As a military family, owning a home was never something that was really on the table. We've rented for years, hardly ever staying in a home for more than a year (maybe two if we were lucky!) We would often choose our rental homes sight unseen as we moved from town to town, state to state. We would move in, take out our necessary items, and leave the rest in boxes until the time would come to move again.
Needless to say, this would eventually become tiresome, especially when the kiddos emerged on the scene. As the years passed, what we really yearned for was a home, not just a house in which to lay our head at the end of the day. We wanted to personalize, to feel as though this was a place in which we belonged, even for just a short period of time.
Over the last few years and houses, I became more and more attentive to what would make these temporary living arrangements feel more like home to me and my clan. If you're tired of feeling out of place in your family's home, I suggest the following:
1. Pictures, Pictures, Pictures!!
From pictures of your family at Disney World to famous prints, making an art gallery in your home is perhaps one of the easiest ways to put your personal touch on your home. All you need is some nails and a hammer and when you leave, simply touch up with some putty and you can call it a day. Quick and painless, and sure to make your family feel right at home. In fact, it's one of the first things I do as soon as we move in! This last time around, the pictures were on the wall even before the bed was assembled!
2. Make Your Bedroom Your Oasis
Over the years, my bedroom has become more than just a room to sleep in; it's a room where I snuggle with my kids, spend quality time reading or playing Trivial Pursuit with my husband (I usually lose), and even occasionally hide from those same cuddly children. All of you with kids know what I'm talking about for sure.
Scented candles, comfortable sheets**, and cozy pillows are really powerful tools to make you feel relaxed and at ease. Not to mention that many of these accents can be easily picked up and moved from home to home, ensuring that you'll have that same comfort and calm no matter where you set up shop.
3. Paint (if possible)
If you're a long-term tenant, it might be worth it to ask your landlord if you can put some paint up throughout the home. We've been lucky to have some very flexible landlords in the past who have allowed us to add a splash of color here and there. Personally, I'm a huge fan of accent walls. They're attractive, easy to accomplish, and sure to make for a cheery, personalized living space.
While it looks as though our life as renters may soon be coming to close, I can certainly say to call a place "home" doesn't require you having your name on the deed. It's all about the attitude and the creativity with which you approach the space!