Dkrainwater’s Weblog

How to Prepare For an Overseas Move in the Military

Posted on: October 9, 2008

Being a military person or family, moving is probably not something new. However, moving overseas has additional steps needed in order to make your move successful. When moving overseas, there are usually two different shipments in regards to your house furnishings. When preparing to move it is vital to have two separate piles, one for things you plan to take with you in suitcases and another pile which is called “whole baggage” or “unaccompanied baggage“, things which should arrive before your home furnishings. Things to consider taking with you in suitcases need to consist of many changes of clothes, school work for children, medications needed and medical records and legal documents as well as activities for the children, if any.

Things that should include in the “whole baggage”/”unaccompanied baggage” should be things you hope to have and use before your household shipment arrives, such as sleeping bags, pillows, chairs, cookware, a few dishes and winter/summer clothes depending on the time and season of your move. Keep in mind you will more than likely live in a home with virtually no furnishing what-so-ever for a period. If you have children, you may want to consider toys and activities for them and possibly a radio, television and possibly a VCR or DVD player. Many people include a home computer or lap top for communication purposes with families and friends back in the states. Another excellent thing to include in your “whole baggage”/”unaccompanied baggage” is linens, towels and washcloths.

Another important suggestion when preparing for an overseas move is planning ahead. All family members will need specific shots and medical appointments prior to the move and depending on your location certain documents are required and may need to be ordered. Be sure to remember to include all medical records and traveling documents and important paperwork in a safe place and also in a place where they will not be packed and loaded by the movers.
Be sure to plan ahead when shipping and/or selling your vehicle and have a trusted friend or family member to help complete any issues for you by preparing legal documents specific to your request. This is just a few things to keep in mind when preparing for an overseas tour.

Don Rainwater has written many articles about life in the military especially life in the Marine Corps. If you are interested in cool Marine Corp merchandise, visit

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