1.07.2005

Adventures in moving - part 1

So we're down to T -24 days and counting. This will be the first time we have "allowed" the military to move ALL of our stuff. Usually we do what is called a "partial DITY (Do IT Yourself)" where we tow a trailer with the few things that we own that we don't trust the military to move and not destroy. Things like The Husband's motorcycle, our bed, our pictures, the fire safe and all of our "important papers", The Husband's tools (which weigh more than The Husband's motorcycle), etc.

Well, doing a partial DITY to Hawaii really isn't an option. They haven't quite finished the bridge...

So, one of my ulcers will come from the fact that government contracted movers will have sole posession and control of 99% of everything we own. *gulp* I have had nightmares that involve opening the crate with our stuff in it and finding only broken pieces of china and splinters of wood.

On the move from Alabama to here (we did a partial DITY and hauled about 5,000 pounds of our own stuff), we wound up with four PAGES worth of damage claim forms! I understand that it's pretty much inevitable that some things will be damaged during a move but that was a little excessive. Luckily it wasn't anything too terribly important.

But this time, they will have everything with the exception of what we can stuff in our suitcases and what we put in non-temporary storage. That prospect worries the crap out of me. Hence, the nightmares and ulcer.

Let me give you a run-down on what all is involved in a military move...


first, you have to get orders. Sometimes this isn't an issue. Sometimes, you get your orders 2 weeks prior to your move date. Because Hawaii is considered an OCONUS or "Outside Continental United States" move, there are hoops to be jumped through. We had to go to an EFMP (Exceptional Family Member Program) screening to make sure that none of us has any conditions that Hawaii does not have services available to address. We do not. I could have told them that but they do not trust the family members to be honest so they make you come in for this screening. There went 2 hours out of my day.

After you get orders, you have to make your appointments with transportation (to set up the pack and load dates as well as unaccompanied baggage pickup), SATO (military travel office - to schedule flights and such), housing (to schedule preinspection, so they can tell you what you what you need to do/fix before your final inspection, and your final inspection before clearing post and leaving), temporary lodging (so you have somewhere to sleep after they pack your bed), and because this is an overseas assignment, you also have to ship your car.

About the car...the military allows each family to ship ONE car at government expense. ONE. Assuming you sell the other car (and assuming we're talking about a 2 car family) prior to leaving, this leaves you with ZERO cars for the last few days/weeks that you are at your current assignment. Not to mention it makes it DIFFICULT to get to the AIRPORT on your departure day. OR your other option is to wait until the day you leave to ship your ONE vehicle and then you are left with ZERO vehicles in an area you are unfamiliar with and most likely know NO ONE. What a PITA. The military needs to fix that Charlie Foxtrot. But hey, what do I know? Oh, and did I mention it will take them 30-60 DAYS to ship your car? Don't ask how long it will take them to get us our household goods (HHG). You don't want to know.

So my calendar looks like this for the next month :

Jan 13 - housing brief
Jan 15 - yard sale (I'm worried that we are going to exceed our weight allotment)
Jan 18 - preclearance brief
Jan 19 - overseas brief
Jan 21 - ship car
Jan 25 - housing preinspection
Jan 30 - alternate date for yard sale
Feb 1 - movers pack
Feb 2 - movers pack (YES, it's going to take them TWO days to pack all of our crap...have I mentioned that we have too much stuff???)
Feb 3 - movers load
Feb 4 - unaccompanied baggage pickup/stay in temp lodging/pick up medical records
Feb 5 & 6 - clean house for final inspection
Feb 7 - final inspection/leave

Somewhere in there I have to find time to get to my folks' house to see them one more time as well as drop off boxes of stuff we aren't going to need or have room for (winter clothing, kids' clothes that they have grown out of but I'm not ready to get rid of), my teaching and coaching stuff, The Husband's snowboards, etc. Not sure when that is going to happen.

So that's it for now. I'll keep you all posted as we move along. I'm off to sort through the kids' room and start setting things aside for the yard sale. Pray for warm weather next weekend!!!

'night

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