Government Move or Do It Yourself (DITY)?

It's essential to have a good plan and lots of information so your household goods, and in some cases your privately owned vehicle (POV), arrive in shipshape condition at your new destination.  The challenges associated with change and adjusting to a new community can be daunting. But if you give a little thought to your moving and transportation needs, you can not only greatly decrease the unknowns associated with your move but also the anxiety that normally comes with the Permanent Change of Station (PCS) moving process.

Every move and the circumstances surrounding it are different. Once you have your military orders in hand, contact or visit your local transportation management office to get the facts about your move and entitlements.  When scheduling your move dates, try to avoid peak moving periods, and be flexible whenever possible.  If the servicemember's schedule is not flexible, the spouse or designated representative may need to execute a power of attorney to arrange the move and delivery. 

For the most part, your move will fall into two main categories--a government move or a personally procured move. The following discusses each type of move and its pros and cons. 

Government move (full or partial).

The government manages and pays for your household goods move.  This is the most common type of move because most of the work is done by the government and not by the individual.

Just because you decide to have the government move you, you still must prepare for the move and not expect the moving company and packers to do everything.  As part of your move package, your transportation management office should give you a checklist or a "to do" list to help you get ready.  Get rid of things that you don't plan to move or items the government will not move.  Then organize your things to make the move less confusing or overwhelming to you and the movers.

If possible, try to estimate the weight of your household goods, and give that information to the transportation office. This will help them get an idea of how much weight you think you might have so they can calculate your weight allowances.  A good rule of thumb is to estimate 1,000 pounds per room (excluding storage rooms or bathrooms).  Keep in mind that weigh allowances are based on a number of factors such as years in the military, pay grade, and whether you are transferring with or without dependents.   



  • You don't have to wake up too early the day of the move if you plan right.  The moving company usually will not arrive before 8 a.m. so you have time to eat breakfast and get the family and pets settled before the move begins.  
  • The moving company is responsible for bringing everything needed for the move-boxes, paper, blankets, tape, and tools. 
  • You can expect proper handling and packaging of your special or high- value items. 
  • When the movers are done packing and loading, you don't have to worry about driving your household goods to your new destination and then unloading them yourself. 
  • The movers will pick up your boxes and packaging materials after your move


  • Sometimes there are more packers than you can observe, so it's hard to know exactly how and where your things are packed. 
  • You can't always be sure your items won't be damaged during the move. 
  • If you do have damaged items, the reimbursement process may be long and difficult. 
  • You only will be reimbursed for the depreciated value of the damaged items, not the replacement value. 
  • Sometimes there are more packers than you can observe, so it's hard to know exactly how and where your things are packed. 


Do It Yourself (DITY) move or Personally Procured Move (PPM). 

 You move yourself, and the government reimburses 95 percent of what it would have cost the government to move you.



  • Some military members believe they come out ahead financially even though the government will not reimburse any costs above what is authorized. 
  • You avoid competing for a move schedule with government moving companies during peak seasons when the demand is high.  
  • You have greater direct control over the packing and supervision of the move. You don't have to watch or wait for the movers to finish wrapping and packing your items, and you know where your items are packed.  Your property is with you from start to finish. - Some believe you decrease the risk of your household goods and valuables being damaged. 
  • You don't have to wait to schedule your household goods delivery at your new location. 
  • A family with older children who want to work together can use the money they save for other purchases. 


  • Consider the size of your household goods-if you have a lot, the headaches may not be worth the effort. 
  • A family with small children and/or a servicemember who has little time to help with the move because of their deployment or work schedule might see a government move as a much better option. 
  • You must obtain all your moving materials (boxes, paper, blankets, tape, and tools). 
  • You must pack, load, and drive your household goods to your new location.  You deliver and unpack your goods yourself. 
  • You won't be reimbursed for damaged items. 
  • You must dispose of boxes and other moving materials yourself. 
  • Costs over what the government allows will not be reimbursed. 
  • You must follow the process and requirements carefully. Failure to weigh household good properly and file the required documents is money out of your pocket.