a soldier holding a laptop with a picture of a family on the screen.

How to Stay Connected With Friends and Family During a Military Move

Military moves can be challenging and stressful, both for service members and their families. The constant relocation can make it difficult to stay connected with loved ones, causing feelings of isolation and loneliness. However, it’s important to prioritize staying connected with friends and family during a military move to maintain a support system and minimize the impact of the transition. This article will provide tips and resources for military families to stay connected during a move, as well as information on resources available to make the moving process easier.

Understanding Military Moves

Military moves, also known as Permanent Change of Station (PCS) moves, can be a challenging and complex process for military families. Each branch of the military has its own specific requirements and regulations, and it’s essential to understand these before embarking on a move.

The Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Space Force, and National Guard all have different guidelines and procedures for their moves, which can be overwhelming for military families. Additionally, military moves can differ significantly from civilian moves, with unique challenges and benefits. For example, the military provides movers to pack and transport household goods, which can alleviate some of the stress associated with moving.

Frequently asked questions about military moves include inquiries about how to prepare for a move, what items can and cannot be shipped, and what to do if items are damaged during the move. It’s crucial for military families to stay informed about their moves and ask questions as needed to ensure a smooth transition.

Preparing for the Move

Moving can be a daunting task, but proper preparation can make the process smoother. Planning ahead is essential for a successful move, and the military offers several resources to help military families prepare for a PCS (Permanent Change of Station) move.

To start, it’s essential to create a timeline and checklist to stay organized and on track. These can include deadlines for submitting paperwork, scheduling appointments, and packing. Additionally, military resources, such as Military OneSource and base relocation offices, offer guidance and assistance throughout the moving process.

Another important aspect of preparing for a move is understanding PCS allowances and benefits. The military offers several benefits, including financial compensation for moving expenses and housing allowances, to ease the financial burden of moving.

Before packing, it’s also essential to declutter and organize your belongings. This not only reduces the amount of items that need to be packed and moved, but it can also help you feel less overwhelmed during the moving process. Consider donating or selling items that are no longer needed or in use.

By utilizing these resources and taking the time to prepare for the move, military families can minimize stress and ensure a successful transition to their new duty station.

Finding Your New Home

Military moves come with unique challenges, and one of the most important decisions to make is finding a new home. The military provides several housing options for service members and their families, including on-base housing and privatized military housing. However, many service members choose to live off-base. If that’s the case for you, there are several things to consider when searching for a new home.

First, it’s essential to research the community and location of your new home. You’ll want to make sure that the area is safe, has good schools if you have children, and has convenient access to amenities like grocery stores, shopping, and entertainment.

If you’re looking for off-base housing, you can use resources like MilitaryByOwner and AHRN.com to find listings in your area. Additionally, working with a property management company can be beneficial, as they can help you navigate the rental process, handle maintenance issues, and ensure that you’re getting a fair deal.

Overall, it’s essential to take your time when finding a new home, and to consider all of your options before making a decision. Doing so will help you find a place that you and your family can call home during your time at your new duty station.

Making the Move Easier

Moving can be stressful, especially when it comes to managing personal property. It is important to properly pack and manage your belongings to ensure a successful move. Personal property includes items such as furniture, electronics, and clothing. To effectively manage your personal property, start by decluttering and organizing your items. This will help you determine what you need to keep and what you can sell, donate, or discard.

When it comes to packing, there are many tips and tricks that can help you pack more efficiently. Begin by packing items that you won’t need right away, such as out-of-season clothing or rarely used kitchen appliances. Be sure to label your boxes with the contents and the room they belong in to make unpacking easier. When packing fragile items, wrap them in bubble wrap or packing paper and label the box as fragile.

Using a moving company can also make the process much smoother. Moving companies offer a variety of services, such as packing, loading, and unloading, which can save you time and energy. Be sure to research and compare different moving companies to find the one that best suits your needs and budget.

Storage units can also be a helpful resource during a move. If you have items that you don’t want to bring with you right away, but don’t want to get rid of, consider renting a storage unit. This can also be a great option if you need temporary storage while you search for a new home.

Overall, managing personal property and packing efficiently can make the moving process much easier. Consider using a moving company and renting a storage unit to further simplify the process.

Settling In 

Settling into a new home can be challenging, especially when it is in a new city or state. To make the transition easier, it’s essential to focus on making your new home feel like home. Personalizing your space with items such as photos, artwork, and familiar bedding, like sheets and towels, can help create a sense of familiarity and comfort.

Military communities can also be an excellent resource for new arrivals. They offer a chance to connect with other military families who may be going through similar experiences. Many installations have Family Resource Centers that provide information on local schools, employment opportunities, and community events.

In addition, Military OneSource provides non-medical counseling resources to help military families deal with the stresses of military life. This service is free and available 24/7 to active-duty, National Guard, and reserve members, as well as their families. It provides confidential support for issues such as relocation, parenting, and stress management.

Taking advantage of these resources can help ease the stress of settling into a new home and community. It’s essential to remember that military life can be unpredictable, and your duty station may be subject to change. But with the right resources and support, you can navigate the challenges and create a sense of stability for yourself and your family.

