length of the move requires the animal be provided with food and water, be sure the food is bland and easily digested and that the water comes from your home supply. Changing diet or water sources are common causes of diarrhea and vomiting from upset stomachs. If in doubt, check with your veterinarian for food recommendations.
  • If you own a cat, during the move, keep your cat confined to one room with food, water, a litter pan, some favorite toys, and the carrier you plan to use so your cat can get used to it. The door should be locked or have a large, "Do Not Open" sign on it, so the movers won't inadvertently let the "cat out of the bag."
  • Arrange for transportation of pets. Take them in the car or send via air. Consider boarding pets either at destination or at a kennel near your present home until you are settled in the new city.
  • Carry travelers’ checks for quick, available funds. You should have enough to cover the cost of moving services and expenses until you are settled in.
Planning Ahead
  • Have a marker handy to make extra notes on boxes.
  • Buy a bunch of ziplock bags -- these will come in handy when packing large sets of small items, like silverware, or for components of furniture that need to be broken down (i.e., screws, bolts).
  • If you are hand-carrying any boxes with you, be sure to mark "DO NOT MOVE" on them clearly.
  • Give a close friend or relative your travel route and schedule so you may be reached if needed.
  • If you are using your vehicle, make sure that it is in good running condition and that all required maintenance has been completed. Do you need to find a local mechanic to have it checked out? We have one for you on MilitaryAvenue! (Automobile, Automobile Repair).
  • If you're making a DITY move, arrange for people at your new duty station to help you unload.
  • Ship as Unaccompanied Baggage items that will enable you to set up housekeeping immediately, such as linens, dishes, etc.
  • Make sure that cash, jewelry, important documents, your checkbook and other valuable items are secure and placed with the suitcases and other items you are hand-carrying yourself. Do not ship jewelry.
  • Separate items that will not be packed, including suitcases. If more than one shipment, separate items per each shipment into groups.
  • Keep a household inventory list on hand to carry with your personal luggage.
  • Lock the Travel Records Kit and other valuables in your vehicle's trunk.
  • Make copies of any important documents before mailing or hand-carrying them to your new address.
  • Renew and pick up any necessary prescriptions. Obtain prescription slips in case you need refills on the road. Pack medicine in leak-proof, spill-proof containers.
  • Plan menus from what you have remaining in the freezer and cabinets.
  • Plan where to spend your last night in current city. You can find a great list of Hotels and Bed & Breakfasts on MilitaryAvenue listed under Hotels. Kids, and even yourself, might enjoy taking a cool dip in a hotel pool after a long day of packing and moving.
Military Matters
  • Verify schedules and services with TMO
  • If you are using the Personal Property Shipping Office (PPSO), reconfirm moving dates.
  • Contact your base pay and finance office to assure your Basic Allowance for Quarters will continue at your new location. Ensure that all steps in Permanent Change of Station (PCS) pay checklist have been addressed.
  • If you are an active servicemember making use of military weight allowances, separate your professional books, papers and equipment (PBP&E). These items will be weighed and listed separately on your shipping inventory. Make sure the packers know these are your professional items -- their weight will not be counted into your weight allowance.
  • Notify your current command of your new permanent address. Also notify your current and new post offices.
Your Current Community
  • Double-check closets, drawers, shelves, the attic and garage to be sure you have packed everything.
  • Remove air conditioners from windows.
  • Remove pictures and mirrors from walls.
  • Remove wall accessories such as drapery rods, small appliances, food and utensil racks.
  • Discard partly-used cans and containers of substances that might leak.
  • If you have a computer, "park" hard disk drive units, then disconnect computer systems. Place floppy disks in protective cases before packing into cartons.
  • Disassemble electronic components such as stereos and VCRs. Place original packing boxes (if they are in good condition and you want the movers to use them) by the equipment. If you decide to pack the item in the original carton yourself, leave the boxes opened so items can be inventoried.
  • Disassemble outdoor play equipment and structures such as utility sheds.
  • If you have a clock with a pendulum, remove the pendulum. If you are on base housing, you may need third-party authorization to do this, so call your local personal property shipping office if you feel you require this type of service.
