One of the most difficult tasks associated with moving into a new place is making your house feel more like home. Even if your name is on the deed, it may take a while for you to really feel like you’ve found a home.
Military families may have an especially hard time in this process because of common moves and family separations. It is common for service members and their families to subconsciously avoid attachment to particular houses and locations due to the frequency of separations but this can quickly make you feel uneasy.
It is important to feel at home in your house. Even with the difficulties of the military, there are things you and your family can do around the new house to help ease your emotions and make you feel at home.
Family portraits are a great way to make your house feel more like a home. Round up the family and take a picture out on your new front steps. Whether it’s just you and your military spouse or you have already started a family, taking a picture with your new place in the background and hanging it in the foyer or living room will help you claim your space.
Chances are you didn’t stockpile all of your food in the moving van and take it with you so your cabinets will look pretty bare for a while. Rather than stare at bare cabinets and an empty fridge for weeks, take the family grocery shopping and really stock up on everything you’ll need. Everyone will feel more at home knowing their favorite snacks are in the pantry.
For those of us moving into a new subdivision, one of the toughest obstacles in making a house into a home is getting past the builders grade materials and look. Set up a solid do-it-yourself weekend or two to paint a few walls something other than beige and switch out some of the standard brass fixtures to fit your style.
With how much families tend to move in the military it is easy to move into a new place and leave several boxes unpacked. Rather than leaving a looming pile of unopened boxes in a corner for months, unpack
One thing military families are known for is their patriotism. Make sure your new home reflects this by adding a flagpole or holder to proudly display the American flag at your new residence.
Throwing a party is a great way to show off your new place as well as start making some great memories with friends. Get to know your neighbors and invite any friends and family that can make it to enjoy entertaining in your new home.
Furnishing a new place can often leave you feeling like your living room is a stark showroom or a picture from a catalog. Although new furniture creates a cohesive style, no one wants to feel like they live in an IKEA. Ask your family for some antiques or heirlooms to help give your new place a unique and personal look.
If you move in close to spring or in the warmer months, don’t hesitate to take full advantage of your rights as a homeowner to do some sprucing up in your new yard. Get the whole family involved in planting flowers, hanging a porch swing or painting the mailbox.
Making your house a home will take a combination of time and memories that military families aren’t always afforded the immediate luxury of between PCSing and deployments. Even with the difficulties you can use these tips to help bridge the gaps and start enjoying your new place right away.
Photo courtesy of CarbonNYC via Flicker Creative Commons