Exploring Your New Location

After a military move, it’s essential to explore your new location and make the most of your new duty station. Turning your move into an adventure can help you and your family settle into your new home and start to feel more comfortable in your surroundings.

One way to explore your new location is by planning road trips. Whether it’s a day trip or a weekend getaway, hitting the road can help you discover new places and create new memories. There are many resources available, including travel apps and websites, that can help you plan your trip and find unique destinations.

Another perk of PCSing is the opportunity to experience new activities and take advantage of the amenities offered by your new location. Research local events, parks, and recreation areas, or join a class or group to meet new people and get involved in the community.

It’s also essential to take advantage of military-specific resources, including the Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) program. The MWR program offers a wide range of activities and services for military families, including outdoor recreation, fitness classes, and special events.

Overall, exploring your new location is an exciting part of military life and can help you and your family adjust to your new surroundings. By planning road trips, trying new activities, and taking advantage of military resources, you can make the most of your time at your new duty station.

Supporting Your Military Family

Military families often face unique challenges during a move, such as having to adjust to a new environment, make new friends, and find new jobs. During this time, it is essential to support and communicate with your spouse to make the transition smoother for everyone involved. Military families can also benefit from using available resources to make the move more manageable.

One of the most significant challenges of a military move is managing personal property during the transition. Fortunately, there are resources available to help military families with this process. The Defense Personal Property Program (DP3) provides military families with access to approved moving companies and tools to help manage their personal property during a move. Military families can also use printable PCS checklists and personal property management resources to help them stay organized and keep track of their belongings.

Additionally, it’s important to remember that military families can face additional stress and emotional strain during a move. Spouses may feel isolated or overwhelmed, and children may have difficulty adjusting to a new school or making new friends. To help support military families during a move, there are various resources available, including Military OneSource, which provides non-medical counseling services to help military families cope with the challenges of military life.

Making the Most of Military Life 

Military life can be exciting, unpredictable, and sometimes challenging, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. Whether you’re a veteran, currently serving, or a military spouse, there are plenty of ways to make the most of your military experience.

One of the most significant benefits of military life is the sense of community that comes with it. Social media can be a fantastic tool for connecting with other military families and veterans. Joining Facebook groups or following military-themed Instagram accounts can help you stay up-to-date with the latest news and trends, and connect with others who understand the unique challenges and joys of military life. These groups can be especially helpful for military spouses who are often looking for new connections when they move to a new location.

Speaking of locations, each duty station offers its own unique opportunities for exploration and adventure. Taking advantage of military pay and benefits, such as free admission to national parks and discounts on travel, can make it easier to explore your current location and create lasting memories with your family.

Education is another key benefit of military life. Veterans and military families have access to a variety of education programs, including the GI Bill and scholarships specifically for military dependents. Military parents can also take advantage of the Department of Defense’s Education Activity program, which provides schools for military children in locations around the world. Researching school districts in advance can help ensure that your children have access to quality education no matter where you’re stationed.

If you’re considering buying a home, VA loans are an excellent option for veterans and military families. These loans offer competitive interest rates, require no down payment, and often have lower closing costs than traditional mortgages. On the other hand, if you need to sell your home during a move, real estate agents who specialize in working with military families can help you navigate the process and ensure a smooth transition.

Moving can be a stressful time for anyone, but there are plenty of resources available to help make the process easier. Mobile apps like PCSgrades and MilHousing Network can help you research housing options and connect with other military families. Personally procured moves, also known as do-it-yourself moves, can be a good option for those who want more control over their move but must be prepared to handle any damaged items that occur during the move. Care packages from friends and extended families can also help brighten moving days and remind you that you have a support system even when you’re far from home.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is also crucial for military families. Many installations offer free or low-cost exercise classes, and taking advantage of these resources can help you stay fit and meet new people. Mental health is just as important, and veterans and military families can access counseling services through programs like Military OneSource or TRICARE. Marine Corps Family Team Building and other programs designed for military spouses can provide support and training for exceptional families and create a sense of community.

Life on base can be a unique experience, and it’s essential to take advantage of the resources and opportunities available. Joining organizations like the family readiness group or the spouse’s club can provide valuable connections and support during your time on base.

In conclusion, the military lifestyle can be challenging at times, but there are many ways to make the most of the experience. From exploring your current location to taking advantage of education programs and benefits, there are many resources available for veterans and military families. Remember to stay connected with your support system through social media and care packages, and prioritize your physical and mental health by accessing exercise classes and counseling services. By making the most of the unique opportunities available, you can create lasting memories and build a strong community both on and off base.


In conclusion, military moves can be challenging, but with proper preparation and resources, they can also be an opportunity for adventure and new experiences. By understanding the unique challenges of military moves, preparing for the move, finding a new home, managing personal property, settling into a new community, exploring the new location, and supporting your military family, you can make the most of your move. It’s important to remember that there are resources available for military families, including personal property management resources and non-medical counseling resources through Military OneSource. By planning ahead and making the most of the experience, you can turn your military move into a positive adventure.

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.