Moving can be the start of a great family adventure. As you get ready to pack up, consider these tips which can make your next move easier and allow you to focus on the exciting opportunities that await at your next home.

Start planning right away

As soon as you know where and approximately when you’re moving, you can build personalized timeline, and get packing tips, to-do lists and checklists with the Plan My Move online tool.

• Use to schedule your move.

• Learn about your new installation and the community around it at

• Use to find housing near your new installation. offers many other planning resources to help you master your move.

Tell your children

Moving can be a challenging experience for children. There are a few steps you can take to help them navigate the emotional rollercoaster of packing up and shipping out. Military Kids Connect is an online community specifically designed to help military children ages 6-17 deal with the unique psychological challenges of military life, including frequent moves.

Tell them about the move as soon as possible. And be sure to reassure them that the important things in life – such as how much you love them – won’t change.

Take inventory

A key part of a successful move is knowing exactly what’s going with you. The good news is technology makes this part easier than ever. With a smartphone or computer, you can record the name, description and condition of everything in your home. Download free home inventory software at or ask your insurance company for inventory app recommendations.

Be prepared to wait for your stuff

The location of your new home will determine a lot of things – including how long it takes for your household goods to arrive. If you are moving overseas, be prepared for it to take several months for your furniture and your car to catch up with you. A packing tip: even if you’ll only be without your household goods for a few weeks, make sure you have the important items you’ll need in the meantime included in your unaccompanied baggage or with you.

Follow these hand-carry packing tips

There are a few essential items that you’ll need to keep with you at all times during your move, especially vital documents. These include:

• Orders

• IDs, driver’s licenses, Social Security cards and passports for every member of your family

• Marriage, divorce, birth and naturalization certificates

• Medical information and medication for each family member

• Housing information, including your insurance information and inventory

• School and employment records

• Vehicle documents

• Precious or irreplaceable items.

Know where to turn for answers

Line up a sponsor and other points of contact at your new installation to ensure you have people to turn to if you have urgent questions.

Also, if anything is damaged or lost during the move, you’ll need your insurance company information and your inventory on hand to file insurance claims.

Be as flexible as possible. Part of ruling your relocation is expecting the unexpected. There are a lot of variables to consider when planning – and each of them can mean changes, delays or even an expedited move. Don’t finalize your personal plans until you have orders in hand.

Don’t forget those last-minute things

As you get ready to leave your current house for the last time, don’t forget to forward your mail and make sure your pets are ready for the move. Need to change health care providers? Contact TRICARE at