9 Pre-Departure Moving Tips for Military Families

Jean Jones
(October 21, 2014)


As a member of the military, you’re no stranger to the moving process. It’s not unusual to be stationed somewhere one month, and then receive orders to be somewhere new a few months later. It’s all just a part of the job, but that doesn’t mean that it’s easy to pull off. Preparing for your move can be a stressful time, no matter how many times you’ve done it in the past. To help reduce the stress and anxiety of moving your family to a new location, we’ve put together some tips and tricks that will help you plan ahead and make the moving process a whole lot easier.

Before you move, make sure you…

  1. Contact all your health care providers (e.g., doctor, dentist, physical therapist, allergist, chiropractor, etc.) and request copies of your records. If you’ve already identified providers in your new location, records might be able to be sent electronically, but if not, the provider should mail you a copy via certified mail.
  1. Secure all school records. Like some medical records, your children’s school records might be able to be transferred to a new school electronically, but if you haven’t enrolled the kids in a new school yet, you’ll likely have to get printed copies.
  1. Alert your insurance company. A move to a new city can affect your car insurance rate and your renter’s insurance rate, too. If you plan to keep the same company as your current provider, contact them prior to arriving at your new location. This way, your new policies will be in effect as soon as you reach your destination.
  1. Have power of attorney documents prepared. This enables a trailing spouse or partner to sign documents and/or make decisions without their “other half” having to be physically present.
  1. Download Skype. Skype is a great tool for people moving from one home to another, because it allows them to stay connected and “virtually visit” one another via computer. Load your Skype account with the account names of the friends and family you might be leaving behind, and familiarize yourself with how to use it.
  1. Give kids a small role in the move to occupy their time and feel like they’re part of the process. Maybe they can be put in charge of counting boxes as they leave the house or checking to make sure each box has its final destination written on it (e.g., Hall Closet).
  1. Get out a map and show your kids where they’ll be living. This can help kids see, in a more tangible way, where they’re going. Remember that a new city is just a concept to them, so the more real you make it, the more comfortable they’ll be.
  1. Do research to find family-friendly attractions that you’ll take the kids to when you get to your new city. Use a calendar to pencil in tentative dates when you’ll visit.
  1. If you already have a home picked out, identify which bedroom will be your child’s, then let him or her help you determine where the furniture will go, how it’ll be decorated, and create a list of items you might want to add.

The moving process can be one of the most stressful events in any person’s life, regardless of how many times you’ve done it before. However, we hope you find these tips useful, and save you from a few grey hairs in the process. If you’d like to learn more about how you can make the move easier before you leave AND once you arrive at your new location, please download our free eBook, “The Military Family’s Guide to Moving” below. 

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