Every summer, the PCS horror stories start to emerge, and they are downright terrifying. No family should be treated this way when moving….it’s stressful enough! But the alternative to letting military moving companies handle your household goods means… moving everything yourself. Ugh! Everyone always seems terrified at the prospect of moving their own goods, but we tend to forget there are positives here also. A Personally Procured Move (PPM), formerly known as a Do-it-Yourself or DITY move, is when you opt to handle your own packing and moving process, and the military pays you to do it! Here are the best reasons to consider a PPM for your next move.

Top 5 Reasons for a PPM or DITY Move

#1 Full Control 

Type A personalities unite! You are in complete control of every aspect of this move from the packing and loading dates, to the moving truck booking, and so on. This task might seem intimidating, but full control means that you leave and arrive when YOU want to, and you establish the timeline that works for your family. No more waiting on the moving company to choose a date, send a crew, have the right materials, and then deliver on time. A lot of planning goes into a PPM, but it guarantees you won’t be waiting for your HHG to arrive or racing to meet it. A door to door PPM is priceless!

#2 Purging

Organizing and purging take on a new face when you move yourself. It’s one thing to de-clutter before the packers arrive, but when YOU are the packer, that means lots of organizing. And it’s also easier to get rid of things if it means you won’t have to pack and load them. Not only is it therapeutic to get rid of stuff you don’t use anymore, but you can then have a yard sale and make money off of these items.

#3 Nothing Lost or Stolen

We all see the horror stories on the Lost During My PCS Facebook page. Stories of families missing boxes or ending up with boxes that do not belong to them. Sometimes those things are returned to the correct family, but a lot of the time it isn’t. How does this happen? Typically, your HHG goes directly to a storage facility to be unloaded and stored until a driver is assigned. Boxes are then reloaded onto the truck for transport, and in the process, things can be misplaced and mixed up. Stolen items happen all the time too, unfortunately. It’s sad to think that your packers take your items, but it happens. These scenarios are removed when you do a PPM because the only person handling your stuff is you!

#4 Respect

Feeding and tipping the moving crew and packers means they will treat your HHG with respect, right? Wrong! There are better crews than others, but this does not mean that they automatically treat you and your belongings with respect. Sometimes movers throw things into a box without proper packaging, which results in broken or missing items. Other times, they don’t take the time to write details on boxes, so you end up with 15 boxes labeled “kitchen.” You will respect your HHG better than any stranger, so it has a better chance of being packed appropriately and handled with care.

#5 Make Money with a PPM

The main reason to PPM is to have full control over your HHG and do a door to door move with nothing broken or stolen, BUT the money you make on top does not hurt. The government will pay you based on the weight of your HHG, and you will be reimbursed for the moving trucks and supplies plus one vehicle. To maximize the money, check out these tips and ideas.

Moving yourself is not for everyone. It’s hard work that takes strategic planning and a lot of elbow grease. When done correctly, your belongings travel safely with you to your new duty station, and you have a door to door move that helps you generate income. Thinking of doing a PPM/DITY? Get packing tips, checklists, and more at PCSgrades.com.

Jenah Wieczorek is an Army spouse, mother of 2 boys, dental hygienist, and volunteer. Jenah is a two-time recipient of the First Cavalry Division Commander’s Award for Volunteer Excellence, the Department of the Army Award for Patriotic Civilian Service, and is a member of the U.S. Cavalry and Armor Association’s Order of St. Joan D’Arc.