Monday, April 18, 2011

Moving with JPPSO 101

Jeff and I attended the briefing for JPPSO (Joint Personal Property Shipping Office) this morning. Put simply, if you choose to have the Army move your household goods, JPPSO is the office that will handle all the paperwork and help arrange everything.

We've all heard the nightmares about JPPSO moves. Broken/stolen electronics and furniture, falsified item descriptions not discovered until after delivery, and movers that just plain don't care. Here's a few tips compiled from veteran PCSers and information I got at the briefing this morning.

  • Put remotes in a ziplock bag and tape them to your televisions
  • Have ziplock bags already marked beside all furniture items that will be taken apart (for the nuts and bolts).
  • Items that you are taking with you need to be in a closed off room that the movers are not allowed in, in your car, or completely out of the house.
  • Empty your trash cans and wash them out to keep unwanted pests away during the move. The packers will pack your trash if its left out.
  • Wash all of your sheets, towels and some blankets and seal them in airtight bags. Pack them in a special box so when you get to your destination, they can come out of the sealed bag, ready to go straight onto the beds.
  • Get rid of items (or make arrangements for them) that the movers are prohibited to move (Ex: Alcohol, antifreeze, fluid cleaners, ammunition, flammables, propane tanks, etc.) The JPPSO office will give you a full list, don't worry.
  • Disconnect and/or defrost all appliances and electronics.
  • Drain oil and gas from ALL motorized equipment (lawn mowers, weed eaters, etc.)
  • Dispose all food items, the movers won't pack them.
  • Have dishes and laundry dry and clean.
  • Take pictures of all (or as much of) your belongings as you can, especially expensive items and their serial numbers.
  • Take a pre-inventory of all your household goods and their conditions. This will help you when you have to review the movers' inventory, you can just compare it to your list and you will be less likely to miss something that way.

  • Have snacks and beverages ready for your packers/movers and/or provide lunch. Full tummies make everyone happier
  • Keep children and pets out of their way. It could make them nervous
  • As the movers take apart your beds and other furniture, have ziplock bags already marked ready to go & place all nuts and bolts in those baggies. Tape them to the piece of furniture they belong to. Otherwise, if you are searching for nuts and bolts when you arrive and can't find them, they can't put the bed and furniture together.
  • Have all of thethings you specifically want packed together sorted in the same area. Example: you want all pictures and frames go in a specific box, so it's easier ot just have them all together in the same place.
  • Make sure items are listed correctly and specifically on the movers' inventory. Example: If you have a Dyson vaccum cleaner, ask them to write "Dyson Vacuum Cleaner" rather than just "Vacuum".
  • Ensure all serial numbers are correct for all electronics on your inventory. (Movers are required to write down serial numbers for every electronic, big or small. Make sure they do so).
  • Make sure items' conditions are listed accurately on the movers' inventory. If you are skeptical about something, ask them to explain it and show you. Example: Your love seat is listed as having a tear in the side and you don't remember there being one, make them show you the tear and if there isn't one, ensure they correct their mistake.
  • If you have items of high value, there is a separate inventory sheet for these. The high value inventory is completed and reviewed by you AND the movers. Don't let them leave with your stuff without doing this inventory (if you have items you consider high value).
  • If you have major problems with your packers/movers, CALL JPPSO! This may be the most important thing to remember. You have every right to call JPPSO, report them, and request alternate movers. Don't accept behavior you are not comfortable with.

  • When the deliver your goods, inspect all items for damage.
  • Mark off box numbers as they come off the truck.
  • Don't hesitate to point the movers in the right direction when it comes to where you want your things placed.
  • If your household goods come off the truck damaged (or some stuff doesn't come at all), you need to file a claim.
  • All claim notices need to be filed within 75 days of your delivery date. Keep in mind, your claim doesn't need to be filed by then, just a notice that will be filing a claim.
  • All claims notices are filed online at
  • DO NOT throw away or get rid of your damaged goods. When you file a claim, the movers will want to send someone to look at the damaged goods to ensure you are not lying. But even after they've come to look at it, keep it. Technically, when they pay you a settlement to replace the item, they own the damaged one. Now of course they don't want your damaged items, but you can bet if you don't have them... they will do what they can to keep from paying you.
Wow, thats a lot of information! But it's not anywhere close to all of it. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to leave a comment or email me, and I'll do my best to find the answer. Happy PCSing!


  1. Wait, are y'all doing a JPPSO move now? not a DITY? I'm so out of the loop, ack I should call you soon!

  2. Very informative Kate :) Expect phone calls from me if we get confused! lol

  3. Great overview, Kate! One thing I'd add is to take lots of pictures, particularly of high value items and things like DVDs. Paul and I keep a running inventory because if we have to PCS, we already have it done. :) Take pictures of the serial numbers, too, so you have a pictoral record of it.

  4. We're about to make our first big move and some of these tips are fabulous {like the ziploc bags for remotes!} I honestly wouldn't have thought of them, but glad you mentioned it :)

  5. Good luck with your pcs! I somehow survived 4 army moves. No horror stories here, thankfully. We made 2 claims and they were promptly paid. Enjoy your time that remains in washington!

  6. We're at campbell, well my husband is in korea but coming back to campbell. Would love to meet you when you get here.

  7. We're getting ready to do our 5th PCS... and I think you have about everything covered. :-) A couple of things that I do that I didn't see on your list... 1) I also put my flatware in ziploc baggies, so that they are clean when I unpack and 2) make sure the washer is drained of water. If you have a front loader the movers won't put the bolts in the drum to move, so you need to contact someone to do that. 3) If you have a motorcycle, dirt bike, lawn mower etc... make sure the oil and gas is drained from them as well. :-) Before the movers leave make sure you check that they have packed EVERYTHING. One move they forgot to pack the vases and candle holders under my sink. Another time they forgot to load my husband's weight bar. lol We had to toss it because we had no way of transporting it.

    Good luck with your move! We've never really had any problems, but they did pack our trashcan, our toilet bowl brushes and our plungers. (eeew) Oh, except the time they dropped my brand new dresser off our front step onto the concrete. lol

    ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS keep your eye on what's going on.

  8. Very well guided information. Remembering a lot

  9. Good list! Model numbers are more important than serial numbers on electronics!! Also, when you arrive at delivery if you notice something damaged (ie property or HHG) WRITE IT DOWN!! List what you see on the Loss and damage report right away. Don't wait. You can always finish going through everything, but it is better to note thing at delivery if you see it.