|Any move takes preparation, but if you are being relocated with the military, you have very little time before moving day. If you're in the Canadian Armed Forces, this list will provide the basics to get done before a military move.
Start making preparations immediately after you are assigned to a new baseMilitary moves are quite frequent, so you may be able to predict when a posting is coming and plan ahead. But if you want to be reimbursed for your moving expenses, it is best to wait until the assignment is official. You will only be covered for what you do after you have been formally assigned to a new area, so if you start the process too early, you won't get compensated.
Create a moving folderTo get reimbursed from the government, you need receipts for all your moving expenses. You also should keep personal information and other essential documentation in a moving folder that you can carry with you during the move.
Things to keep in your moving folder:
- Inventory for shipping
- Power of Attorney
- Birth certificates
- The bill of lading
- Receipts for all moving expenses
- Moving checklist
- Written posting orders
Contact your transportation officeAny questions about the move can be answered by going to your transportation office. You will receive a relocation briefing and you can discuss options for on-base or off-base housing, financial aid, family assistance services, and moving services.
Get more information onlineEven more information can be found online. Canadian Armed forces members can visit Brookfield for help in housing, packing, and moving with the military. Not only is this site filled with helpful information, but it can also provide access to many government programs that aid CAF members in their moves.
Choose your housingIf you want affordable on-base housing, you should sign up right away. You may be placed on a waiting list and if your move comes before your turn, you will be responsible for providing your own temporary housing near your base.
If you choose to buy or rent off-base, start the search early as well--it may be difficult to find a suitable home in the few months given to plan a military move.
Research your destinationThe transportation office or Brookfield's website should be able to provide you with some basic information about your new base and the surrounding area. They may even pair you up with a sponsor who is already stationed at that base. If you have time for a visit, it is best to look at your new neighbourhood in person. If you can't make the trip, use the internet and any information you can get from sponsors or others.
Decide what to do with your homeIf you and your family are completely vacating your current home, you'll need to sell it or rent it out to someone else. Since posting orders can be given with only a couple weeks of warning, you really don't have a lot of time to get a good deal on your home. Try to hire a real estate agent who will continue to work on selling or renting your home after you have gone.
Prepare your itemsSort through all of your possessions. If you don't use certain things much, consider getting rid of them. Sell things of value, donate items to charity, or throw out junk. You want to make your shipment small for moving day because bigger shipments take more time and money to move.
Once you choose what you want to ship, you need to make a precise inventory. Find receipts for expensive items for insurance purposes. If you are moving yourself, it is time to begin packing. If you are hiring a moving company (on your own or through a military program) then you need to contact them. Try to contact movers a few weeks before the move. Remember that summer months are the busiest time for them, so allow more time to set a date if your move falls in the hot months.
Once you got your orders, housing, and packing squared away, you are ready to move to your new base. Good luck, soldier!