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DITY Moves Explained: An Overview and Benefits

DITY, or Do-It-Yourself, moves are a popular option for military members and their families. Essentially, a DITY move allows you to manage your own move, from packing and loading to transportation and unloading. In this article, we will explore the benefits of a DITY move, including greater control over the moving process, potential cost savings, and the ability to customize your move to fit your specific needs. We will also provide an overview of the key considerations and steps involved in a DITY move, as well as tips and resources to help you plan and execute your move successfully. Whether you are a seasoned mover or a first-timer, this article will provide valuable insights and information to help you make the most of your DITY move.

Types of Military Moves

When it comes to military moves, there are three main types: Permanent Change of Station (PCS), Temporary Duty (TDY), and Personally Procured Move (PPM). Each type of move has its own set of regulations and requirements that must be followed to ensure a successful move.

Permanent Change of Station (PCS)

PCS moves occur when a military member is permanently reassigned to a new duty station. These types of moves are typically coordinated by the military branch and can involve the transportation of the member’s household goods, unaccompanied baggage, and even their privately-owned vehicle (POV). The military member is usually given orders outlining their new assignment, and the military branch will pay for the transportation of their belongings to the new duty station.

Temporary Duty (TDY)

TDY moves are temporary assignments to a new duty station that typically last less than six months. These types of moves are often used for training, special assignments, or deployments. The military member is responsible for their own travel and lodging expenses, but the military branch may provide a per diem allowance to cover these costs.

Personally Procured Move (PPM)

PPM moves, also known as DITY (Do-It-Yourself) moves, are when a military member decides to move their household goods themselves rather than having the military branch coordinate the move. With a PPM, the military member is reimbursed by the military branch for the cost of moving their belongings, as well as any rental truck or moving supplies they may need. PPM moves can be a great option for military members who want more control over their move or who have unique moving circumstances.

Differences Between Types of Moves

It’s important to understand the differences between these types of moves to ensure that you’re following the proper procedures and regulations. For example, with a PCS move, the military branch will handle most of the logistics and expenses, while with a PPM move, the military member is responsible for coordinating and paying for the move themselves. Additionally, there may be different weight limits or requirements for each type of move, so it’s important to do your research and understand what’s expected of you.

What are the advantages of choosing a PPM over a government move for military moving?

When military personnel opt for a PPM over a traditional government-organized relocation, they enjoy several distinct advantages:

Financial Incentives:

  • Cost-Efficiency: With a PPM, service members are allocated a specific sum for moving expenses. If they can organize the move for less than this amount, they are entitled to keep the surplus. This can serve as a financial bonus for those who manage their moving budget wisely.

Control and Flexibility:

  • Personal Management: Choosing a PPM grants military members complete control over every aspect of their move, from the timing to the choice of movers or moving methods.
  • Customization: They can tailor the relocation process to better suit their personal schedule and preferences, potentially reducing stress and increasing convenience.

These benefits make PPM a compelling choice for military personnel who wish to have more autonomy over their moving experience and possibly gain financially.

Preparing for Your Move

Moving can be a stressful and daunting task, but with the right planning and preparation, the process can be made smoother and less stressful. Here are some tips to help you prepare for your move.

Planning Your Move Timeline

One of the most important things to do when preparing for a move is to create a timeline. This will help you stay on track and make sure you don’t forget anything important. Your timeline should include tasks such as finding a new home, sorting and packing your belongings, and notifying your utility companies and other service providers of your move.

Budget Planning and Military Allowances

Moving can also be expensive, but as a member of the military, you may be eligible for certain allowances to help offset the cost. It’s important to understand these allowances and budget accordingly. The Defense Personal Property system website provides an online PPM estimator to help estimate your costs.

Tips for Packing and Moving Personal Property

Packing and moving your personal property can be a daunting task. To make the process easier, it’s important to start early and organize your belongings. You should also use quality packing materials and label boxes clearly. Consider using a moving company, as they have experience and expertise in packing and moving personal property.

Pest Control and Housing Inspections

If you’re moving to government-provided housing, you may need to schedule a pest control treatment and a housing inspection. These requirements vary by branch of service and may depend on your location. Make sure to research these requirements and schedule them in advance.

Transportation Options

There are different transportation options available for your move, depending on your circumstances. For example, if you’re making a PCS move, the government will pay for your transportation. However, if you’re making a PPM or personally procured move, you may have the option of using a rental truck or your own vehicle. It’s important to understand the pros and cons of each option and choose the one that’s best for your situation.

By following these tips and planning ahead, you can help make your move a success. Don’t forget to take advantage of the resources available to you, such as your transportation office and military support organizations, to make the process as smooth as possible.

Moving Process

Moving can be a stressful process, but understanding the steps involved and what to expect can make it easier. Here are some important aspects of the moving process to keep in mind:

HHG Move and Weight Allowance:

The military offers a weight allowance for moving personal property, also known as household goods (HHG). The weight allowance is based on the service member’s rank, dependents, and destination. It’s important to weigh items before and after the move to ensure you don’t exceed your weight allowance.

