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Relocation Checklist Could Make Moving Smoother

By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 7, 2001 – Relocation is part of life in the military and for some DoD civilian employees. Every permanent-change-of-station order means moving yourself, your family and all your belongings to a new duty location somewhere in the world.

Moving is a big event with a lot of physical and emotional challenges that need to be handled with care. Like everything else in life, there's a right way to move. And doing it the right way can make a big difference in stress, peace of mind -- and your pocketbook.

Here are some things to do to help make your move smoother:

Moving Checklist

  • Contact the household goods office for an appointment with a counselor.
  • Notify your landlord, rental agent or housing office of your permanent change of station orders and anticipated date of departure.
  • Check school schedules and enrollment requirements at your new station.
  • Check the expiration date on your military identification card; update if necessary.
  • Contact the department of motor vehicles for information on changing your driver's license and vehicle registration.
  • Take care of auto maintenance and repairs.
  • Contact your insurance company concerning vehicles, home and household goods. Find out about coverage on your possessions in transit and storage and about high-value items.
  • Fill out a postal change of address form.
  • Fill out an IRS change of address form.
  • Hand-carry medical and dental records.
  • Keep prescription medicines in their original bottles. Obtain prescription slips in case you need refills on the road. Pack medicine in leakproof, spillproof containers.
  • Hand-carry finance records.
  • Ensure that your entire family is properly listed on the Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System.
  • Start using up perishable and frozen foods about a month before moving. Discard whatever you haven't used before the carrier shows up to pack.
  • Dispose of flammables such as fireworks, cleaning fluids, matches, acids, chemistry sets, aerosol cans, ammunition, oil, paint and thinners.
  • Drain fuel from mowers and other machinery.
  • Discard partly used cans and containers of substances that might leak.
  • Carefully tape and place in individual waterproof bags any jars of liquid you plan to carry with you.
  • 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.
  • Switch utility services to new address. Inform electric, disposal, water, newspaper, magazine subscription, telephone and cable companies of your move.
  • Have appliances serviced for moving.
  • Clean rugs and clothing and have them wrapped for moving.
  • Plan ahead for special needs of infants.
  • Close bank accounts and have your funds wired to your new bank. Before closing, be sure there are no outstanding checks or automatic payments that haven't been processed.
  • Collect valuables from safe-deposit box. Make copies of any important documents before mailing or hand-carry them to your new address.
  • Record serial numbers of electronic equipment.
  • Defrost freezer and refrigerator. Place deodorizer inside to control odors.
  • Give a close friend or relative your travel route and schedule so you may be reached if needed.
  • Discuss the moving process with your children to overcome their fear of relocation.
  • Return library books and other borrowed items.
  • Make shipping arrangements for vehicles early.
  • Ensure that the vehicle is in good running condition and that all required maintenance has been completed.

Moving Your Pets

  • Make arrangements for transporting pets.
  • Carry health and rabies certificates with you.
  • Ask about vaccinations needed to travel to foreign countries.
  • Attach an ID tag to your pet's collar.
  • Check on type and size of kennel needed for overseas shipment of pets.
  • If you're traveling across country, you can check on pet- friendly hotels on the Web at www.petswelcome.com.

On Moving Day

  • Double-check closets, drawers, shelves, attic and garage to be sure they are empty.
  • Carry travelers checks for quick, available funds.
  • Watch loading and unloading and examine all items carefully before signing a receipt.

There's a wealth of information on the Internet about moving. Use the keywords "military relocation" on any Web search engine for links.

To access an online directory of U.S. military installations worldwide, listing units, missions, facilities, services and other information of interest to service members and their families, register at www.dmdc.osd.mil/sites/owa/Installation.prc_SelectInstallation.

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Related Sites:
AFPS News Article: Protecting Your Treasures While on the Move
AFPS News Article: DoD Testing Household Goods Shipment Program

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