a group of men in military uniforms with the words the importance of creating a routine.

The Importance of Creating a Routine After Your Military Move

Moving can be a challenging and stressful experience for anyone, but for military families, it can be particularly daunting. The frequent moves required by military life can make it difficult to establish roots and feel at home. Packing up and moving to a new place, often in a new state or even a new country, can cause disruption and disorientation. That’s why it’s important for military families to create a routine after a move to minimize stress and help them adjust to their new surroundings. In this article, we will discuss the importance of creating a routine after a military move and offer tips and advice to help military families transition smoothly.

PCS Process Overview

A Permanent Change of Station (PCS) is a relocation process that requires military families to move from one duty station to another. The PCS process can be overwhelming, but understanding it can help ease some of the stress.

The first step is to contact the transportation office to start the process. The transportation service provider will assist in scheduling the move and guide the family through the process. The Defense Personal Property System (DPS) is the online platform used to manage the move and track the household items.

It’s crucial to understand the weight allowances and travel regulations to avoid excess weight charges or non-reimbursable expenses. The military community offers resources such as Military OneSource, Public Affairs, and Family Readiness to help families prepare for their PCS move.

Preparing for Your Military Move

Moving can be a daunting task, but it becomes even more challenging when you’re a military family. Whether it’s your first move or your fifth, proper planning and organization are key to a successful move. Start by creating a moving checklist that outlines all the tasks you need to accomplish before the move. This will help you stay on track and minimize the stress of the move.

In addition to your checklist, take advantage of assistance programs such as Military OneSource, which provides resources and support for military families during their moves. Many bases also offer resources such as housing assistance, relocation services, and counseling services for families.

Remember to also research the area you are moving to, including the base and surrounding community. This will help you get a better idea of what to expect and can help ease the transition. With proper planning and research, you can help ensure a smooth and stress-free move for you and your family.

Types of Military Moves

As a military member, there are two types of moves you can make: Personally Procured Moves (PPM) and Government Contracted Moves. A PPM, also known as a do-it-yourself move, is where the military member manages and executes the move on their own, utilizing a rental truck or their own personal vehicle to transport their household goods. A government contracted move is when the military hires a moving company to handle the packing, transporting, and delivery of the member’s household goods.

Each type of move has its own benefits and drawbacks. PPMs can offer flexibility and allow for the member to potentially earn extra money from the government. However, they require a lot of work and can be stressful, as the member is responsible for everything from packing and loading to unloading and unpacking. Government contracted moves offer convenience and are generally less stressful, as the moving company handles everything. However, the member has less control over the move, and there is a risk of loss or damage to their belongings.

Pro tips for PPMs include researching rental truck companies and planning the move well in advance. For government contracted moves, it is important to research moving companies and understand the terms of the contract.

Protecting Your Personal Property

One of the most stressful aspects of moving, especially for military families, is the potential for loss or damage to personal property during the move. While moving companies do their best to ensure that all items arrive at their destination safely, accidents can and do happen.

In the event that personal property is lost or damaged during a move, it’s important to know how to file a claim through the Defense Personal Property System (DPS). Military families should be familiar with the process for filing a claim and make sure to document any damage before and after the move.

It’s also important to read and understand the DPS Satisfaction Survey, which is sent to military families after a move is complete. This survey allows families to provide feedback on their experience with the moving company and helps ensure that future moves are as stress-free and efficient as possible.

By taking these steps to protect personal property during a move, military families can ensure that their belongings arrive safely and minimize stress during the moving process.

Military Housing Options

Military families have several housing options available to them when they move to a new duty station. The Department of Defense provides different types of housing to military families based on rank and family size.

One option is base housing, which provides families with affordable, safe, and convenient housing options. Base housing is usually located on or near the military installation, making it easier for families to access base facilities and services. Additionally, base housing is eligible for an allowance for housing (BAH), which is determined based on rank, location, and family size.

Off-base housing is another option for military families. Families can find off-base housing through local real estate agents or online rental websites. The advantage of off-base housing is the opportunity for families to live in a civilian community and have access to more amenities.

When considering off-base housing, it is important to keep in mind that some expenses may not be covered by the military. Families should research the cost of rent, utilities, and other expenses to ensure they are within their budget.

The local personal property office can provide military families with resources for finding off-base housing and can answer any questions about housing allowances. They can also provide information on local laws and regulations that pertain to renting or buying a home in the area.

Overall, military families have a range of housing options to choose from when they move to a new duty station. Families should consider their unique needs and preferences when deciding on a housing option and utilize the resources available to them to make an informed decision.

Accessing Support for Your Move

When moving, it’s important to seek out support and resources that can help ease the process. For military families, there are several assistance programs available to provide support before, during, and after the move. Military Family Readiness programs, for example, offer support in areas such as finance, employment, and child and youth services. Additionally, the Crisis Line is available to provide confidential support and resources for service members and their families in times of crisis.

Public affairs offices are also a valuable resource for military families. They provide information on local events, resources, and community services that can help ease the transition to a new location. Additionally, there are numerous community resources available, such as military-affiliated organizations and non-profits that provide support and assistance to military families.

By taking advantage of the many support options available, military families can ensure a smoother, more stress-free move. Seeking support not only makes the moving process easier, but it can also help families connect with their new community and make the transition to a new location more enjoyable.

Settling into Your New Home

One of the biggest challenges of a military move is adjusting to a new home and community. After the move, it is common to feel disoriented and overwhelmed by the unfamiliar surroundings. To help ease the transition, it is important to establish a sense of normalcy as soon as possible.

Creating a routine can be a helpful way to establish a sense of normalcy after a move. This routine can include activities like setting regular meal times, exercise routines, and family activities. Additionally, it can be helpful to explore the new community and find local resources, such as community centers, libraries, and recreational facilities.

It is also important to connect with other military families and communities in the area. These communities can provide support and help to build a sense of belonging in the new location. Military family support groups and events are great ways to meet other families who are going through similar experiences.

Finally, remember that adjusting to a new home and community takes time. It is okay to feel overwhelmed and take time to adjust. With time, patience, and a positive attitude, you can settle into your new home and make it your own.


In conclusion, creating a routine after a military move is crucial for minimizing stress and adjusting to new surroundings. Throughout the moving process, there are numerous resources available to military families, such as Military OneSource, Crisis Line, and community resources. It is important for military families to prioritize their own well-being and seek assistance when needed. Additionally, understanding the PCS process, preparing for the move, and protecting personal property are essential for a successful relocation. By connecting with military communities and establishing a sense of normalcy in their new home, military families can make the transition to their new location smoother. Overall, with proper planning and utilization of resources, military families can make their move a positive experience.

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.