Executing a Personally Procured Move
Of the thirteen times I’ve moved with the military, five of them were Personally Procured Moves (PPM) – and with each PPM, I improved the preparation steps I took in order to make the moving and set up processes at the destination more efficient than the previous time.
During my first PPM, you could say I got the cart before the horse. I moved without having a destination apartment lined up and I had no priority system for my boxes. As a result, I moved my gear twice – once to storage and again to an apartment. Since my boxes weren’t marked in order of priority, I had to open EVERY box just to find the essentials.
PPM Lessons Learned
By my fifth PPM, I had all of my ducks in a row. I lined up my destination house BEFORE moving and I labeled my boxes with a priority level for each room (i.e. “unpack first”, “unpack second”, and “when you have time”). With a little bit of preparation, you can make your PPM go so much more smoothly.
When it Comes to PPMs, Preparation is Key.
Preparation is key, but you should also be doing some homework before you meet with the Traffic Management Office (TMO). Be sure to do the following while preparing for your PPM:
- Ask yourself if you really know how to pack and load/unload your valuables. If you’ve kept a close eye on a moving crew in the past, you’ll have been able to observe some practices that you can effectively put into place. If you’re not sure where to start, visit moving.tips to learn some valuable techniques for keeping your property safe during a move.
- Check your homeowners and auto insurance. It’s important to know what your insurance will cover if you have an accident (your gear, liability for the other party(s), and replacement of the rental truck). The supplemental insurance to repair/replace the rental truck, if it is damaged, is worth it. If you damage a moving truck, you are not only liable for the damage, but also any lost income that results while the truck is being repaired. Supplemental insurance relieves you of this burden.
- Check out the tools & resources available to you at move.mil – you’ll find weight estimators, scale locations, and a PPM estimator that will estimate your moving budget.
- Estimate your budget for moving supplies: consider your needs for items like padlocks, plastic tubs, boxes, tape guns and tape, wrapping paper, specialty boxes, and cam straps (ratchet straps for moving heavy equipment).
- Consider your options for transporting your household goods. Do containers, a freight trailer, a rental truck, or your own vehicle(s) best accommodate your needs? Containers have a low deck height and you don’t have to drive the load, but they are two to three times costlier than a rental van. Freight trailers are another option if you don’t want to be responsible for driving the load, but the deck height is high, and you still have to consider the costs accrued in paying someone else to drive the load. With a rental truck, you can find a low deck height and a more affordable rental price – this is the option chosen by the majority of families executing a PPM.
- Estimate the size and weight of your gear first, then make an estimate on the size of the truck, amount of supplies, mileage and fuel costs, and supplemental rental insurance needs. PRO TIP: Your previous moving records may help you to estimate your load weight.
- If you plan to trailer your vehicle behind the rental truck, make sure the rental company supports your vehicle’s transport on their trailer. If the rental company doesn’t support the transport of your vehicle on their trailer, make arrangements to plan for someone else to drive your vehicle to your destination.
- If for some reason you aren’t able to secure living arrangements before you move, consider the cost and effort of moving your gear to a storage location, and then to your destination home.
Weigh the Pros and Cons
With a little bit of preparation, you can make your PPM go so much more smoothly.
Once you have done your homework, meet with TMO. Weigh the PROS and CONS of a Household Goods Move versus your PPM options. And if you choose to execute a PPM, remember, lift with your legs – Uncle Sam is still going to need you to come to work after the move!