Moving can be a stressful experience, especially for military families who are preparing for a permanent change of station (PCS) move. One option available to them is a personally procured move (PPM), which allows them to take control of the moving process and potentially save money. However, executing a PPM requires careful planning and preparation to ensure a smooth and successful move.
This article is designed to provide helpful tips and guidance for military families or individuals who are considering a PPM move. We will cover everything from preparing for a PPM to executing it, and even post-move considerations. By the end of this article, you will have a comprehensive understanding of the PPM process and the tools you need to make your next move a success.
What is a PPM?
A personally procured move (PPM) is a type of military move where the service member personally manages the move instead of relying on a moving company arranged by the military. It is also known as a Do-It-Yourself (DITY) move. The service member is responsible for finding their own moving company, packing and transporting their belongings, and submitting receipts for reimbursement of eligible moving expenses.
One of the benefits of a PPM is that it allows for more flexibility and control over the move. The service member can choose their own moving company and have more control over the timing of the move. Additionally, if the actual cost of the move is less than the government’s estimated cost, the service member can make a profit from the move.
However, there are also drawbacks to a PPM. The service member is responsible for all aspects of the move, including packing, loading, and unloading. This can be stressful and time-consuming, particularly for families with a lot of belongings. Additionally, if the actual cost of the move is more than the government’s estimated cost, the service member will be responsible for paying the difference.
Despite these challenges, many military families choose to do a PPM. According to the Defense Personal Property System, in 2020, over 50,000 military families chose to do a PPM, which represents about 10% of all military moves.
Planning for a PPM
A PPM requires extensive planning and preparation to ensure a smooth and successful move. Starting the planning process as early as possible will help military families avoid the last-minute rush and the possibility of unforeseen challenges. To help with the planning process, we’ve put together a checklist of important tasks that should be completed before the move.
First and foremost, military families should obtain a DD Form 1351-2, which is the Department of Defense’s travel voucher form. The form is used to itemize moving expenses and will help the military member get reimbursed for their move.
Counseling from the transportation office is also important to obtain before a PPM. They can provide guidance on the move and answer any questions that the military member may have. Additionally, they can provide information on the weight allowances and entitlements for the move.
Another important step is to weigh household goods. This is required to determine the estimated weight of the move and ensure that the military member stays within their weight allowance. It is recommended that military families use a certified scale to obtain an accurate weight measurement.
If a moving truck is required, military families should procure one as early as possible to ensure availability. Renting a truck from a commercial moving company may be an option, but it can be more expensive than using a personal vehicle.
Finally, military families can save money and earn extra cash during a PPM by taking advantage of the partial PPM option. This option allows the military member to move some of their items themselves, while the rest are moved by the government. The military member will receive partial reimbursement for their expenses and can potentially earn extra cash if they move their items for less than the government would have paid.
By following these steps and planning early, military families can ensure a smooth and successful PPM move while also saving money and earning extra cash.
Executing a PPM
After planning and preparing for a PPM, it’s time to execute the move. Here are some tips for executing a successful PPM:
Packing and Labeling Household Goods
Proper packing and labeling are crucial for a successful PPM. When packing, it’s essential to keep items organized and secure. Start by creating an inventory list of your household goods, and then pack them carefully. Use appropriate packing materials, such as bubble wrap or packing peanuts, to secure fragile items. Label each box with its contents, room destination, and whether it’s fragile or not.
Weighing Your Vehicle Accurately
When using a personally owned vehicle (POV) for your move, it’s important to weigh your vehicle accurately to avoid overweight penalties. Before you start loading your POV, weigh it empty at a certified scale. Then, load your household goods and weigh the vehicle again to determine its gross weight. Ensure that the total weight of your POV and household goods doesn’t exceed the estimated weight you provided during the planning stage.
Navigating the Logistics of a PPM
Logistics play a significant role in a successful PPM. It’s essential to follow all authorized expenses and keep proper documentation throughout the move. Make sure you keep all receipts, weigh tickets, and DD Form 1351-2, which is the Travel Voucher or Subvoucher, with you at all times. Authorized expenses can include costs for packing materials, fuel, lodging, and more. However, some expenses may not be authorized, such as meals or entertainment expenses.
If you run into any issues during the move, contact your local transportation office for assistance. They can provide guidance on authorized expenses and other logistics-related concerns.
Moving Valuables and Special Items During a PPM Move
Moving valuable or special items during a PPM can be challenging due to the risk of damage or loss during transport. These items may include artwork, electronics, heirlooms, and other sentimental items. It’s important to take extra precautions to ensure their safe arrival at the destination.
One of the best ways to protect these items is to use specialized packing materials. For example, electronics should be packed in their original boxes with plenty of padding to prevent damage. Artwork and fragile items should be wrapped in bubble wrap or packing paper and secured in sturdy boxes with packing peanuts or other cushioning materials.
It’s also a good idea to consider hiring professionals for items that require extra care, such as fine art or antique furniture. These professionals have the expertise and specialized equipment to handle these items safely.
Another option is to purchase additional insurance for these valuable or special items. This can help provide peace of mind in case of damage or loss during the move.
By taking these extra precautions, military families can ensure that their valuable or special items arrive safely at their destination during a PPM move.
A PPM doesn’t end once you arrive at your new duty station. There are several post-move considerations to keep in mind to ensure a smooth transition to your new home.
Property Management and Health Care Considerations
After a move, it’s important to manage your property effectively. This includes registering your privately owned vehicle (POV), enrolling your children in school, and updating your contact information with your command and other important organizations. Additionally, it’s important to update your health care provider and medical records to ensure that you and your family have access to the care you need.
VA Home Loan Benefits
One of the benefits of being a veteran is access to a VA home loan, which can help you purchase a home with little to no down payment. After a move, it’s important to consider whether purchasing a home is the right option for you and your family. If it is, take advantage of your VA home loan benefits to secure a loan with favorable terms.
Building a Savings Plan and Taking Advantage of Military Discounts
Moving can be expensive, so it’s important to build a savings plan to prepare for unexpected expenses. Additionally, military families can take advantage of discounts offered by many businesses and organizations, including moving companies, hotels, and restaurants. Be sure to research available discounts and take advantage of them when possible.
Mental Health Considerations
Moving can be stressful, especially for military families who may move frequently. It’s important to prioritize mental health and seek support if needed. Military OneSource offers resources for service members and their families, including counseling services and online support groups.
By considering these post-move considerations, military families can ensure a successful transition to their new home and take advantage of the benefits available to them.
In conclusion, a personally procured move (PPM) can be a smart choice for military families looking to take control of their move. By planning and executing a PPM well, families can save money and customize their move to their unique needs. Key takeaways from this article include the importance of early planning, effective packing, and navigating the logistics of a PPM. After the move, families should consider property management, health care, and financial planning. We encourage military families to use the resources available to them, such as VA home loan benefits and military discounts, and to take care of their mental health during what can be a stressful time. With the right preparation and mindset, a PPM can be a successful and rewarding experience.