When you Permanent Change of Station (PCS), the military allows you to do a DITY move, which stands for “do it yourself”. In this type of move, you will be responsible for arranging the moving truck, packing your belongings, transporting your belongings and unloading your belongings. While some prefer to let the military handle it all for them, others prefer to be in charge of their own household goods.
- It is possible to make money on a military move. If you can keep your costs low, your reimbursement from the military based on weight and distance could be much more than you actually paid. It’s important to get an estimate from the transportation office of what you will be reimbursed. If you go over, you lose.
- You are always in charge of your own belongings. You won’t be sending them off with unknown people or companies. And generally you are more responsible and careful with your own belongings.
- The move will be done on your timetable. You won’t have to wait for movers to be available to pack, load or unload.
- It is not uncommon to end up having to pay out of pocket for a DITY move if it is not carefully managed.
- You must weigh the moving truck without belongings and weigh it again with belongings at a weigh station that can certify the weight. If the closest weigh station is a great distance, this can be an inconvenience.
- There can be some advances made for moving expenses but it is likely some will have to be paid out of pocket and you will have to wait for reimbursement.
- If you have two vehicles, one vehicle will have to be towed or have other arrangements made for it to get to the final destination.
When PCS orders arrive, it is important to carefully consider the pros and cons of moving yourself. While many can make money with a DITY move, there are also cons involved in going this route. Remember, it isn’t a free check. You are being paid because you are doing the work. Will you have enough help on both ends of the move to load and unload boxes? Is it worth the possible income in order to be able to move your own belongings?
The answers will be different for everyone. The transportation office can help with the decision as well as estimating the possible costs and reimbursement involved in the move.