Weight Tickets and Replacement Cost:

Weight tickets are used to determine the weight of your household goods before and after the move. If any items are lost or damaged during the move, you’ll need to file a claim with your moving company. Replacement costs are based on the weight of the item, so accurate weight tickets are crucial.

PPM Move and Partial PPM:

Personally Procured Moves (PPMs), formerly known as DITY moves, allow service members to move their personal property themselves and receive reimbursement from the government. Partial PPMs allow service members to move some of their property and have the government move the rest. PPMs can be a good option for those who want more control over their move and can save money.

Pro Tips for a Smoother Move Day:

Labeling boxes, organizing items by room, and having a plan for furniture placement can make move day go smoothly. It’s also important to have snacks and water on hand, wear comfortable clothing, and keep important documents and items with you.

Temporary Lodging and Housing Allowances:

During the moving process, service members may need temporary lodging. The military offers a Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA) to help cover the cost of lodging. The military also offers a Housing Allowance to help cover the cost of off-base housing.

Personally Procured Moves:

PPMs can be a great option for service members who want more control over their move and can save money. However, it’s important to consider the additional time and effort that a PPM may require. Service members should also ensure they have the proper equipment and resources for a successful move.

By understanding the moving process and the various options available, service members can have a smoother and more successful move.

International Moves 

Military families may face the unique challenge of moving overseas, known as an OCONUS move. This type of move requires additional planning and preparation due to the added complexity of moving to a foreign country. It is essential to research the specific requirements and regulations for the destination country, as well as obtain the necessary documentation, such as passports and visas.

A moving overseas checklist can help ensure that all necessary steps are taken before the move, such as arranging for transportation and housing at the destination, obtaining international insurance, and preparing for cultural differences. It is also important to consider the logistics of transporting personal property, which may involve different shipping methods, customs regulations, and weight restrictions.

The military offers resources for families facing international moves, such as counseling services and support from the installation transportation office. Military OneSource also provides information and resources for international moves, including assistance with language and cultural training. With proper planning and preparation, military families can successfully navigate an international move and enjoy a smooth transition to their new home abroad.

Additional Resources and Support

Military moves can be complex and stressful, but fortunately, there are resources available to assist service members and their families throughout the process. These resources can help make the transition to a new duty station smoother and less overwhelming.

Relocation Assistance Programs provide information and support to military personnel and their families during the moving process. These programs offer a range of services, including counseling, financial planning, and assistance with finding housing.

Military OneSource is another valuable resource available to service members and their families. This program provides free, confidential counseling and support for a variety of issues, including financial concerns, relationship problems, and mental health concerns.

Family Support Centers are available on many military installations and provide a range of services to military families, including counseling, education, and recreation programs.

In addition, service members and their families should be aware of the need to update their voter registration and change of address information with the appropriate agencies. This can help ensure that important documents and election materials are sent to the correct address.

By utilizing these resources and support programs, service members and their families can navigate the moving process with more ease and confidence.

Benefits of Choosing DITY Moves 

When it comes to moving, there are various options available to military families. One popular option is the Do-It-Yourself (DITY) move, which provides a number of benefits. Here are a few reasons why you should consider a DITY move:

1. Control over the Moving Process

One of the main benefits of a DITY move is the level of control it offers. You can pack your belongings on your own schedule and according to your own standards, ensuring that your personal property is well taken care of. Additionally, you have control over the transportation of your belongings, allowing you to ensure that they are delivered to your new home in a timely and efficient manner.

2. Potential Cost Savings

Another benefit of a DITY move is the potential for cost savings. While the government will cover the cost of a government procured move, a DITY move allows you to pocket the difference between the government’s cost estimate and the actual cost of your move. By doing the work yourself, you can potentially save a significant amount of money.

3. Ability to Keep Personal Property Close

With a DITY move, you have the ability to keep your personal property close at hand. Rather than turning your belongings over to strangers, you can keep them with you throughout the move, providing peace of mind and reducing the risk of lost or damaged property.

4. Opportunity for Incentive Pay

In addition to potential cost savings, a DITY move also provides an opportunity for incentive pay. If you are able to complete your move for less than the government’s estimated cost, you may be eligible for a percentage of the difference as incentive pay.

5. VA Home Loan Benefits

Finally, choosing a DITY move can provide benefits when it comes to using a VA home loan. By completing a DITY move, you may be eligible for an additional allowance that can be used to cover the cost of moving-related expenses. This can make it easier to complete your move and get settled in your new home.

