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Military Families: Tips to Moving When You Have to Move Often

These tips will make your miliary move easier

By Dermound Becker
Special to Relocation.com

In general, families in the military move from one base to another – and even from country to country – about once every two years on average. Since moving is such a great upheaval it can be especially difficult for military families to cope and manage with the constant packing and unpacking.

As with all moves, basic organization and planning are the keys to a successful and less stressful relocation. Listed below are some tips for military families who have to move often.

The first step is to set up a meeting with the transportation office on the base where you are currently located. During this meeting you will be given certain forms which must be filled in, in order for those in charge of this office to process your details and ensure that you have all the information you may need to, for example, apply for a Dislocation Allowance (an allowance to help pay for all sorts of miscellaneous expenses); for a temporary housing allowance, or for any other of the numerous financial benefits which may be available to your family. You will also be given information on the two ways of making the move, because military families have two programs to choose from when it comes to moving from base to base. One is that the government will actually transport your household possessions for you. The other option is the DIY method. Should you choose to move your belongings yourself, you will be reimbursed about 95 percent of what it would have cost the government to use their moving services.

Along with the planning and organization, families should also downsize and get rid of absolutely everything they don’t need. With clothing, this means anything that you have not worn in the past year. Downsizing will ensure that you do not have to pack and then unpack (and find place for) items for which you no longer have any use. Donate these items to charity, ask friends or family if they would like to have them or, as a last resort, have a garage sale.

For safety and security reasons, keep all your personal important and legal documents with you – do not pack them into boxes for the moving company to take away for transportation.

Take photographs of any of your valuable items so if anything gets damaged or lost, you will have a record of such objects.

Finally, make a list of what you have packed into each and every box and, once they have been sealed, write on them in clear handwriting exactly which room in your new home the boxes need to be put in. This will help enormously when it comes to unpacking and organizing your new home.

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