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Checklists for a Smooth Move

Use "to do" lists and timelines. The countdown to moving day can overheat the coolest heads. Relocation adds a new layer of stress to daily life. Since very few of us have photographic memories, we need lists. Lists are the only proven antidotes when faced with a long series of multiple tasks, each having many subparts. Everyone from management gurus to advice columnists recommends using lists. Lists will save you when you move. Keep track of your progress on each one. It feels great crossing things off! Timelines go one further. They combine lists with a deadline in which certain items on the list should be accomplished. In other words, timelines organize lists chronologically. The following is a timeline for the typical military move:


  • Read over your orders very carefully. Make sure all family members are included on the orders for travel benefits. Note your gaining command and any TDY locations listed on your orders; contact them and notify them of your situation and when you expect to report in. Ask for a Sponsor, Welcome Aboard Packet and important phone numbers from your ultimate duty station Command Sponsor Coordinator.

  • Contact your local Relocation Specialist and the Relocation Specialist nearest to your Gaining Command. For Naval Station Everett, contact Rick Williams, Relocation Lead, at the Fleet and Family Support Center (425)304-3731.

  • Go to the Defense Personal Property (DPS) web site < www.move.mil > and research the movement of your household goods. You can also go to the Surface Deployment and Distribution Center < www.sddc.army.mil > and download the “It’s Your Move” Booklet: < http://www.transcom.mil/j5/pt/dtrpart4/dtr part iv app k 1.pdf >, along with POV shipment, household goods weight calculators, and much more useful information.

  • For housing information, go to the Navy’s Housing Onestop web site at < https://www.housing.navy.mil/onestop/main.htm >.

  • To obtain information on the Base and local area you are being transferred to, go to the Military Homefront web site at http://www.militaryhomefront.dod.mil and select “Military Installations”. At the same web site, go to the “Plan My Move” section to begin preparing for the move.


  • Calculate possible expenses you will incur when moving to determine if you will need financial assistance. Some of these would include rent, deposits, pet care and hook-up fees.

  • If destination is known, begin scouting out housing options.

  • Begin keeping track of relocation expenses. Be sure you are aware of your PCS entitlements. There are several PCS calculators that can give you a fair idea of the overall expense of your PCS move. For more information on this, ask the Relocation Specialist at your local Family Service Center.


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