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To DITY or Not to DITY

military PPM or DITY move

It’s that time of year again. The smell of cardboard boxes and packing tape in the air.

You’re wondering just exactly how many trips to the dump you can take because you’re so tired of packing.

You’ve chosen the good ‘ol fashion DITY (do-it-yourself move) that the military now calls a Personally Procured Move (PPM).

Most of the time, this is a great option. You’ll make a good chunk of change back, you’re in control of how your stuff is packed, how it’s transported, and how the boxes are labeled.

But – it also can be a bit chaotic. We’re here to help you make your next DITY move (hopefully!) easier than ever.

Here’s a few tips to make your military move a little less stressful:



The goal of a DITY move should be to make money back, not overspend, and to feel good about how your personal items are being moved!

What you’re estimated to make with your DITY move depends on a lot of varying factors. You can use a DITY estimator like this one for a rough estimate.

Break down what you’ll spend on moving supplies, packers, a moving truck, taxes, etc. and come up with a total goal amount to spend.

According to DFAS, authorized and reimbursable expenses include rental truck or trailer, hand trucks, dollies, furniture pads, boxes, tape, oil, fuel, tolls, hired labor, ropes, tie-downs, packing materials, weight ticket fees, POD storage containers, and environmental fees.

Remember: most of your expenses are reimbursable (and those moving expenses aren’t taxed), but you’ll have to pay them upfront. It can take your local finance office 4-6 weeks to process your move and pay you back!

You want to have that money set aside so you are not paying interest on it.

The incentive pay or profit you make off a DITY, not including your reimbursable expenses, is taxed at 22%.



If you’ve never packed your home by yourself, it can easily feel overwhelming.

Get organized! A good organization system will save you a ton of frustration (and probably your marriage too!) Organize the rooms and how you want to pack them, set aside the items you want in your car vs. in the moving truck, and designate a special place for all of your moving related expense receipts and paperwork. (Don’t forget the certified weight receipts for your car and moving truck!)

The more weight you move, the more money you’ll get paid. You don’t want to purge unnecessarily, but you also don’t want to move stuff you don’t actually need.

Pssst…Now is not the time to sell off that squat rack and dumbbell set – put it in the back of the truck and claim that weight!


Set Timeline Goals

It’s a good idea to have a timeline in mind for your move.

And start earlier than you think necessary – believe me, that room that “should only take 30 minutes to pack”…will probably take you at least 3 hours.

If you know the exact date you need to be out of your house, you can plan around that. Pick up the moving truck a few days before, have your house packed, and have the movers scheduled.

If you don’t have an exact date, you’ll just have to plan around a general timeline. Most moving companies understand the headaches of military moves. It’s still better to call around and get quotes even if you don’t have the specific date!

Set a timeline for yourself to get packing done. Do one room a day over a period of time. You’ll be less stressed, more organized, and ready to head to your next PCS location.


Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

If you’re planning on doing a full DITY, get some help! Your spouse, family, neighbos, friends…get whoever you can… a DITY is not a one man kind of job.

moving teamwork

If you’re married, just expect at least 3 arguments to break out (possibly 7 if you didn’t heed our earlier advice about budget, organization and timing.)

Keep the donuts and coffee in abundant supply though and everyone might just stick with you through the very end.

Fist bumps all around for another successful DITY.


Hey, you forgot to talk about the partial DITY!

Yes, a partial DITY is a thing.

Even if the Transportation Office moves 99% of your stuff, you can still move the other 1% and claim a partial DITY.

You can get paid for the things you pack up in your vehicle and a trailer you pull behind. You won’t make as much money as a full DITY, but you can move your most valuable personal items while the government moves the rest!

Good luck with your upcoming PCS. And if you are packing up your belongings but still have no idea where you will be unpacking them, fill out a form here and we can help you decide whether to buy or rent a house at your next assignment.

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