A major perk of military life is the ease of moving. Isn’t it great that the movers will package and move everything for you?! Your service member will fill out the necessary Transport Management Office (TMO) paperwork, and then you’re good to go.

But, what if you’re looking to live off base or your service member is about to retire from the military?

If you aren’t living in an area participating in the Personally Procured Move (PPM) Program, moving isn’t nearly as easy.  Here are a few helpful tips that we hope will make your transition smooth and budget friendly!

Sort through your stuff

Take time to organize your belongings; consider what you really need. If you’re a pack-rat, this is the perfect time to give away, throw away or sell things you haven’t used in years.  If you donate your belongings to a charitable foundation such as Good Will, your donations could help you qualify for a tax deduction.  The less you move, the less you pay. You can even use the money you make to pay for moving expenses.

Don’t buy packaging materials

Visit your nearest recycling center or pretty much any local retailer to get moving boxes. After stores get their merchandise, they’ve got to dispose of the packaging materials; in most cases these shops would love for you to take it off their hands. Stay away from the grocery store boxes though; they are generally not the cleanest containers for your stuff.

In place of bubble wrap, try wrapping delicate pieces in towels or clothes.

Make a plan

Take time to shop around for the best prices on moving trucks. The better prepared you are, the easier the move will be on your family and your family’s finances.

Pack it yourself

If you’ve taken time to prepare, you’ll probably have considered taking the time and energy to pack things yourself. This not only saves money, but you’ll know how the boxes are packed and categorized. It’s also really helpful to include a list of contents at the top of each box.

Avoid storage units

Depending on how far you’re moving, consider shipping boxes to your new home. Sometimes families rent a storage unit to allow them the flexibility to move in increments. Storage units don’t save time or money. If you’ve planned your moving process, you’ll be able to move to point A to point B without the use of an expensive storage unit middleman.


If you’re looking for ways to save during deployment, we’ve got something that might come in handy!

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