Permanent change of station orders are a reality that many military families must face at one point or another. Here are five things a military family should consider after receiving an order:

 

1. Find the nearest family center: Regardless of which branch the military the reserve is incorporated with, he or she can most likely find a military family center in the new location provided if they do he or she does the research. These services offer relocation assistance and can help families find moving information, Military.com says. They can also answer questions regarding the new community and what it has to offer.

2. Schedule a meeting with the transportation office: Another amenity that most bases offer is a transportation office for reserves who are subject to move. Each branch has a different office that handles a military PCS move, so soldiers in different military arms shouldn’t be searching for the same one. For example, The Traffic Management Office handles all Air Force moves, while the Installation Transportation Office handles all Army PCS relocations. The Personal Property Shipping Office takes care of the Navy and Marine Corps.

3. Evaluate financials prior to the move: Moving is an expensive task, so it’s important that reservists know what their financial standing is prior to packing their things. A local bank or institution that handles the soldier’s money will gladly take time to sit down and discuss current assets or develop a strategy to achieve future financial goals. A great way to save a few extra dollars while moving is to keep a paper trail of all expenditures. That way, if the move orders happen again, soldiers know where they can cut costs the next time around , MSN suggests.

4. Do it yourself: Packing and loading furniture take a lot of time and energy, but military families that do it themselves can save money and ensure quality care of their valuables. Long-distance moving companies are a dime a dozen, but the right one can be hard to find, especially if families fully adopt the DIY motto. However, there are a handful of businesses in this specific marketplace that allow families to do things on their own accord. For example. uShip offers various types of PCS move options for family units who aren’t sure what the best option is. Soldiers can list various items from their home on uShip’s marketplace and freight companies will bid on the items, driving down shipping costs and putting money back into the pockets of the moving families.

5. Call ahead about housing: If a family is renting or buying, this isn’t as applicable. However, for families who are going to live in temporary housing or government-provided lodging, it is absolutely worth calling ahead and, if necessary, making prior arrangements according to MilitarySpouse. Some units allow military families to move in early if they’re ahead of schedule, for example. Whatever the case may be, having a plan going into a new location is best practice.