  • Refillable tanks must be purged and sealed by a local propane gas dealer. Discard nonrefillable tanks. Some carriers and the military do not permit shipment of any propane tanks.
  • Dispose of flammables such as fireworks, cleaning fluids, matches, acids, chemistry sets, aerosal cans, ammunition, oil, paint and thinners.
  • Drain oil and gas from lawn mowers and other gas operated tools. Disconnect spark plugs.
  • Drain garden hoses.
  • Clean out refrigerator. Get rid of perishable food you won't eat before moving. It may help to concentrate for two weeks on drawing down your existing food inventory instead of shopping right up to departure.
  • Pull out all items from beneath stairways, attics or any other area that does not allow full standing room.
  • Close out safety deposit box if you have one.
  • If you are leasing an internet modem from the phone or cable company, return it.
  • If you are leasing phones from the phone company, return them.
  • Return library books
Your Future Community
  • Contact new utilities to tell them when to commence service
The Final Week before the move – Packers arrive
Family Support
  • Allow your children to keep their favorite things with them (security blankets, special toys, etc.).
  • Realize that each child is unique and adjusts to change at different rates and in different ways.
  • Your children's behavior may show their true feelings (throwing tantrums, becoming withdrawn, etc.).
Planning Ahead
  • Set aside cleaning materials to be used after packing and loading.
  • If traveling by car, pack a Field Kit to handle emergencies on the way. Pack your luggage and anything you are taking with you in your vehicle.
  • Attach colored stickers to your boxes to correspond with rooms in your new home where you want your boxes to go. If you are using movers, prepare a color-coded map of your new house, so they'll know exactly where to take your belongings when they arrive
Military Matters
  • If you are active servicemember and the military is taking care of your move, be sure to obtain a copy of the GBL, the DD-619 (if CONUS), and the Household Goods Inventory from the packers before they leave the residence. Insure the inventory reflects the true condition of the property, and be certain everything is listed on the inventory. Review it carefully and keep a copy with other important records you are hand-carrying.
Your Current Community
  • Clean and dry refrigerator and freezer. Allow to dry one or two days with doors propped open. Note: Families with children or pets present should block the doors from accidentally closing. To avoid a musty odor you can place several charcoal briquettes in a stocking or sock in both the freezer and refrigerator compartment.
  • Disconnect gas and electrical appliances. Moving companies are NOT required to perform the disconnects or to reconnect at the destination address.
  • Separate items into "Hand Carry and Luggage" "Unaccompanied Baggage" "Ship" and "Professional"
  • Use only those household items you absolutely need--everything else should be ready to go.
  • Remove all light bulbs from lamps.
  • Remove outside TV and radio antennas.
  • Have coffee, cold drinks and snacks for yourself (and packers if you wish). This is going to be a very long day...
The Big Day
Planning Ahead
  • Get up early and be ready for movers to arrive. Do not have dirty dishes in the kitchen, or dirty clothes in hampers or lying around the house. Take all trash out of the residence - otherwise it might be packed! (You think we’re kidding? I speak from experience! A garbage can full of garbage packed in a shipping crate for a month stinks! to say the very least.)
  • Keep all shipping documents in your possession during the trip.
  • Stay over night in a hotel, or with friends or family. Leave next morning fresh for your new home
Your Current Community
  • Be there when the movers arrive. Stay with them as they take inventory, tag your furniture and record the condition of each piece. Remember, you can also make notes on inventory records. Put your copy of the inventory they take in with your Travel Records Kit.
  • Be sure that you or someone assisting in your move is at home at all times -- military and most regular moves are conducted during normal business hours.
  • Verify that mover's inventory is detailed, complete and accurate. Do not accept any "miscellaneous" labels or entries (especially on high value items). If anything is marked "scratched, dented or soiled" also note the location of such problem.
  • Watch loading and unloading, and examine all items carefully before signing a receipt.
  • Make a thorough inspection of the house -- attic, basement, closets, cupboards, garage and yard -- before the movers leave to be sure nothing important is left behind.
  • Leave all the old keys that are needed by the new tenant or owner with your realtor or a neighbor.
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