Peak Moving Season is Here: Make Move Plans Now

Wrapping up a TV before moving

Once again, the summer months herald the busiest move season of the year as hundreds of thousands of Defense Department and U.S. Coast Guard servicemen and women receive orders to new assignments across the nation and worldwide.

Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Global Logistics Support Household Goods Program Analyst Deloma Miley advises those transferring to book their moves early.

The period of May 15 through August 31 is the annual peak move season, she said. More than 65 percent of moves occur during peak season.

"Don't wait," Miley says. "With the decline in moving companies' capacity, Department of Defense budget cuts, and even a possible government furlough, the sooner you start working with the local Personal Property Office the greater your chance of getting the desired pack out date."

"Don't wait a week or two before the desired pack out date to complete the process in," said Miley. "Begin now; it takes approximately three weeks to process all required paperwork to book your move. Enter all your data and paperwork now. For Navy information on getting started with the move process, visit NAVSUP's page."

"Another tip is to organize your house and belongings," Miley said. "Go through all your rooms and boxes from the last move to make sure you still need the items. If it hasn't been worn or used in the last year, do you still need it? Sort your items by the type of shipment: household shipment, unaccompanied baggage (if authorized), professional gear and what is going in your suitcase or car. By sorting you may find out what needs to be sold, donated or disposed of. Keep in mind, if you exceed your authorized weight allowance it can be expensive!"

"No one wants to get a bill for being overweight on their shipment," Miley said.

The Defense Department and the U.S. Coast Guard book an estimated 200,000 household goods shipments each summer, Miley said. In addition to these moves, many federal civilian employees also choose to schedule their moves during the summer, since most schools are out of session and the relocation will be less disruptive for children.

Service members have two options for moving their household goods. They can choose a government arranged move, in which a contractor packs and ships their household goods, or they may perform a Personally Procured Move (PPM) formerly known as a "DITY" move, where the customer arranges to rent a truck or trailer, or uses their own vehicle to move their items.

Here are some helpful terms for you to know:

Household shipment is your main shipment: furniture, dishes, washer/dryer, BBQ grill, outdoor furniture, children's play furniture, majority of your clothes, etc.

Unaccompanied baggage (if authorized): this is the small shipment of items that you will need to survive until your big household good shipment arrives. This is normally only authorized with overseas orders. Items to include would be enough kitchen ware/dishes to use daily (not your china), crib, clothes, some uniforms, some DVD's (not your entire library), etc.

Professional gear: Professional books and equipment (PBP&E) includes household goods in a service member's possession needed for the performance of official duties at the next or a later destination.

Service members professional gear: This could be work manuals, awards, specialty work uniforms (band uniforms, navy divers, flight suits, helmets, chaplain's vestments and other specialized apparel), reference materials, instruments, tools, and equipment peculiar to technicians, mechanics.

Spouse professional gear: This may be authorized for a licensed profession, i.e. doctor, dentist, lawyer or community support activities at the next or a later destination, an example would be a command Ombudsman. Any other profession may be considered if the appropriate documentation can be provided. Selling Avon or Pampered Chef does not count as a licensed profession.

Excluded from professional gear: Items excluded from professional gear include commercial products for sale/resale used in conducting business, sports equipment, and office, household, or shop fixtures or furniture (such as bookcases, study/computer desks, file cabinets, and racks) of any kind even though it may be used in conjunction with professional gear.

Protect your Property and Belongings

Whether you rent or own your home, private insurance is the best way to protect your personal property and covers you in case of personal liability. Get free quotes.

For more information on either option and to start the move process, customers should go to to For questions or concerns about moving customers, e-mail or call (1-855-444-6683) for assistance or contact their local personal property shipping office.

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