Making a DITY or Partial DITY Move
When you are part of a military family, you move a lot. And you would think that the more you do it, the easier it would become. But every move is different. Not only are the circumstances and the location different, but your family is in a different stage of life. I grew up in the military and it seemed like every move got more complicated than the last, as we accumulated more things and my sister and I got crabbier about moving away from friends. The money you could make from a DITY or Partial DITY move can seem very attractive and lure you in before you realize what it will all entail. So before you make any decisions about how you choose to move, do the following:
Meet with your transportation or personal property office on base first.
As soon as you have orders, make an appointment. The counselor will let you know what you are authorized to do yourself. DITY moves are not recommended for some assignments. If you are authorized to do a DITY move, the counselor will also help you calculate how much you could get reimbursed. That reimbursement is based on factors like distance and your maximum allowable weight limit.
Discuss your moving options as a family.
It’s easy to take on a DITY move when it is just you, but it gets more complicated when you have a family. Make sure you and your family are on board for the physical and mental stress and responsibility of doing a move yourself. If you have any doubts, just stick with the less stressful option of having the government handle your move.
Be comfortable with your budget.
You will be given an allowance when you make an authorized DITY move, but you will have to pay a lot of expenses out of your pocket. Make sure your budget can handle paying for some of those costs up front and waiting for reimbursement.
Make sure you have enough time.
If you have to move quickly, it can be difficult to take care of all the details involved with doing a DITY move.
Many families who decide that a full DITY move is not realistic for them end up doing a partial DITY move. They let the government handle a large portion of the move and move some things themselves. A partial DITY move, like a DITY move, requires some coordination and forethought. But many people don’t realize that almost any move is considered a partial DITY. If you load up your car with photo albums, art, personal paperwork, toys and other household goods for your cross country drive, you can get reimbursed for the cost of moving those items. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to have the government cover those costs. Whether you decide to take on a full or partial DITY move, there are some important things to keep in mind.
Have proper authorization.
Submit all paperwork by required deadlines. You will not get reimbursed if you were not authorized to do a full or partial DITY move.
Know your weight limit.
Regardless of how you choose to move, the government will not pay to move anything beyond that limit. It doesn’t mean you can’t move those items, you will just have to pay for it yourself.
Know what goods are considered household goods.
You will be given a list of authorized items when you meet with your transportation office. Again, it does not mean you can’t move those items, you will just have to pay for the cost of moving them yourself. For example, pets, plants and ammunition are not considered household goods.
Make a moving checklist with even the most obvious detail on it. It will keep you on track and assure that you don’t forget anything when things get hairy.
Lighten that load.
Don’t spend the time, money and effort to move things you no longer need. Donate them or have a yard sale.
Document, label and inventory.
Take digital photos or video of everything before you start packing. Label every box you are moving yourself with the contents and room in which it belongs. Number your boxes, so you can easily keep an inventory list when you are loading and unloading.
Save every receipt and other moving related paperwork.
You will need to submit weight tickets, rental invoices, gas receipts, etc. when you file for reimbursement. Moving expenses for which you cannot get reimbursed can usually be filed as a deduction on your tax return.
Do not forget to submit for reimbursement by the deadline.
It is easy to lose track of time when you are getting settled in and forget to submit your reimbursement forms. Nothing can ruin all that hard work like not getting reimbursed.
1-800-PACK-RAT is a moving and portable storage company that has proudly helped families with their military moving and storage needs between deployments, when they PCS and when they retire and separate from the military.
Call one of PACK-RAT’s Military Moving Specialists at 1-800-MLT-PACK or visit http://www.1800packrat.com/partners/militarymoves for more information.