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Yesterday I shared all the behind-the-scenes “glamour” (hah, yeah right!) of our move, so today, I wanted to share why we chose to handle the move entirely by ourselves, instead of letting the Army move us. DITY moving is not for everyone, but it was something both Andy and I wanted to take on based on our current life situation. Here are a few reasons why we chose to do a do-it-yourself move (now officially called personally procured moves, or PPMs.)
We had a short timeline
We had just 30 days notice between receiving the official orders on paper and Andy’s report date to the new Battalion. After speaking with Transportation, we found out that we would not be able to arrange movers until mid-July, due to this being peak PCS season. Battalion would not have changed his report date to accommodate this, as this is something that every military family has dealt with one time or another. So, Andy would have had to drive up to Iowa and in-process/begin working, while I was still down in Kentucky getting our things packed and shipped. We couldn’t afford for us to be living in two separate places nor did we want to.
We were able to do the move on our timetable
Because Andy drove our moving truck, we didn’t have to rush to get to Iowa before the movers arrived. We didn’t have to worry about our belongings being lost in storage (as we didn’t have a house until after we arrived in Iowa.) We were able to put our things into storage in town, meaning we had complete access to get into the storage unit any time we needed/wanted to unlike if our things were being stored by the Army.
We don’t trust other people with our belongings
I don’t mean to sound cynical, but we have had too many horror stories about PCSes gone awry, thanks to some experience with the packers and/or movers. It seems like every person I know who did a HHG (household goods) move has had at least one bad experience in their time– everything from trash being packed with their goods (literally, rotting trash) to a friend whose daughter’s beautiful princess bed went missing (they found it in the cab of the semi truck; the driver was going to take it home for his own daughter!) Just last week, I saw on the Knox wives’ Facebook page of a family whose cat got packed in with their goods; thankfully, the kitty was still alive after spending 7 days inside of a dryer in a hot moving truck. Andy and I both felt strongly that if someone was going to break our belongings, it would be us. Since we’re the ones who paid for them and use them on a daily basis, we take better care of them than a stranger would. And we definitely knew our pets would not be packed up if we moved ourselves.
We wanted the chance to make money
I’ll talk more about this in a future post– once the money officially hits our hands!–but since we moved ourselves, we were given an incentive pay for doing so. Yes, we did have to put in a lot of sweat equity but for us, it was well worth it. A couple days of hard work (and yes, we sang the Hard Work cadence many times throughout the move) was worth a few thousand dollars in pay. After all, we are working on our debt snowball and every penny we can save to pay off debt we will.
Again, I know DITY moves aren’t for everyone. In the future, we may even choose to do a partial DITY move in the future (allowing the Army to move our household goods while we load our car with valuables.) But unless life circumstances were to majorly change between now and our next move in 3 years, we plan to do another DITY when we leave Iowa.
Do you prefer DITY moves or having someone else handle your move?