Tips for Moving with Children

TIPS for Relocating/Moving with Children 

Sometimes relocating can be very difficult. Children may experience feelings of anxiety and sadness. Below are some tips and suggestions that may help in the transition.

  • Have a positive attitude and ask your child to participate in the process.
  • Tell your family together and treat the news like a special announcement or adventure.
  • Let your child know that it is ok to have feelings such as being sad, nervous or anxious about the move. Talk to your child and provide reassurance to make your child feel better.
  • Let your child know this is an opportunity to make new friends. Make sure you tell your child that he/she can keep in touch with all of their old friends. Tell your child soon he/she will have even more friends.
  • Research online or at the library about the place you are moving to. Let your child know what to expect. Answer any questions your child may ask about where they are moving. If your child is school age find a picture or information on the new school he/she will be attending.
  • Make packing more exciting by decorating the boxes with your child with stickers and markers. Your child will know which box belongs to her/him and can find it easily when it is delivered to the new home.
  • Allow your child to bring a few favorite items along on the move in a backpack.
  • Go for a walk around the neighborhood. Let your child say goodbye to important people and places.
  • Take pictures of your child’s favorite places.
  • Have your child create goodbye cards with the new email and address for them to give to friends and important people.
  • Eat well during your move. Try to eat healthy and avoid too much fast or processed food.
  • Make time for exercise and try to get plenty of sleep

Your moving experience begins when you receive your permanent change of station orders. When that time comes, keep these resources in mind so you know what to expect, who to contact and what kinds of relocation assistance are available.

Relocation assistance office
Your military and family support center should be the first stop when you are considering a move or when you actually receive orders. The goal of relocation assistance is to connect you with the right tools and resources at the right time so that you can execute an efficient and cost-effective move within the military system.

Your installation military and family support center can help you with the following:

  • Determining your PCS allowances
  • Connecting with your new installation's military and family support center
  • Creating and customizing a moving calendar with Plan My Move
  • Connecting with important installation agencies
  • Accessing a loan closet (for borrowing basic, essential household goods while yours are still in transit)
  • Understanding out-processing requirements
  • Obtaining a sponsor

Permanent change of station allowances
There are various allowances associated with most moves within the continental United States and outside the continental United States. Check with the finance office on your installation to determine the exact amount of your allowances. For additional information, you can visit the Defense Travel Management Office website, the official source for up-to-date changes to benefits and allowances.

Housing office
If you're trying to decide whether to live on the installation or off, your housing office can help you weigh your options. The right choice depends on a number of complex factors, such as your family situation, personal preferences, economic resources and availability of housing options on the installation and in the civilian community.

Your installation housing office can help you with the following:

  • Determining your housing allowances
  • Determining availability of government housing
  • Understanding your housing privatization options
  • Finding housing in the local community
  • Arranging for temporary lodging

Transportation office
Your transportation office can help you coordinate your move and will explain PCS move allowances in detail. The website is the DoD's worldwide site for managing your move, to include understanding your allowances, scheduling and tracking your shipment and, if necessary, filing claims.

Your transportation office can help you with the following:

  • Using
  • Scheduling your government move
  • Scheduling your unaccompanied baggage
  • Finding resources for making a personal move
  • Providing information about household goods allowances
  • Assisting you with shipping a pet
  • Providing information and assistance on shipping your personally owned vehicle