By Susanna Haynie, founder of Military Duty Stations and Realtor at Springs Preferred Realty, LLC of Colorado Springs, CO
When it comes to PCSing, the military has ever-changing rules and requirements that can be very confusing. It is important to keep up with the basic rules for moving, so you don’t end up paying out of your own pocket.
Avoid these 10 biggest mistakes:
10. Failing to keep the proper paperwork: Get an expandable pocket folder to keep your paperwork sorted and all in one place. If you are doing a Personally Procured Move, or PPM, (former DITY) it is best to save all your receipts.
9. Failing to keep Personal Property updated on your non-temporary storage: Every service member is entitled to at least 90 days of long-term storage. Know the rules and requirements. For example, Personal Property has a valid address where they can contact you. Failing to do so can cost you big money.
8. Not understanding the claim filing procedure: In the PCS brief and the PPM (former DITY) brief, you will receive information about the claim filing procedure. Read it, understand it, and keep it. Have an inventory of the valuables in your home. Using a video camera is one of the best ways to do this, and it will show the condition of your furniture. Checking over the packers inventory will help also.
7. Over-shipping: Think: Overseas move. Not all overseas locations have
generous size housing. Research the sizes of your possible future quarters and consider this when you arrange your shipping. Temporary storage is available at overseas bases, but it is expensive – and you can’t take anything out!
6. Doing something that is not authorized on your orders: Take a close look at your orders. If you have dependents does it say: Dependents, or authorized to move household goods with dependents? If not have the orders amended.
5. Taking the maximum advance on a PPM (former DITY move): You are authorized up to 60% advance pay if you do a PPM. You could easily end up owing money, which will be deducted from your pay in one big lump sum.
4. Exceeding your weight allowance: Know your weight allowance. Drop weight if
necessary. Sort, and sell, or give things away. Use SargesList to sell locally. Separate your Pro Gear and mark it as such! It does not count against your total weight. Your spouse also has an allowance for Pro Gear. Separate theirs and mark it too.
3. Don’t cheat! : It happens more often than you think. Generally, this is in connection with a PPM (DITY Move) and in regards to weighing the vehicles. It can cost you not just money but also hurt your career.
2. Not communicating w/ your partner and family: Talk about what needs to be done and what your expectations are. Lay out the calendar and discuss the best dates for packing and moving to a hotel. Divide and conquer the tasks. This will prove to be more efficient and less stressful.
1. Having the wrong attitude: It’s your attitude not your aptitude that will determine your altitude. ~Bruce Miller
There will be a time when moving (again), for whatever reason, will be extremely hard for you. However, you’ll still have to move. The attitude you have can make or break you. Be positive for your own well-being and for the benefit of your family.
Do you have a tip that could help others?