Military families move. A lot. The lifestyle we lead and the locations we are sent do not always align with home ownership at every duty station.
We military families often live in rental homes or in base housing. Each new house is a blank slate to make a home. Some love the challenge of creating a new look that matches their new location while others look forward to bringing their family’s style to the new location. Whichever is your attitude there is a core group of items every military family home should have with them for every move. These items are listed below:
- Moveable growth chart
When you live in one house consistently you can measure your children’ s growth on a door frame and watch the time passing in the form of height markers. When you move every few years you do not have the opportunity to mark you children’s height in a house and move with those markers –unless you buy a growth chart that you install in every house! Check your local buy/sell swap page to see if a local military spouse business makes them or turn to Etsy! We found the product below on Etsy from from A Southern Rustic Touch shop.
2. Family Sign/ Motto/ Coat of Arms
I have a friend who took their family sign with them on the road during a OCS and out it up in the hotel room they lived in for a month before getting a house at a new duty station. I remember visiting them in the hotel and saw their family sign outside the door and knew I was visiting this little family in their current “home” even though it was only temporary. And in the military our homes are often temporary!
Consider making your own sign if you are crafty –or turn to Etsy or other creative business locations.
3. Custom Doormat
It is a simple thing. It is one of the first things you see when you come home. Having a familiar item greet you at the door can transform a space. You can have your family name or a familiar image that greets your family every day.
4. Unique entryway item
Similar to the door mat having something familiar in your entryway –either inside or outside – immediately puts your family footprint on a house. One recent walk around a base neighborhood I saw Japanese Shisa Dogs guarding one doorway and a giant tile mosaic from Spain at the entrance of another. Something distinctive can become a feature in all your future homes as well as a memory of where you have been.
We never know where we are going to have ugly blinds, bug screens, sun exposure of lack of privacy in new spaces! Do yourself a favor and get curtains. You can order inexpensive curtain rods and curtains from Amazon. If you have more windows in your new home save a trip to a store and have some delivered. When buying new curtains try to pick colors that will fit into many different spaces. Stick to simple neutral colors -unless you love a pop of color anywhere you go! Maybe bright yellow curtains will become a signature look in your home(s)!
6. A unique light fixture
You never know what kind of light fixtures you are going to get when you move. It is not often a driving decision factor when picking a new home. You might get something hanging in your house that reminds you of dining in a Pizza Hut circa 1992. If that is not your jam-find the right signature lighting fixture for your entryway or dining area and install it in your homes.
7. A Familiar Scent
Scent memory is strong. Find a brand of candle or home scent you can buy in person easily or online. Bring it with you to each new home to keep the memory and feeling of home with every move. If you are looking for a scent that captures a location look at Homesick Candles.
8. Home is where the military sends us signs
There are many creative ways to display the places you have called home. Many Etsy shops carry custom signs for military families. Consider ordering one of these or finding your own creative way of displaying the places you have been -such as framed art or moving announcements from past duty stations. We found the item below for sale on Etsy in MrsRenchDesigns.
Do you have a unique way you bring your “home” with you to each new house? Let us know in the comments.