Each Annual Posting season (or PCS season for my American friends) brings new woes and troubles (You know it’s posting season when…). Not only are you moving your house into a new area code (The Unofficial guide to CF postings/ PCSing), but after having set up your home to be “just so” in the last place, now you have to start all over again.
Below is my handy list of tips for starting off on the right foot.
Consider what you wouldn’t do
Each time we move I take a serious look at the “failures” in our current place. What would I do differently? What should be better next time? what definitely didn’t work this time? Even if you don’t know what you will be doing, knowing what not to do will be a huge help. I’ve written a list for our most recent move, which can be found here.
Upgrade the light fixtures
The first thing I did when we moved in was change-out all the boob lights. When I say boob lights I’m talking about flush ceiling-mount dome light fixtures. Boob lights sounds like more fun though, so I’m going with that.
Check out my super easy How-To on getting rid of the domes and installing a drum shade. All you need is a lampshade and a place to keep the glass dome until you move again.
Think long and hard about painting your walls
It’s always easier to paint a room if you haven’t settled-in yet. If everything is still in boxes you’re more likely to move them into the centre of the room and get to painting. If you do it before you’ve hung anything on the walls, you don’t have to patch and sand before doing this either, so right after moving is usually the best time to do it.
Consider your colour choices with the same amount of seriousness that you would pick a car or a new couch, because the colour will be with you for a while. I love the colours we went with, but I’m still trying to pick colours for the guest room and master bedroom.
This is also a fun time to look into using a stencil on your walls or applying vinyl wallpaper. I added vinyl star shaped decals to our front closet doors for a change. I didn’t want to paint them, and I love the aesthetic. If you’re looking for something that’s half-way between applying 200 vinyl decals and painting your walls, consider painting your own wainscotting and borders. There’s no better way to create depth and dimension in a space than with borders and boxes, and my award winning How-To explains it all perfectly.
Rethink your spaces
We use each move as a en excuse to rethink how we live in our home. Whether we’re downsizing or upgrading, thinking about how we live and what we need is a good mental exercise and we usually come out of it with some lifestyle altering decisions.
We realized that we didn’t spend that much time watching TV with our guests. A couple of conversations later we decided to make the TV room the smallest room in the house. Now the main floor serves as our entertaining space and is set up to do so with ease and comfort, while our TV room is a cozy oasis on the second floor.
If you’re downsizing, it’s time to get real when it comes to what you have to work with. Think in terms of space-saving furnishings and pair-down, and then pair down again. My rolling laundry table is a great example of a stylish and space saving project for those living in PMQs, because chances are, your basement is completely overtaken with military kit and uniforms. Adding an island to your kitchen, or re-thinking your eating nook/dinning room situation might provide the best solution for your space.
For the record, I do not advocate using the kitchen as your bathroom, or using a window as the entrance way. You know perfectly well what I mean 😉
Start thinking about your winter storage situation
This is especially important if you’re moving near the end of the summer. I can picture it now: the moving trucks show up and unloads all your possessions, before dumping everything for outdoors on your back lot. BOOM. The first snow is here and your table, chairs and kiddie pool are buried under a foot of snow and you won’t be seeing them again until May.
Make sure you take some time to organize, sort, and protect your outdoor living space. You will thank yourself next spring when everything is still in good shape and the wind didn’t claim your umbrella as a blood sacrifice for the nice weather.
Change the nobs and drawer pulls
The easiest way to upgrade a space without painting or dramatically reconfiguring a room is to change the hardware on cabinets and doors.
I’ve changed the knobs on the bathroom cabinets and have dreams of swapping the knobs in the kitchen for beautiful half-moon pulls. If your new hardware has different mounting configurations (i.e two screws instead of one), you’ll need to patch and re-finish all your cupboard cabinets when you move.
Given how much I’ve already done to this PMQ, I’m holding back on the hardware swap in the kitchen, just so that I have one less thing to do when we move. Don’t worry though, it’s on my list of things to do.
Your entryway, your rules
I’ve got a small obsession with entryways. From the board on Pinterest (which you should follow) to the many, many, many posts and subsequent hours spent finessing ours, entryways are great fun.
Maybe it’s the way a superbly styled entryway photo is the ultimate vignette of home decor, or the fact that I can tell a lot about you based on your entryway, entryways are the be-all end-all of home decor. You can create a welcoming space that says more about you in one glance, than an entire house tour and pinterest boards ever could.
A wreath goes a long way
Whether you’re moving in the spring, winter, fall, or the dead of summer – hanging a wreath in your entryway, on your front door, or making one with all the moving stickers on your furniture will go a long to way making your new house feel like home.
Wreathes are a great way to let your neighbours know you’re there (as if the moving truck wasn’t enough) and they add a touch of home to what may feel like am empty box.
Remember, your space should feel like an extension of yourself so have fun with it. Style is entirely subjective, so even if it’s stylish you have to feel good about it or it won’t work.
There are elements in our home that, although I love, won’t be featuring in a magazine any time soon. At the end of the day we feel at home in our PMQ and wouldn’t have it any other way.
If ever you’re lacking inspiration, don’t forget you can check-out my Project Gallery for inspiration and detailed DIYs.
If you’re stumped on what to do, consider my E-Design services! I’m always willing to help.