Tips for a PPM/DITY Move

Tips for a PPM/DITY Move

Tips for a PPM/DITY Move

Every military family has thought about doing a Personally Procured Move (PPM) or DITY move at some point along the way. Was it the time the screws to the crib were lost, or you had to sleep on the air mattress for the 14th night in a row? For our family, it was when only half of our HHG arrived at the new duty station. We had a dining room table with no chairs, an office chair without a desk, and box springs sans the mattress. It took another two weeks to get the issue resolved. Two weeks! And after hearing PCS horror stories from other military families, we realized how lucky we were!

We vowed to do a full DITY move (now known as a personally procured move or PPM) the next time. It went so well we have never looked back. Here are our tips to maximize preparation time and minimize move time.

Prepare for a DITY move: collect boxes

Summer isn’t the only time military families PCS. If you know orders are coming in the next year, it’s helpful to start collecting free supplies sooner rather than later. We all see the posts on the local spouse pages advertising free boxes, so go pick them up! Mattress and wardrobe boxes are the best. If you get “surprise orders,” you can still put out a PSA on the same pages and see if anyone has any boxes left over that they are willing to unload. Liquor stores have lots of boxes they will let you take off their hands, and they frequently come with dividers in the wine boxes. Can we say makeshift dish packs? You can also check the Exchange or Commissary to see if they have leftover broken down boxes near their loading dock. Gathering your own packing supplies can mean major savings on your PPM!

Get organized

Dedicate a space in your house where you can put all the packed up boxes. A garage is an excellent option if you have one! Pack up one room at a time, starting with the least used room, and work backward towards the kitchen, which will probably get packed in the final days before the move. It’s also a good opportunity to donate any items you haven’t used for an extended period. Military families don’t spring clean; we PCS clean! Label the boxes with the items inside and their destination at the new house. (i.e. “Christmas Decor- Storage Room” or “Books and Awards-Office”) Stack your boxes in your dedicated space as you go.

Getting to your new duty station

You have a few options here and can decide what works best for your situation. Some families choose to use a service like U-Pack and have their HHG shipped for them. This is a great option! If you want to haul the load yourself, Penske and U-Haul offer military discounts. We suggest renting a dolly and some moving blankets with your truck. Your larger furniture items are better off covered, and the dolly is a lifesaver on moving day. You can also elect to tow your car behind the truck. The inside of the car being towed doubles as storage and can be packed with last-minute boxes, suitcases, or even houseplants. The DoD typically only covers mileage reimbursement for one vehicle during CONUS moves, and no shipping fees for extra vehicles, so you will have to decide as a family who is driving cars or moving truck to the next location.

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