4 Ideas to Love Where You Live When It's Not Your Turn for a PCS Move

Thu, Jul 28, 2016 @ 08:07 AM Jen McDonald Military Life

If you’ve been around the proverbial military block a time or two like my family has, you may be accustomed to pulling up stakes and moving along every few years. Many of us crave the clean slate that a PCS offers, whether it’s exploring a new locale, looking for and settling into a new home, or simply leaving behind the overly familiar or less than ideal jobs or neighbor situations.

But does this PCS season find you as the one left behind rather than the one moving on to new adventures? It can be difficult to be the last man (or woman) standing as you watch moving truck after moving truck leave the neighborhood or see your book or running club slowly dwindle away as the PCS season grinds on. But here you are…staying for another year or two when you’d much rather go.

How to scratch the itch to move when it’s not your turn?

If you're like me and not moving this year, I offer a few ideas to help us get through staying put, deal with the boredom of sameness, and keep our sanity for another year or two.

1) Reorganize.

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Sure, it may not be the most fun activity, but sometimes cleaning and reorganizing your space with a fresh new look can help your surroundings feel different and inject some new life and positivity. And a deep spring cleaning doesn’t have to only happen in the spring!

If you have school-aged kids, bonus for extra helpers and getting the house together before the new school year starts. As they reach the end of summer, kids may be motivated to earn a little extra cash or treats as an incentive, which can help you cover more ground.

Check out these posts for more cleaning and organizing inspiration:

Room by Room Spring Cleaning the Green Way

Cut the Clutter and Organize Your Home!

Tips and Tools for a Pre-PCS Cleaning

2) Explore!

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Even if you've been stationed in the same area a long time, I bet there's some aspect you haven't explored yet! Years ago, I took to heart one friend's suggestion to draw a circle with a 20-mile radius around our base on a map and then exhaust all the sights and attractions in that area before complaining there was "nothing to do." The idea was that it would spark other explorations and inspire outings farther and farther out, and it worked! You can do the same with the map on your smart phone by searching for nearby attractions, restaurants, theme parks, and so on.

We've discovered so many awesome sites by getting 'lost on purpose' wherever we live and have stumbled across natural attractions, farmers' markets, nature trails, and much more that we'd never have seen. Try something you haven't done before: take the subway instead of drive, try a restaurant you normally wouldn't, or visit all the local museums. Take a look at the tips in the following posts and go get lost!

Take a Staycation! 

5 Ways to Make the Most of Your Military Family's Summer

3) Make a new friend!

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You may have been in place so long that you've forgotten a bit what it's like to be the newbie. It's your turn to share your wealth of knowledge with the newcomers! Perhaps you could volunteer for the installation's newcomers' briefings or help out with the local spouses' group? 

Need ideas? Take a look at these helpful military spouse resources. 

4) Create a fresh new look in your home. 

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Redecorate! If you’re in a rental or military housing, your choices may be more limited, but you can still rearrange furniture, paint walls, or go thrift shopping for a new piece or two. As for me, I’m going to finally print the beautiful photographs my daughter's taken onto a few oversized canvases.

Homeowners, consider tackling a project you’ve long put off, whether it’s simply some summer maintenance or something more extravagant like replacing kitchen cabinets or finally building that deck your family has always wanted. 

More ideas for creating a fresh new palette in your home: 

Tips for Decorating Your Rental Without Breaking Your Budget

Revamp a Room for $100 or Less

What's Your Home Style?

Whether you're staying put this PCS season or moving on, at some point we all end up in a location a little bit longer than we'd like.

While the above ideas won't change that fact, we can strive to get through it with positivity intact! For even more ideas, follow MilitaryByOwner on Pinterest.

5 Resources for Decorating Military Housing