When we last PCS'd (aka moved) my husband left six days after the moving truck dropped off ALL our boxes. He would be at sea for three months. Setting up a house alone wasn't anything I had ever done before. I have to say, he is much better at unpacking and getting rid of all that paper!
When we must set up our home, due to a deployment or underway, it can be extremely overwhelming.
The next big wave of moving season is right around corner. In this post, my goal is give you some ideas for your moving game plan to help turn your house into a home, even if you are doing this OP solo.
Here are my tips for making your house a home during a deployment:
Unpack your treasures – Surprisingly, one way to make your house begin to feel like home is to have the things you cherish the most unpacked. Having all the dishes put away might do well for dinner plans, but finding that favorite coffee mug can quickly make that new kitchen begin to feel homey.
Display your favorite photos or prints – Hang up your wedding photo, prints and other favorite photos that tell the story of your family. These photos/prints will quickly spark sweet memories when you look at them and add that personal stamp to your space. One large print or photo as the focal point in a room can make a big impact.
Declutter, keeping only what you love – When it comes to moving, I think military families have an edge on the whole business of de-cluttering. With each move I get more selective on what makes it onto the moving truck. The same goes for when I unpack. Give your unwanted — in good condition — items to a local charity or have a garage sale. Clearing my space of clutter leaves me feeling more peaceful, relaxed and ready for entertaining new friends.
Organize one space at a time – We live busy lives. The luxury of time to actually organize our entire home may seem impossible. I'm here to encourage you, have a game plan to conquer one "space" at a time and before long you will have it completed. There is something blissful to opening a kitchen cabinet with plastic storage containers and not having the contents spill out onto the floor.
Re-establish family routines – After a move our schedules are out of sync. Work hard to get fully unpacked so that you can settle into your family routines. I like to have a meal plan for family dinners, it takes the stress out of "what's for dinner?!". For example, get back to your Friday Family Fun night with a movie and popcorn or board game. Try different activities to determine what works for YOUR family.
A final thought, the homes in which I always felt most comfortable and welcomed were not the ones decorated to look "magazine ready". They were filled with the love of the family who lived there. They had some treasures displayed that told the story of their family so you felt quickly connected to them, a comfy kitchen chair or couch, usually something yummy to eat on the kitchen counter and more than likely, somewhere in sight was a load or two of laundry that needed to be folded and put away.
Good luck in transforming your house into a home. A military family home, home to a warrior protecting our freedom.
What are your suggestions for making a house a home?