12 February 2013

DITY Move vs. DMO Move

In four short months we will be PCS'ing to a new base... Did I count that right? 4 months?...... Oh my! There is still so much to do to the house to get it ready to be rented out. I look at the list and all I want to do is curl up into a ball, take a nap and hope my fairy godmother has decided to drop in, sprinkle some fairy dust and *POOF* all projects are completed....

Sometime this month my husband will receive orders to a new duty station. Sometime in the next couple of months we need to decide if we will be moving with a DITY move (our self) or with DMO (formally TMO, Military moves us).

 In the past I have moved myself 11 times. Within the same states mainly and the furthest being to CO from Cali and then back to Cali. In 2008 I hired a moving company to move my son and I from Cali to NC.
Like the Military movers, they tagged and inventoried everything. 
Unfortunately, it wasn't until weeks later when I finished unpacking our things that I realized a couple of boxes were missing. A box with my elegant dresses and lingerie and another box of my oldest son's baby toys and stuffed animals (irreplaceable). 
I called them knowing I had insurance on my move, what they failed to mention was that the ghastly amount I paid for the insurance came out to be $.25 a pound of the weight of the box.... 
Complete and utter loss of 6 dresses that ranged from $150-$400, lingerie (ha.... let's just say it was a gold mine for someone), and stuffed animals that will never be able to be replaced from family and friends... 
So someone is out there playing dress up with my dresses and lingerie on my son's stuffed animals, I'm sure of it...

Had I moved myself though.... I wouldn't have gone through that feeling of loss or felt that I had in some way been duped from them ripping me off and not taking responsibility.

I have heard the horror stories of DMO. Items lost or stolen that cannot be replaced and/or the cost of those items not being what DMO valued them as. Items being broken, dented or scratched to the point that they cannot be used, fixed or replaced.

My fear is having such a violation of our belongings take place. Yes they are material items, but they are material items we have worked hard for to have and enjoy. 
My antique book and coin collection, my husband's weapons and tools, our oldest sons legos (hahaha, that is what he holds close to his heart)... All of these things will have to be inventoried one by one.... And much would have to be set aside to take with us for fear of loss or damage.
 This all sounds like a headache in itself.  

But then there is the cost efficiency of it all. Now-a-days it is a breakeven and sometimes cheaper method to have the Military move you. 
Two years ago some major changes took place to the DITY moves and what is actually paid out. 

Once upon a time more people chose to move themselves because they received a decent size check back that covered the moving truck, gas, overnight stays, food and THEN SOME.

Now, those grand ol' payouts of doing all the labor, driving slow long hours, catching cat naps at some $10 motel in the middle of nowhere or sleeping in the vehicle because the last motel had mice and you high tailed it out of there, listening to your children say how bad they have to pee 20 minutes after you get back on the road, every time, do not exist.

This is a major decision to make, especially when you have little ones like we do. 

Moving ourselves means, long hours of packing, loading everything into the truck just right in the form of a game I like to refer to as real life Tetris (yes I was a killer at that game on my Gameboy), keeping the kids entertained, fed, and out of harms way, driving long hours, unloading and eventually unpacking and getting our "new" home set up. Whew... I'm exhausted from just typing that... (Add in anything that could and always does go wrong along the way or upon arrival).

So what is a family of 4 and a dog to do? What is your preferred method of moving?

Browsing through some websites I came across a great site that gives you tips to prepare for the move starting THREE months before hand (not a week or two before as I've done in the past), Moving Day, Moving with Children & Tips for after your move.
It also has tips for preparing your house before a move and renting your home out if your own it (something we will be doing as well).


  1. We did a DITY move once, almost 10 years ago. The last move was overseas, so the military obviously did it. Only one thing was ruined enough for me to put a claim in. It was our TV stand. I sent them pics and a link to what it would be new. They gave me the full replacement cost. I really don't know, but I think moving with the military is different than the civilian world. They contract with moving companies and if they aren't up to snuff, they won't give them business anymore. We've all PCSed and it is stressful. You almost do need to start everything a few months out cause there is so much more crap to do than a person ever realizes.

  2. I grew up in an Air Force family and married an Army officer, so I'm used to moving. My brother-in-law is having his household goods packed at this very moment. I'm a big fan of having the military move everything.

  3. We have always done a partial dity let the army take the big stuff and we kept the essentials. We were surprised that we still made a good amount of money from our last move even though it was only a 4 hour drive.

  4. this was so helpful! My husband and I are preparing for our first move and were just debating this!

  5. We've done a couple of DITY moves, but these days, we let the military do the move. We do take certain things with us. The last move, they lost a few things including a desk my husband hand made for our daughter; she was not happy - all all! That being said, it's still worth it - especially now that they've gone to full replacement value instead of depreciated value for lost/damaged goods.


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