Life can be tough when you’re in the service. Military personnel generally relocate every three years, and even more often in the first year for requirements such as boot camp and special training. This nomadic lifestyle can put a stress on the whole family, and many long for a feeling of comfort and stability. Fortunately, there are several great ways to make your military housing feel more like home.
Keep it consistent and personal.
Make sure you display the same large, important items such as family portraits, keepsakes, and seasonal decorations. Maybe you always have a Snoopy cookie jar on the kitchen counter or a cozy book nook in the family room. Open shelving can display items you’ve gathered in your travels, and they work in a variety of settings and layouts. If the same staples are always in your home, the new places won’t feel so foreign.
Get the kids involved.
If you have children, they have no doubt felt the burden of itinerant life. Get them excited about this next step. Have them create artwork to frame for the walls and help choose which family photos to display. Let them pick out their own bedding and accessories for their rooms. Get their opinions on where things should go and what looks best when setting up the house. The more you do together to personalize your new home, the more meaningful the process will be.
Different housing complexes will have different rules about how you can alter your place (changing fixtures, painting, etc.). But certain decorating techniques can have a big impact without the permanence. Try framing or pinning colorful fabrics to the walls instead of painting. Adding your own curtains makes rooms feel personal and they don’t take up much space when it’s time to move again. Vinyl decals are amazing because they add personalization to a room and can look like painted murals, but are easy to remove and take with you—again, occupying negligible space in the moving truck. Hot glue is also a great way to affix things temporarily, like covering a kitchen backsplash you’re not crazy about, because it peels right off when cool.
So, while it’s true that you didn’t choose your new city or your new house, you can make it feel like home in no time. Get ready to unpack, put some color on the walls, and start your new adventure!