a stack of moving boxes with the words essential moving equipment and supplies for your di.

Essential Moving Equipment and Supplies for Your DITY Move

A DITY (Do-It-Yourself) move is a type of military move in which service members are responsible for packing, loading, and transporting their household goods to a new duty station. While this can be a cost-effective option for military families, it also requires careful planning and preparation to ensure a successful move.

One key factor in a successful DITY move is having the right equipment and supplies. This includes everything from moving boxes and packing tape to rental trucks and cargo straps. Without the proper equipment and supplies, a DITY move can quickly become overwhelming and stressful. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide to the essential moving equipment and supplies needed for a successful DITY move.

Planning Your Move

Moving can be a daunting task, but proper planning can make it less overwhelming. Start by creating a counseling checklist provided by your transportation office. This checklist will help you stay organized and ensure you don’t miss any important steps.

Researching moving companies and truck rental companies is also crucial. Get quotes from multiple companies and compare their prices, services, and customer reviews. Make sure to read the fine print and ask questions about any hidden fees or additional charges.

It’s important to decide whether to hire a professional moving company or do a personally procured move (PPM). A PPM allows you to move your belongings on your own, and the government will pay you up to 95% of what it would cost for the military to move you. This option can save you money but requires more effort on your part.

Once you have decided on the type of move you want to make, determine the weight of your household items. Knowing the loaded weight will help you choose the appropriate size truck or portable storage container. Additionally, it will help you understand the cost of the move.

Packing Supplies

When it comes to packing for a DITY move, having the right packing supplies is crucial. Quality packing supplies will help protect your belongings during the move and ensure that they arrive at your destination in good condition.

Moving boxes are a must-have and come in a variety of sizes to accommodate all your household items. Trash bags are also essential for packing up loose items or disposing of unwanted items. Plastic bags are great for packing clothes and linens, as well as small or oddly-shaped items.

In addition to the basics, consider investing in optional packing supplies such as bubble wrap, furniture pads, and mattress bags. Bubble wrap can help protect fragile items such as dishes and glassware, while furniture pads can protect larger items such as sofas and chairs. Mattress bags are also a good investment, as they can help protect your mattress from dust and moisture during the move.

Remember to use high-quality packing tape to secure your boxes and ensure that they don’t fall apart during transit. With the right packing supplies, you can ensure that your items are well-protected during your move.

Moving Equipment

When planning for a DITY move, it’s important to have the right moving equipment to make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible. Some necessary equipment includes a dolly or hand truck, utility knife, stretch wrap, and cargo straps. These tools can help you lift and move heavy items with ease and protect them during transit.

In addition to these essentials, you may also want to consider optional equipment such as a tool kit and furniture sliders to help make moving bulky or fragile items easier. If you’re not sure which equipment you’ll need, consult with your moving company or transportation office for guidance.

Rental equipment is also an option for those who need additional help. Rental trucks and portable storage containers are available from many companies and can provide a cost-effective and convenient way to transport your belongings. Just make sure to factor in the rental cost when planning your moving budget.

Understanding Expenses

Moving can be a significant expense, but it’s essential to understand the costs involved in a DITY move. One of the main expenses of a DITY move is the cost of transportation. Military members are authorized to be reimbursed for the actual costs of transportation, including fuel, oil, and tolls. When it comes to PPM moves, authorized expenses also include rental equipment, moving supplies, and storage fees.

To reduce expenses, it’s important to take advantage of all available allowances, such as the advanced operating allowance, which provides a partial payment upfront, and operating allowances, which provide additional funds for specific expenses. It’s also important to keep track of all expenses and receipts and complete the DD Form as soon as possible after the move to ensure timely reimbursement.

By understanding the expenses involved in a DITY move and taking advantage of available allowances, military members can make the most of their move and reduce their out-of-pocket expenses.

Managing Weight and Storage

When planning a DITY move, it’s important to manage the weight and storage of your belongings to ensure a successful move. To do this, it’s essential to understand weight tickets and empty weight. A weight ticket is a document that shows the loaded weight of your household goods, while the empty weight is the weight of the moving truck or vehicle before any items are loaded onto it.

