With her husband’s recent return from deployment, her third baby on her hip and another looming PCS, Mallory Pevoto was becoming quite the pro at DITY moves. She had, after all, moved 13 times in 13 years.
Pevoto, an Army spouse of 14 years, quickly found herself fielding questions from friends about her moves, some days answering the same ones repeatedly.
“I made a note on my phone with all the steps and then I just started sending it out when they asked to make it easier,” said Pevoto, who has three children and is currently stationed in Colorado.
The following year while preparing for another DITY move, friends reached out again so she decided to “put it all out there.”
“I never thought it would turn into anything more than just a few friends watching,” Pevoto said.
“Through trial and error I have figured out how to do this whole moving thing and we’ve had plenty of opportunities, so I saw it as an opportunity to provide a place where others can see it go down, in hopes to encourage and build confidence in their own DITY moves,” Pevoto said. “Moving is hard either way and I wanted to share my experiences, tips, mistakes, encouragement and what I learned along the way to help those who were interested.”
Why a DITY?
Pevoto and her family started moving themselves almost by accident.
“We didn’t plan on doing DITY moves every time, but I was new to the military and didn’t know there was any other way,” she said. “As we continued to DITY, we realized it has so many benefits.”
Learning from mistakes, gaining valuable experiences, reducing costs and risks and easing the burden of transitioning to a new place are just some benefits they’ve found.
“I know where everything is, and it helps keep me organized. I’m able to unpack and get settled in faster,” Pevoto said. “It gives us a shorter transition time than an Army move since DITY moves are usually door to door … You don’t have to deal with claims, paperwork or hold on and wait for the reimbursement of items. You unload right away and begin unpacking.”
Evaluating risks and rewards
Cost, stress, time, children and pets all must be considered when contemplating a DITY move.
“First off, everyone’s No. 1 goal should be to not pay out of pocket on a DITY move,” Pevoto said. “But in planning your move, families have different reasons and/or goals for doing a DITY. Sit down with your partner and identify your DITY goals.”
Budget, timelines or packing alongside children can all make moving more complicated, but especially a DITY move.
“Each move has been an opportunity to learn something new. With each one I’ve gained confidence and the ability to navigate different situations,” Pevoto said. “As military spouses, we are constantly growing and adjusting. I think that makes our community so unique – our ability to learn to adjust with each move.”
Attitude is everything
Over everything else, Pevoto has learned that attitude is important. Flexibility, communication with your spouse and maintaining positivity with your children, all impact our attitude. Finding joy, gratitude and purpose remain the biggest influences in her attitude toward moving so often.
“My attitude is the most important and influences our kids more than anything,” she said. “They will adopt our mindset.”
Besides physically moving your belongings, the mental and emotional stress of moving so often can take a toll. But Pevoto uses this as a time of reflection.
“Organizing is therapeutic for me,” she said. “It gives me time to reflect and reminisce on our time there while anticipating what’s coming. It’s not just physically packing and unpacking, but also emotionally, too.”
Top 5 tips for a successful DITY move from the DITY Mama
1. Budget and plan
Find out your DITY incentive and create your budget. Categorize what you will spend and set goals in each category (moving supplies, movers, taxes, etc.). Write down the goal you want to stay under so you can make a profit and avoid paying out of pocket. Once you create a budget, stick to it.
It is never too early to get organized. Organizing is the first step in the packing process and one of the many keys to success. It makes you more efficient and productive, and will save you time, money and stress during your move.
Start planning for your move by researching companies, gathering supplies and organizing your home. You may not have orders or a moving date, but most likely you have a general timeline. Prepare your home before packing and staging for loading.
3. Set packing goals
Breaking down the packing process makes it less overwhelming and more attainable. Thinking about packing a house in its entirety will leave you defeated from the start but thinking about packing living room decor is more achievable.
The first box is the hardest, you will hit your groove and your confidence will increase as you work towards your goals.
PCS-ing in general presents uncertainty and produces financial stress, parenting challenges, emotional distress or feelings of resentment. It throws us off routine and is both mentally and physically exhausting.
Working as a team creates peace in your home and helps your children feel secure as you pack and prepare to move … but if you’re planning and packing alone, your teammate doesn’t have to be a spouse, it can be family members or friends too.
Moving is not always ideal and when you find yourself doing a DITY the stress can increase more. Attitude makes all the difference no matter which way you choose to move … We do have control over our attitude. We can make it a miserable experience for our family or we can choose to change our perspective and focus on the positives.
Our attitudes will influence those around us, including our children, so make the most out of the situation.Read comments