Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Our First Partial DITY Move

I am a brand-new military spouse, and this is my very first PCS (Permanent Change of Station.)  Rob was born into a Navy family and has experienced multiple moves.  However, before my marriage to Rob, I had never experienced the military lifestyle, so this is all very new and very much a learning experience for me.  Our first PCS has been a very exciting and educational journey so far!

Packing up your entire home and moving every few years could be pretty inconvenient.  I'm so thankful that the military understands this and does so much to make the transition as smooth as possible.  We were given a few choices for how we would like to make the move:

1) We could let the military move our things, all expenses paid.
2) We could do a partial DITY (do it yourself) move, let the military move some of our things, and move the rest ourselves.
3)Or, we could do a full DITY move, and be paid for our move based on the weight of our possessions and the miles we hauled them to our new home.

We decided to try a partial DITY move, so we called the moving company and scheduled a day for them to come pack up most of our things.
The Morning of the Move - The Blue House in Provo, UT
On the day of the move, the driver pulled up to the house at about 8:30 AM in a large truck.  Our driver already had the possessions of 4 other families packed into his truck.
The driver came in right away and started moving our furniture.  He labeled each piece with a number sticker, and kept a ledger-like record of the furniture associated with each number.  

The driver then wrapped up each piece with a blanket and packaging tape, loaded it onto a dolly and packed it into the truck. 
At about 9:30 AM two packers arrived.  They brought HUGE stacks of paper and boxes.  I have been hearing stories about this paper for a while.  To ensure nothing gets broken in the move, EVERYTHING is wrapped in paper!  And I mean EVERYTHING!  From glass dishes, to stuffed animals and even the candy drawer.
The packers made quick work of packing up each room, one at a time.
The movers didn't pack anything we specified we wanted to move ourselves.  Military regulations don't allow movers to pack liquids or firearms for example, so instead of leaving them behind, we gathered them together along with the clothes, toiletries and food we would need for our road-trip.  We stacked these items in a few spots in our house and made sure they were clearly marked.
We were also encouraged by a friend in the Army National Guard to make sure our trash cans were empty before the movers arrived.  He warned us that the movers pack EVERYTHING as is.  This turned out to be completely true!  We were glad we didn't have our trash shipped to our new home, but we did manage to forget a couple of molding onions in our pantry... 

The packers systematically labeled each box with Rob's rank, last name and a list of the items inside.  
The driver loaded the boxes onto the truck as they were packed, and before we knew it we were standing in an empty house.  The military allowed us 8,000 pounds of boxes and furniture to be moved to our new home, and all of our things weighed in at about 4,020 pounds.  I've never described my things in weight before!  Four-thousand pounds sounds so much bigger than it looks!
All that was left for us to do was deep clean, turn in our keys, load up the car and hit the road.  Once we're on our way, we will stop at the first weigh-station we can find and have our car weighed, and then when get to our destination and unload the car, we will weigh it again empty.  With both weigh receipts, the military will reimburse us for the the items we moved ourselves.

This was such a new and fascinating process for me!  Have you ever had a moving company help you with a move?


  1. Oh my goodness! This post makes me tired just thinking about all of that! But how fortunate to have the military move your stuff for you. :) Miss you already, Whemme.

    1. We had so many kind offers from friends to help with packing. :) But we really didn't touch a thing! And the few things that were already in boxes were unpacked and re-packed by the company. It's amazing how little effort it took on our part! The biggest chore was unpacking. Haha! Miss you too, Amber!! <3

  2. Oh boy Whtney, what memories this has brought back to me. I was married to a military man for over 22 years. We moved 16 times during that time and I had five children throughout those years. We used to say when we got posted another baby must be on the way because my babies were never born where they got started! Of course as the children got older the moves got a little bit harder, especially the last two which meant that each time I had left a child behind who hadn't wanted to move yet again. It was so hard leaving one behind. I don't think the heart every completely recovers from that wrench! In any case the moves were always a combition of excitement about the new adventure ahead, angst about all of the upheaval and a bit of sadness to be leaving what had almost become familiar behind. Good luck in your new place! I hope all arrives at it should and you are able to settle in quickly! xxoo