It’s important to understand weight restrictions when planning your move. The weight limit for a PPM move is determined by your rank and dependency status. Exceeding this weight limit can result in additional expenses or even having to leave items behind.

To manage weight and storage effectively, consider utilizing storage containers and military discounts. Portable storage containers can be a great option for those who need to store their belongings temporarily. Many companies offer military discounts, so be sure to ask when researching storage options.

Another strategy for managing weight is to downsize and declutter your belongings. Consider donating or selling items that you no longer need or use. This not only reduces the weight of your move but can also provide extra cash to cover moving expenses.

Overall, understanding weight restrictions, utilizing storage options, and downsizing belongings are important strategies for managing weight and storage during a DITY move.

Health and Safety Concerns

Moving can be a stressful and challenging experience, but it can also present potential health and safety hazards. As you prepare for your DITY move, it’s essential to be aware of these hazards and take necessary precautions to protect yourself and your family.

One significant health concern during a move is exposure to lead-based paint, which is commonly found in older homes. If you’re moving into an older home, you may be at risk of lead exposure, which can cause a variety of health problems, particularly in young children. To minimize the risk, it’s important to have the home inspected for lead-based paint before you move in.

Additionally, it’s important to be aware of the health effects of lead exposure, including anemia, learning difficulties, and behavioral problems. To minimize exposure, avoid sanding, scraping, or burning lead-based paint, as these actions can release lead dust into the air. You should also avoid drinking water that may be contaminated with lead.

During a move, it’s also important to be mindful of disease control and outdoor air quality. Moving can be a hectic and stressful time, and it’s easy for germs to spread. To minimize the risk of illness, be sure to wash your hands regularly and disinfect surfaces frequently. It’s also essential to maintain good indoor air quality by ensuring adequate ventilation and minimizing the use of toxic cleaning products.

As a military member, you have access to a variety of resources to help you address health and safety concerns during your move. Your installation’s Environmental Health Office can provide information on lead-based paint and other environmental hazards, while the Military OneSource website offers tips for maintaining a healthy home during a move.

By being aware of potential health and safety hazards and taking necessary precautions, you can ensure a safe and healthy DITY move for you and your family.

Dealing with Unexpected Situations

When it comes to moving, unexpected situations can arise and cause stress for even the most organized person. It is important to prepare for these situations and have a plan in place to handle them. Some examples of unexpected situations during a DITY move include truck breakdowns, lost or damaged items, and delays in the delivery of equipment.

One way to avoid unexpected situations is to research and carefully select reputable moving companies and rental equipment providers. Reading reviews and checking the Better Business Bureau website can also help you avoid potential horror stories.

If unexpected situations do arise, it is important to stay calm and have a plan in place. This could include having a backup plan for transportation or lodging, as well as having a plan for reporting issues and seeking assistance through the Fear Act or other resources available through the military.

Maintaining a positive attitude and staying flexible can also help you navigate unexpected situations during your move. Remember to take breaks, stay hydrated, and prioritize self-care during what can be a stressful time.


Moving is already a daunting task, and a DITY move adds another layer of complexity to the process. The challenges faced during a DITY move can range from financial burdens to logistics and transportation difficulties. However, with proper planning and preparation, these challenges can be overcome.

One of the most important things to remember when embarking on a DITY move is to understand the challenges that may arise. By being aware of potential obstacles, you can take steps to mitigate them and make the process as smooth as possible.

Here are some tips for overcoming common challenges during a DITY move:

  • Start planning and preparing as early as possible
  • Research and compare different transportation options and costs
  • Budget and keep track of expenses carefully
  • Pack and organize belongings efficiently to save space and reduce the risk of damage
  • Stay organized and keep important documents and paperwork easily accessible
  • Seek assistance from resources such as transportation offices, military support organizations, and fellow military families

In addition to these tips, there are also many resources available for military families planning a move. Military OneSource, for example, offers resources and support for all aspects of the moving process, from planning to settling in at a new location. The Personal Property Office (PPO) can also provide information on transportation and moving regulations and assist with claims and reimbursements.

Overall, a DITY move can be a challenging but rewarding experience for military families. By understanding the challenges and taking steps to overcome them, you can successfully navigate the process and enjoy a successful move.

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.