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Moving in the military? How to make the process easier

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Updated: 8/16/2013 3:47 pm

(BPT) - Moving can cause stress for family members, especially military families that are required to move frequently and potentially without a lot of warning. Sometimes these moves are within a base, while other times they can be to a new base on the other side of the country.

Permanent Change of Station (PCS) and Personally Procured Moves (PPM) come with military assistance to help soldiers and their families make the transition. Families can also take advantage of the do-it-yourself (DITY) option offered by the military, which could make the overall transition much smoother.

No matter how quickly the move happens, or what kind of moving assistance your family requests, here are some moving tips from Penske Truck Rental to help keep everything in order.

* Planning - PCS notifications can come without a lot of warning, or families may know about a potential move far in advance. For both instances, getting a plan in place is a good start. Gather important information into one folder, containing phone numbers, contact names, dates, receipts and checklists in this folder so you can easily track everything about your move. For some planning tools that focus specifically on military moves, visit the U.S. Department of Defense website.

* Moving - Many families choose the DITY option because it gives them more control over the move, and they can also potentially make some money in the process. The military provides an allotted cost for moving, and if you can come under that cost through your own planning, the military will pay you the difference. For example, Penske Truck Rental offers active military personnel a 10 percent discount when they reserve a truck online, and an additional 10 percent off when they show an active military ID while picking up the truck. Penske will price-match any competitive offers on one-way truck rentals as well. Visit www.DITYmove.com to learn more.

* Weights - Military rules require soldiers to certify the weight of the rental vehicle when empty and after it's fully loaded. Weight limit reimbursements are set depending on a soldier's rank and dependents, but the traditional weights are estimated at 1,000 pounds per room, excluding bathrooms and storage areas. Then add in the estimated weight of large appliances, garage items and items in storage. Compare this number to what is allowed and determine if you can reduce the load in any way to avoid paying overweight costs. To help with weight certifications, Penske offers a Certified Public Scale locator tool online to help DITY movers in finding weigh stations.

* Contact info - File a change of address form at your local post office so mail can be forwarded, and also make certain your new information is updated with your specific branch of the military.

* Explore - Get to know your new neighborhood, both on and off base. If you have children, explore the schools and the after-school activities available. Learn a bit about the city's history and gather information on the services the city offers so that on moving day, your water and electricity will be available when it's needed.

When in the military, a move is practically inevitable, but the process can be much less stressful on both emotions and finances with a little organization and planning from the get-go.

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