Thank You Everyone for your contributions!
*Set up your move with the transportation office. If you are OCONUS and will be utilizing non-temporary storage, you need to tell them when you make arrangements. This non-temp storage is part of your HHG weight limit too.
*Buy a notebook with folders and make a list of things to do a head of time.
*As soon as you get your orders, call your new station and have your housing request filled out. If housing is not available right away, ask about temporary lodging and make reservations.
*Check your military ID, Driver's license etc... for expiration dates.
*If you take medication on a daily basis, make sure you have plenty to get through your transfer.
*Buy a file box for: all important papers, shot records, power of attorney, insurance, wills, copies of your orders, taxes, school records, medical and dental records (if they let you) for all, including pets. Keep that with you and put it in your car on moving day.
*Keep all receipts and get a large majority of money in travelers checks.
*Do not close your checking account until you get your direct deposit switched. Most places will not accept a check with a handwritten address and a check number that starts at 1, so always start above 1000 on your check numbers.
*Take your current phone book with you and order a phone book and map for the area that you are moving to.
*Videotape all electrical equipment while turning them on and off, this will document them in good working condition. Videotape your entire household too.
*Write down all the serial numbers to your big ticket items. You can also write down how many video's, cd's and DVD's that you have. Make a copy so the movers will have this available.
*Clean out drawers, cabinets and closets before your move is scheduled. Defrost freezers and don't forget to drain your washer and disconnect dryer hose.
*Call your current cable, electric, gas and phone companies to give them a cut off date.
*The Post Office has free change of address cards. They require you to fill out a forwarding card for any family member with a different last name.
*The Post Office will not open a PO Box if you are not present at your new location, but the UPS Store has boxes and will open one over the phone/fax.
*You can have the Post Office hold your mail until you get to your new address and then send the card forward to them.
*The Post Office will not forward magazines, so you will need to call the magazines individually.
*Use large Zip-loc bags to organize your drawers. Place all your eating utensils, junk drawer etc into these bags or you will have a big mess when you unpack.
*Clean all appliances that aren't used often and place them in a trash bag.
*Place all your clean linens and clothes in a scented trash bag and tie it closed.
*Plan ahead and set aside items that you want immediately at your new house. Items like bed linens, paper products, plastic cups, bowls, and spoons. A couple of videos and small TV/with video player and a few paperback books. Light bulbs, kitchen items and a corded telephone are usually good items for this box. The packers can leave you an empty box and mark it the next day.
*Tape the ends of all board games, puzzles, anything with lots of pieces. Place small toys in Zip-loc bags.
*Knobs and drawer pulls can be removed, placed in a cloth pouch and taped inside a drawer.
*You can take pictures out of their frames, so that you can hand carry them if you prefer. You can hand carry or mail irreplaceable mementos to avoid damage or loss.
*Empty and clean your trash bins, they will pack them, as is, if you don't.
*Set aside uniforms and your children's special blankets, so they will not get packed by accident.
*Plan ahead as to how you want things unpacked at the other end. If you have baskets all over the house and you want them all together at the other end, put them in one area so they are packed together.
*You can have your valuable and expensive items appraised before hand. Do not ship small valuable items, it would be better to pack them in your suitcase.
*You will need to disconnect all your electrical equipment before the movers get there. You can tie the cords and color code them with ribbon- blue for computer, red for stereo etc...place all your remote controls in one area.
*Depends on your mover if they will pack candles. Make sure you wrap them in paper towels and bag them. Seal in a shoe box. They have been known to melt, so make sure you at least bag them.
*Depends on your movers, but most will pack canned/unopened food items (not perishables). Spices are iffy, but try bagging them and they shouldn't fuss.
*You are not allowed to pack: perishable food items, combustible or corrosive liquids,batteries, explosives, flammable's, gases, aerosol cans, chlorinated hydrocarbons in decorative lamps and they will no longer ship propane tanks.
*Lawn mowers, air conditioning units and any outside equipment must be cleaned and drained. If you are in an area known for Gypsy Moth's, it is your responsibility to inspect your outside equipment to prevent transporting this bug to other areas. You will have to sign a paper stating that you have inspected your equipment. The Gypsy moth is mainly in the North East states.
*Set aside Professional Books, Papers and Equipment. This includes anything needed to perform military duties. Ex: uniforms, awards, tools and equipment needed by technicians or mechanics, special dive suits or cold weather apparel. These items are weighed but not counted towards your weight limit. This does not include professional items for the spouse.
This should be properly documented on the inventory. You can not declare this after the fact to reduce overweight shipments.
*You can take all the pictures off the wall and clean them. If you have silk arrangements, do not let them separate the arrangement from the vase.
*For our OCONUS move to AK, we included multiple firearms in our HHG shipment. You have to transport them in locked cases. They will document every single item and then lock the case. You will get a copy, they will have a copy and your inspector will get a copy. For pistols, one large container is appropriate, but it still must be locked.
It is the members responsibility to obtain the shipping weight from the destination transportation office prior to delivery. If the shipment is overweight, the member can request a re-weigh prior to delivery. The member or a quality assurance person should witness the re-weigh.
You can call the moving company and get a weight, but remember that the packaging deductions are done by the transportation office. So the weight that the moving company gives you will be more.
Here is an example of our last move:
Our limit was 13,000#
Our move totalled with the packing company 13,840#
10% deducted by the transportation office for packing materials 1,384
Equals a total of 12,456 HHG weight
We had 544 left to use towards our partial dity cross country.