Maximizing Efficiency and Further Reducing Costs

To further streamline your military move and reduce costs, consider these additional tips:

  • Educate Yourself: Become familiar with your ‘Customer Bill of Rights’ from the DoD Personal Property Program, and keep updated with the latest guidelines on the Official DoD Customer Moving Portal.
  • Plan Flexibly: When making moving arrangements, set up a flexible moving period spread across a few weeks to accommodate complications such as selling a home or providing notice to your landlord.
  • Declutter: Reduce your moving load and costs by culling unwanted or rarely used items. Consider donating these items or holding a yard sale before the move.
  • Vehicle Preparation: For long-distance moves, ensure your personal vehicle is in good repair to avoid unexpected issues during relocation.
  • Childcare Arrangements: If you need on-base childcare, get on the list at your new base as early as possible to secure a spot.
  • Maintain Connections: Get contact information from friends and colleagues before you move, to ensure you can stay in touch after relocating.

By combining the flexibility and benefits of a DITY move with these additional practical steps, you can maximize the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of your military relocation.

Tips for a Successful DITY Move

A successful DITY move requires careful planning and execution. Here are some tips to help make your move as smooth as possible.

  1. Do-It-Yourself Moves vs. Hybrid Moves

One of the first decisions to make when planning a DITY move is whether to go fully DIY or opt for a hybrid move. Hybrid moves involve hiring a moving company to transport your belongings while you handle the packing and unpacking. This can be a good option if you want to reduce the workload while still maintaining some control over the move. However, it’s important to research the moving company thoroughly and ensure they have experience with military moves.

  1. Calculating Your Estimated Weight

Knowing how much your belongings weigh is critical when planning a DITY move. You will need to accurately estimate the weight to ensure you don’t exceed your weight allowance and to calculate potential reimbursement. Use an online calculator to estimate the weight of your items and add a buffer to account for unexpected items.

  1. Weighing Your Vehicle

When moving your belongings, it’s essential to weigh your vehicle before and after loading. The weight of your vehicle will be subtracted from the total weight to determine the weight of your belongings. You can weigh your vehicle at certified weigh stations, truck stops, or moving companies. If you are conducting the move yourself using a rental truck, it is your responsibility to visit these certified locations and obtain the necessary weight tickets for reimbursement. On the other hand, if your move is being handled by a professional moving company, you should request that they provide you with weight tickets beforehand. They are typically responsible for obtaining these as part of their service, ensuring you have the proper documentation for your move cost reimbursement. For those opting for a full-service move, companies like NexMuv will manage the entire process, including the procurement of certified weight tickets, making your move smoother and compliant with reimbursement requirements.

  1. Pack and Move Strategy

When packing for a DITY move, ensure you have the necessary supplies, such as boxes, tape, and packing material. Label all boxes clearly and pack fragile items with extra care. When loading your vehicle, distribute the weight evenly and secure everything to prevent damage during transit.

  1. Delivery Date Considerations

When planning your DITY move, keep in mind the delivery date of your belongings. You will need to ensure you have a place to store your belongings in the meantime, such as temporary lodging or a storage unit. Additionally, factor in any delays that may occur, such as bad weather or unexpected vehicle breakdowns.

Required Documents for Reimbursement for a PPM

Additionally, service members must complete and submit several specific forms and documents to facilitate their reimbursement. The primary application, DD Form 2278, must be filled out along with DD Form 1351-2, a travel voucher which is essential in processing your costs. Ensure you also have certified weight tickets for both your departure and arrival weights, and a copy of your PCS travel orders.

Moreover, if your move involves renting equipment or vehicles, include a paid rental agreement, and if you are using a privately owned vehicle, boat, or trailer, ensure that the vehicle registration is submitted. All these documents should be filed with the Transportation Office (TO) at your new installation.

The deadline for submitting these documents is strict; if you received upfront funds for your PPM, you have up to 45 days from the initial moving date to file your claim for reimbursement. It is also important to remember that expenses such as food and lodging may be covered under the Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA) or Temporary Lodging Expense (TLE) for OCONUS moves, and these are handled separately from the household goods budget.


In conclusion, military moves can be stressful and overwhelming, but with the right resources and planning, the process can be made smoother. It’s important to understand the different types of military moves and the requirements for each. Utilizing resources such as relocation assistance programs, Military OneSource, and Family Support Centers can provide valuable assistance and support.

Do-it-yourself (DITY) moves are a great option for those who want more control over their move and the potential for cost savings. However, it’s important to carefully plan and follow tips for a successful DITY move, such as accurately calculating your estimated weight and considering delivery date options.

By planning ahead and utilizing available resources, military families can successfully navigate the moving process and take advantage of the benefits of DITY moves, such as the ability to keep personal property close and the opportunity for incentive pay.

Picture of Wes Struebing

Wes Struebing

After more than 30 years in the logistics sector, I have learned a thing or two about moving things and motivating people to do their best and offer their all to our customers. Whether in life or in business, I believe in one thing: I only want to be there if I can improve things.

Logistics is not only what I do; it is my passion.

Picture of Wes Struebing

Wes Struebing

After more than 30 years in the logistics sector, I have learned a thing or two about moving things and motivating people to do their best and offer their all to our customers. Whether in life or in business, I believe in one thing: I only want to be there if I can improve things.

Logistics is not only what I do; it is my passion.