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Tips for Getting Your Move Started

Moving can be so overwhelming that you might not know where to begin. If you need a little push in the right direction, help is available. Frequent moves are part of military life, so the Department of Defense (DoD) makes plenty of resources available to guide service members through the moving process from start to finish. To get a head start on your move, follow these tips and start packing!

  • Connect with your installation Relocation Assistance Program. The Relocation Assistance Program office on your installation can connect you to the right tools and resources to ensure a smooth move. Relocation services include:
    • information about the destination location
    • information on moving costs, housing, child care, spousal employment, and shipment and storage of household goods (HHG)
    • relocation counseling on financial management, housing, and stress management
    • newcomers orientations
    • welcome packets
    • sponsorship training programs
    • lending closets (to provide basic household items while a service member’s HHG are in transit)
  • Know your online resources. With these websites, twenty-four-hour moving assistance is just a few keystrokes away. MilitaryINSTALLATIONS is a searchable directory of worldwide installations and state-related military information. Plan My Move allows you to input some basic moving information and then provides a three-month calendar to help you plan and track your relocation activities. Military OneSource can also provide personalized relocation information and support.
  • Participate in the Sponsorship Program. Through the Sponsorship Program, service members can get personal assistance from a fellow service member at their destination location. Visit the Relocation Assistance Program office for more information.
  • Obtain emergency financial assistance. Service members who find themselves in financial trouble can get help through both the military and civilian communities:
  • Army Emergency Relief (AER), the Navy Marine Corp Relief Society (NMCRS), and the Air Force Aid Society (AFAS) all offer emergency financial assistance to service members and their families. Service members who are approved for assistance may be able to get a low-interest loan.
  • Army Community Service (ACS), Marine Corps Community Services (MCCS), Navy Fleet and Family Support Services (FFSP), and the Airman and Family Readiness Centers (A&FRC) will either have an emergency food closet or be able to refer service members to community emergency food resources. They will also be able to assess if additional support services are needed.
  • The Relocation Assistance Program typically has a lending closet allowing families to borrow basic household items until the service member's HHG arrive.
  • Military OneSource can research emergency financial resources within the community that may provide assistance to a family. In an emergency, they can typically gather this information in one business day.
  • Address adjustment problems. Relocation can be a stressful time. Take special care of yourself and your family and address issues as they arise to ensure everyone’s well- being and to keep small problems from becoming big ones. Each Service’s Family Center can provide service members and family members with additional support during a stressful relocation and readjustment period. Military OneSource can provide information, assistance and referrals to counseling for service members or family members who are having trouble adjusting.




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