Relocation is a fundamental part of military life. In fact, active-duty families move three times more often than their civilian counterparts. Military life is stressful already, and when you add a cross-country or OCONUS relocation to the mix, it can feel overwhelming – both emotionally and financially. So what should you do when you receive your orders?
Step 1: Start planning ahead as soon as you receive your orders. Putting things off is a common pitfall, especially for first-timers. This includes your pets. Make sure you do your research!
Step 2: Know your entitlements. You may qualify for extra financial help depending on your rank, whether you have dependents, and where you’re moving to.
Step 3: Consider a DITY or combination move. It will cost you more money up front and require you to do some of the labor, but it’s possible to get some extra cash through reimbursement.
Step 4: Keep good track of your valuables. Insurance may cover the cost if lost or broken, but there are certain things that just can’t be replaced.
Step 5: Supervise the movers and give them clear instructions. When unpacking, document any damage and be sure to take photos to protect yourself if you need to file a claim.