Military Move Checklist | My Move

Military Move Checklist

Every active member of the armed forces goes through at least one permanent change of station… as well as the stress of finding military relocation housing in time for the move. Following this simple step-by-step checklist can aid even the most seasoned veteran of military moves.

12 to 8 Weeks before Your Move

  • Meet with a representative of your local transportation office on base, obtain all necessary paperwork and decide on the method of your move.
  • Regardless of whether you’ve decided on a DITY or government move, save all receipts associated with the upcoming move, including those related to military relocation housing.
  • If you have children, talk to them calmly about the move so they feel involved in the process. That way, they’ll be less confused by all the activity that’s about to follow.
  • Update your family’s health and dental records. Especially if your move is an international one, be sure everyone has all necessary vaccinations. And while you’re at it, if you have pets, make sure their shots are up to date, too.
  • Make an inventory of your possessions and remove any old stickers or labels from past moves. Take pictures of expensive items for insurance purposes.
  • Write a list of all people, institutions, clubs and professional organizations that you’ll need to inform regarding your move.
  • Obtain a change of address kit from the USPS, either at your local post office or online. To avoid your mail getting lost, remember to double-check your new address before filling out the forms!
  • If you won’t be driving your car yourself, arrange for auto transport for all of your vehicles.
  • Call the Department of Motor Vehicles closest to your new home and determine what you’ll need to obtain new registrations and driver’s licenses for you and your spouse.
  • If you currently rent a home, inform your landlord of your upcoming move so that your move out date and the return of any security deposit will not be a problem.

8 Weeks to 1 Week before Your Move

  • If you’re using professional movers, agree on the exact date of the pickup, as well as delivery, of your personal possessions. If you’re using your base’s shipping office, confirm your moving dates. 
  • Be sure to double-check that your new place of residence will be ready for your anticipated move-in date.
  • Obtain copies of any necessary school records for your children.
  • If your spouse works, be sure to get letters of recommendation and begin searching for employment at your new location.
  • Begin using up all canned, frozen and pre-packaged edibles. Why pay to move what you can just as easily get when you arrive?
  • Contact your local power and cable companies and arrange to transfer your services.
  • Have all carpets and curtains cleaned in your current home. If you have your curtains dry cleaned, just leave them in their packaging when you pick them up, and now they’re ready for the move.
  • Check that your military identification card is up to date or, if necessary, obtain a new one.
  • Carefully dismantle all electronic items and place labels on all cords so you know how to reassemble them.
  • Drain any exterior garden equipment like hoses and lawnmowers of all fluids such as water and gas.
  • Copy important paperwork so you have extra copies of leases, IDs and certificates.
  • If you’re driving your own vehicle, have it fully serviced so that it’s in good working order.
  • Collect all extra cleaning supplies, so you’re ready to give your old home one last clean to ensure the return of any security deposit.

The Day of Your Move

  • Put all valuables and important records you need to keep close by in a safe place where movers won’t accidentally pick them up and pack them with the rest of your possessions.
  • Be sure your children and pets have someone to look after them, so they’re less stressed and don’t get in the way of the movers.
  • Supervise the loading of your possessions so you can observe any damage that may occur.
  • Check off every item on your inventory list as it’s loaded onto the moving truck. That way, you can be confident that your inventory truly reflects what’s being moved. This is especially important if you’re using government services or relocating overseas.
  • Remember to leave your old keys with your landlord, realtor or trusted neighbor.
  • Take a deep breath and enjoy the rest of the day on the way to your new home!

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