Do you ever feel like we live like nomads, traveling through this world and never really planting roots anywhere?
I sure do. And in fact, I think the longer I do it, the easier it is to put off doing things like decorating our homes. One thing about being a military family that I have had to get over is that our home is temporary and it changes every few years, sometimes even sooner.
We have lived in 7 houses. I have been married for 15 years; my oldest child is 13 and my youngest is 10. They were both born at our first assignment at Fort Knox, KY. We are your typical military family. My children have seen as much of this world that I have seen. In fact, we have traveled it together. We have learned that regardless where we may be living, it is the life we live inside our house that makes it our home.
We’re Not Going To Be Here For Long, So Why Bother?
Because home is where the military sends us. That’s why. Regardless to how temporary we may feel, our home is the one constant that we have in our military lives. Sure, we all get tired of unpacking boxes, hanging pictures, hanging curtains, taking them off the wall, repairing nail holes in the wall, prepping for packers again, and again, and again.
But our house is our home. It’s the one thing that stays the same with each move we make. Our home is always our home regardless where it may be located and how long you may be living there. It is the foundation of who we are.
How To Make Your House A Home With Each Move
Establish an unpacking routine
My girls know our routine. We have unpacked our household goods in the same manner each and every time we move. The kitchen is where I start, they are responsible for unpacking their bedrooms. Having their bedrooms somewhat put together by the end of day one helps relief their stress of moving again. When my kids are happy, Mama’s happy!
Our routine helps us get more things accomplished in a shorter amount of time. We have found that our children settle into our new home quicker when they have their bedrooms set up with their own belongings.
Having my kitchen put together is my first priority because I’m a southern girl and southern hospitality is my thing. When you feel at home, you feel comfortable with rummaging through the kitchen and making your self at home.
Start A Tradition That Immediately Makes Your House A Home
I have used vanilla scented plugins for years. It’s a scent my husband loves so it has become my “go to scent”. Vanilla has become a comforting smell for us and it identifies the smell of our home.
I always make sure my plugins are packed with my kitchen supplies. I generally buy new refills to have when I get to my next home. My girls will usually comment about it smelling like home now. That’s when I know that we are settling in and feeling at home!
Some of my friends bake cookies or cook a particular meal the first day of unpacking. Some find that hanging family photos first makes their new house their home.
It’s all about the little things that we do that allows us to feel that constant in our lives, especially during stressful events.
Tip: my girls would love to walk into our home while David was deployed, the vanilla scent would make us think of him.
Maintain a “Normal” Schedule During Moving
Moving with younger children is very stressful. Young children don’t really understand what is going on and moving is just a world of chaos for them. If your children get a bath before bedtime, continue that same routine.
Many times when we move, many things do change. Sometimes we have a bar that my kids are allowed to eat at, sometimes we may have a small area in the family room that my girls sit and eat at, sometimes we don’t eat at all in any room except the dining room.
School times may differ, resulting in a change in bedtime or earlier wake up than before. Keeping your normal schedule is one of those things that really makes a difference with teaching your children how to adapt to change.
Keep The Home Spirit Alive
I am a true believer of having a happy home. Home is where we can be our authentic self and feel completely comfortable being who we were created to be. Don’t allow the stress of moving to destroy your home’s spirit. Continue to do the things that you love doing in your home.
Turn up the music, sing and dance, play a family board game, make time for your family movie night. Whatever makes your family feel happy and connected, do it!
How do you make the most of each move? What’s your best tip for getting settled and taking your new house from house to home?