Imagine when you moved into your apartment. Hence, you knew you were going to be out of there in about a year, two at most. Same for the next place, and same for the place after that. For members of the military and their families, that’s often the reality.
Moving around so frequently has its downfalls, but it also can serve as a kind of design Bootcamp. When you love to decorate but: 1) know you’ll only be in your home long enough. Thus, only to catch a single season of “Game of Thrones”;2) must work with a tight budget; and 3) move to a place with strict renter guidelines. Which a lot of base housing has, you have to be extra choosy about the changes you make. Many military families have it down to a science. And the lessons they’ve learned can help any kind of renter. Thus, no matter how long you plan to stay in your place. Here are some of our favorite tips:
You Can Still Customize Your Closet
Okay, so it’s probably not worth it to add fabulous built-ins to the closet in your rental, but you can kit it with storage pieces that maximize every inch. “Often, there is so much wasted space in closets,” says Leigh Fager. Her tip: Fit them with inexpensive freestanding metal shelves, and for added clothing storage, get a stylish clothes rack that you don’t mind leaving out in your bedroom.
Don’t Be Afraid To Paint—And Go Beyond The Walls
Every military family member I spoke to listed paint as their number-one way to personalize a home. As Ariel from PMQ for Two puts it, “There’s only so much art on the walls can do.”. The only time she says she wouldn’t paint is if she knew she was living in a place less than six months. If you don’t want to commit to painting an entire room. Therefore, consider adding a fresh coat of color to the front door, interior doors, or decorative trim.
Decals Are Like Magic
If you can’t paint, consider temporary wallpaper—and if that seems like too much of a commitment to, try a decal. Christy has used temporary vinyl numbers on her front door, peel-and-stick decorations in her kids’ room. And chalkboard contact paper on the inside of pantry doors as a memo board.
Focus On Task Lighting
Many base houses don’t have much beyond builder-basic fixtures. So Christy from Eleven Magnolia Lane always BYOLs (bring your own lighting). Floor lamps, table lamps, and plug-in sconces are easy to install anywhere. Hence, the bathroom, the bedroom, even a large closet or pantry. If you’re replacing overhead fixtures, hire an electrician to do the wiring (unless you’re confident you know how). Then, label the old fixtures with the room they’re from so when it’s time to move on. Therefore, you know what goes where.