New orders have come in, and your family is headed to a new base. Now, you have to make a decision: should you do a personally procured move, or should you opt for a government-sponsored move, instead? Your family’s specific needs may help determine the course of action that’s best for you.
1. The Cost
In a DITY or personally procured move, the service member can receive reimbursement for the costs of the move. If they hire a long distance moving company contractor to do it, they can receive 100% of the cost the government would have spent to move their household goods; for service members who opt to do it themselves completely, 95% of the cost is reimbursed. In some cases, this may amount to a significant moving bonus for service members and their families who can significantly reduce the cost of the move compared to what the government would have spent.
If you’re opting for a personally procured move for the cost-benefit, however, it’s important to note that new regulations have limited the amount that most people can earn from the process. Not only that, it does count as taxable income–though you can deduct your expenses from your taxes to help reduce the tax hit.
For many families, a personally procured move is worth it for one simple reason: the flexibility. You can–within a reasonable range based on the orders, of course–choose your move dates. You won’t have to sit around waiting for military movers to show up because you can create your schedule (or even hire your truck to handle the moving process). This flexibility means convenience to many families.
Sometimes, orders come through fast, and you don’t have a chance to wait on military movers. In cases like this, doing the move yourself is more efficient than trying to figure out how you’re going to get everything done or potentially sending the military spouse ahead while the civilian remains behind to take care of the moving responsibilities. On the other hand, if military movers are available, tight timing may make it worth allowing someone else to take on some of the burdens.
You’ve invested a lot of money in your possessions: gorgeous furniture, heirlooms, and other items that you don’t want to see broken during the move. While military movers are careful, they’re also human–and they might not take as much care as you’d like with your possessions. In these cases, many families prefer the control that comes from moving their possessions themselves, removing the need to worry that they will be broken due to a lack of care.
Each family must decide for themselves whether it is more practical to accept government movers or to opt for a personally procured move. By carefully considering the benefits, however, it’s possible to decide what option will work best for your family and make a choice that will make the moving process easier for all of you.