Moving from home to home can be a stressful experience for anyone, but imagine having to do it multiple times, often with very little notice. Welcome to the world of military relocations, where packing up and settling into a new place becomes a regular part of life.


If you’re part of a military family, you’ll know that these frequent moves come with unique challenges. Military relocations can be a whirlwind of emotions and logistics, from finding new schools for the kids to making new friends and adjusting to different surroundings.

But don’t worry. Whether you’re a seasoned pro at military relocations or just facing your first big move, this guide is here to lend a hand. We’ll explore some practical strategies and helpful tips to help you navigate through this phase of life.

Understanding Military Relocations

First things first, let’s get to know what military relocations are all about. Think of them as life’s way of keeping you on your toes.

Military personnel and their families often need to move from one base to another, sometimes even internationally. 

Tips for Planning Military Relocations

Military relocations can be due to a change in assignment, deployment, or other operational needs. It’s an adventure but comes with its fair share of challenges. Here’s how to deal with some of them. 

  • Start Early: Military relocations can sneak up on you, so getting a jump start on planning is wise. Create a moving checklist, gather essential documents, and begin sorting your belongings well in advance.
  • Talk to Your Family: Open communication is vital. Sit down with your family and discuss what this move means for everyone. Feelings of excitement, anxiety, or sadness are normal. Sharing these emotions can make the process smoother.
  • Seek Support: Many bases offer resources to help with military relocations. From moving services to counseling, don’t hesitate to ask for assistance.
  • Research Schools and Childcare: If you have children, looking into new schools or childcare centers ahead of time can alleviate stress. Many military communities offer excellent resources to help you find the right fit.
  • Think About the Weather: Will you move from a sunny location to a snowy one or vice versa? Consider climate change and prepare your wardrobe accordingly. You don’t want to get yourself caught in a snowstorm in flip-flops.

Making the Move: Packing and Transporting

Moving during military relocations involves more than just throwing things in boxes. It’s a carefully planned dance of logistics and emotions. Here are some key strategies to help you gracefully glide through the process.

  • Hire Professional Movers or DIY: Consider your options for moving your belongings. Some prefer professional military-approved movers, while others like the hands-on approach of a DIY move.
  • Pack Smart: Label boxes with room names. Use proper packing materials, and consider what you’ll need first in your new place. It’ll make unpacking a breeze.
  • Create a Moving Timeline: Plotting out key dates and milestones on a timeline can make the process more manageable. When should you start packing? When are the movers arriving? A clear schedule can help keep everything on track.
  • Consider Temporary Storage: If there’s a gap between moving out of your old place and into your new one, temporary storage might be an option. It gives you a secure place to keep your belongings while transitioning.
  • Take Care of Valuables: Handle valuable items with extra care, from family heirlooms to essential documents. Transporting them yourself or utilizing specialized packing and transporting services might be wise.

Settling Into Your New Home

Settling into a new home after military relocations is an exciting journey filled with new opportunities and discoveries. Here’s how to make the transition smooth and enjoyable, turning your new place into a proper home.

  • Explore the Area: Get to know your new surroundings. Visit local parks, stores, and schools. It’s a fantastic way to begin feeling at home.
  • Build Connections: Joining community groups or military spouse networks can make forming friendships easier. It’s all about putting yourself out there and connecting with others who understand military life.
  • Embrace Local Traditions: Immerse yourself in the local culture by attending community events, trying regional foods, or learning a bit of the local language if you’ve moved internationally. It’s a fun way to belong truly.
  • Involve the Kids: If you have children, encourage them to decorate their rooms or explore nearby parks together. Making them a part of the process can ease their transition and create cherished memories.
  • Set Up a Cozy Space: Create a little nook with familiar items like favorite books, photos, or a comfy chair. Having a spot that feels like ‘home’ can make the whole house more welcoming as you settle in.

The Emotional Side of Military Relocations

Yes, there’s an emotional side to all this packing and unpacking. It can be an emotional roller coaster, especially for children. 

Patience, empathy, and encouragement can make the transition smoother.


Embracing the Adventure of Military Relocations

Military relocations are more than just moving boxes from point A to B. They’re about embracing change, growing, and learning to thrive in new environments. With the right mindset and planning, you can turn this unique aspect of military life into a rewarding adventure. 

And remember, you’re never alone in this journey – countless others have navigated the waters of military relocations, and their wisdom can be your compass.