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Moving Tips for Military Families: How to Ensure an Easy Move

From PCS planning to setting up your home Internet connection, these are the best tips and advice for military families to ensure a smooth relocation.

Military families are used to Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders, but that doesn’t make moving to a new base or city any easier. On top of finding a moving company, military moves can be incredibly challenging and often require detailed planning, especially regarding digital services and technologies. The good news is, there are ways to make this transition much smoother.

In this guide, we’ll discuss modern moving tips for military families to help manage their move, make it more efficient, and reduce stress.

Understanding Military Moves

Most moves involve hiring packers to relocate furniture and household goods from an old house and moving it to a new location. However, when it comes to PCS orders, these moves could require service members to transfer to new states, countries, and climates every few years. While these moves are typical in military communities, they can be particularly stressful for military spouses, military children, and family members.

Top Military Moving Tips

Whether you’re in the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, etc., the MilitaryINSTALLATIONS look-up tool is one of the best places to look for assistance before loading the moving truck. That’s because the household goods/transportation office can hire military movers for you or provide instructions for reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses incurred by a personally procured move (PPM).

Below are a few more PCS tips to consider before your move date.

Pre-Move Planning

  • Plan Early: Whether it’s your first PCS order or your fifth, early planning can save a lot of time and money.
  • Moving Checklist: Maintain a fluid moving checklist to ensure you and your family keep track of all important tasks.
  • Contact The Transportation Office: Their guidance can help clarify your responsibilities and other details of your move.

Choosing the Right Technology

  • Purchase a Portable WiFi: Sometimes there can be a gap in Internet coverage while moving. Portable WiFi or a mobile hotspot can help you remain online while unpacking in your new house.
  • Consider a Smart WiFi Router: Your new place deserves the newest tech. A compatible smart WiFi router gives you more control over your Internet connection and helps your service reach every corner of your new home.
  • Use DoD Approved Moving and Transition Apps: Apps like Military OneSource can be incredibly helpful during the relocation process.

Staying Connected During the Move

  • Secure Digital Copies of Important Documents: If the physical copies of your important documents get lost during the move, digital backups of your birth certificates and military IDs can be very helpful.
  • Keep Your Devices Charged: Stay in touch with your family and newest command post by ensuring your phones, tablets, and laptops are fully charged.
  • Update Address with Service Providers: Whether you need to transfer your cable or Internet services, promptly updating your address can expedite the process and prevent potential disruptions.

Packing Tips and Protecting Your Tech

  • Use Original Packaging When Possible: In doing so, you can limit and even prevent damage to your high-value electronics.
  • Clearly Label Electronic Equipment: Not only does this help the movers understand which boxes to be more careful with, but it can also help during the unpacking process.
  • Record the Condition of Your Electronics: Take photos of your electronics before they are packed as an added layer of insurance.

Setting Up Your New Home

  • Prioritize Fast Setup: Ensure ongoing connectivity by scheduling a service transfer well in advance of your move. This way, your Internet will be ready as soon as you move in.
  • Secure Your New Network: Internet security is particularly important for service members. As such, it’s essential to use strong passwords, updated routers, and robust Internet security systems.
  • Trust But Verify: Ensure you test your upload/down speeds and overall connectivity before the technician leaves. Otherwise, it could be days or weeks before they’re able to return.

Smart Solutions for Temporary Housing

Finding Resources and Support

  • Explore DoD approved resources like Military OneSource for military families.
  • Connect with other service members and military communities via social media groups or on platforms like for added support.
  • Search for military discounts offered to members of the US Armed Forces and their families.
  • Double check the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) at your new location.
  • Update your TRICARE health plan to reflect your new address.
  • Get connected with the Military and Family Support Center in your new location.

How SmartMove Can Help With Your Next Move

Streamline military transfers with SmartMove. We’re here to help military families navigate the complexities of PCS orders by providing digital resources to help you stay connected while on the move.

Whether you’re looking for a new Internet and cable service provider or you need help with transferring your current service, we have the resources you need to ease the stress of moving to a new duty station.

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