Make your move: TMO provides tips

by Airman 1st Class Christopher S. Stoltz
Air University Public Affairs

4/18/2011 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- When it comes to moving and changing permanent duty stations, being prepared and making the right decisions can make the difference between a seamless move or one filled with frustration.

According to the transportation management office, the months of May through August are the busiest months of the year when it comes to moving and PCSing.

Within these few months, thousands of military personnel move to new bases, often creating confusion and headaches as many scramble to complete this daunting task.

"The moment you get orders is the moment you need to start planning for your move," said Ivory Patton, chief of personal property, 42nd Logistics Readiness Squadron. "Being prepared and proactive will make the process an easy one."

Mr. Patton also said anyone can visit the website to obtain moving tips and the website can answer many questions if TMO is closed. He also provided some tips on what do to and what not to do when it comes to moving.

Things to do

-Be patient, especially during the busy season ahead.

"Many people become impatient and frustrated with the summer season because it is so hectic," said Mr. Patton. "Patience is a virtue and it is important for everyone to utilize it."

-Pay attention to details.

"Just like any career in the military, attention to detail is critical when moving," he said. "Missing a signature or a piece of paperwork can prolong the process and further upset a customer."

-Keep and make copies of any and all paperwork.

"In addition to having attention to detail, having copies of your paperwork is important," said Mr. Patton. "Having copies of your paperwork protects the customer if anything may go awry."

-Know the rules and regulations before signing anything.

"Another problem I see occasionally is people do not understand their weight limits when it comes to moving," he said. "This often leads to issues, and the customer has to pay for the difference out of his or her pocket."

-Call to make an appointment or to ask questions.

"We do not have walk-ins at TMO," he said. "We work by appointment only."

-Complete the customer satisfaction survey after moving to enhance the process.

"If a person is moving now, there is certainly a chance they will be moving again in the future," said Mr. Patton. "By completing the customer satisfaction survey, we learn how to enhance and improve the moving process to ensure it becomes easier for everyone."

Things not to do

-Rely on past experiences, because the process is ever-changing.

"You may have just completed a move recently, but it doesn't mean your next move will be the same," he said. "Processes change occasionally, so make sure you listen to our advice and pay attention."

-Wait until the last minute to plan the move.

"Waiting until the last minute to plan a move can lead to many problems," said Mr. Patton. "It can slow the process for the customer, which can interfere with their duties."

-Throw away any paperwork.

"If you throw away your paperwork, it can sometimes lead to problems, especially your weight tickets if you complete a do-it-yourself move. You must keep this paperwork to get reimbursed and we have seen it before," he said.

-Have a bad attitude.

"The worst thing any person can do in the moving process is have a bad attitude," he said. "Not only does it make the process miserable for the person, but it often leads to mistakes, which only adds fuel to the fire."

Mr. Patton said by following these simple guidelines, the transition from here to wherever you are going should be seamless.

For more information or assistance about the moving process or to make an appointment, call the transportation management office at 953-4774.