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    10 Decorating Hacks for Your New Home

    The moving boxes are delivered and mostly unpacked. The kitchen, bathrooms, and beds are all operational. Your family might be functional, but relocation exhaustion is a thing, so it's going to take a few weeks, possibly a month or two, to turn your newest house into a home. It’s only natural that thinking about decorating your new home falls way down your "things to do" list. 

    Don’t let the overwhelm set it! We all know that the sooner your house feels comfy and “like you,” the faster you’ll love your new space. These PCS-tested, tried, and true hacks motivate you to take charge of the home decorating and (be warned) probably inspire future projects. 

    Now it’s time for the fun stuff!

    Portrait of a happy young woman sitting on the city stairs and using laptop computer outdoors

    Photo from Shutterstock 

    1) Research the house you’ll take over before arriving at your new home.

    Base-specific Facebook pages and pages like Military Housing Style and White Walls are filled with comments and descriptions of base housing. If you don’t see the information you need, just ask! Someone out there will be glad to fill you in on the color of your pending laminate floors or the orientation of a dining room.

    The same is true for off-base neighborhoods that were built at the same time. Often, neighborhoods have only a few different layouts, so hopefully a neighbor can fill you in.   

    2) Create go-to cheat sheets filled with measurements and suggestions for items you need to purchase.

    Think about things like each room’s dimensions and removable adhesive hooks and hangers.  Don’t forget to measure the windows, how much room you need for a sofa, and space for rugs in addition to any other easily-forgotten numbers like paint gallon quantities and counter stool height. 

    Modern style dining room with large windows-1

    Photo by Shutterstock

    3) Take pictures of the rooms in your home.

    This will help jog your memory for details you may have forgotten while you're out shopping. Photos are especially helpful while hunting for curtains because it’s easy to forget how the existing molding or trim frames the windows. Pictures of an awkward corner or nook will also help you decide if a potted plant or artwork will fit into the space.  

    4) Photos or written descriptions of your existing curtains will remind you how they are hung.

    Depending on the window style, you may need to buy pressure or pocket rods, clips, or hooks. It also helps to have the pictures on hand to color-match other items in the room.

    5) The beauty of a slipcovered couch (in addition to washing machine cleaning) is the option to switch covers with the season or paint shades in a new room.

    Familiarize yourself with the name of your slipcovered furniture and measurements to scour garage and online sales for your style in various fabrics and patterns for an easy swap as the whim strikes.

    6) Family photos are a good chunk of what makes a home personal.

    But all the measuring, hammering, and hole-making intimidates renters and homeowners. Many online tutorials teach how to hang a picture easily without a mess, but the Family Handyman combines several options to avoid mistakes. 

    Charming couple relaxing after painting a room in their new house

    Photo from Canva

    7) Fresh paint gives a new home the fastest update for the most bang for your buck.

    As time-consuming as a new paint job is, it’s best to come in and tackle the paint project as soon as possible for longevity’s sake. You’re probably only living there for two to three years, right? One way to cut the time is to trust the color experts and shop for paint like you would for clothes. Some people look at a mannequin and, poof! there’s a complete outfit, ready to buy, no decisions to make. You like it; you buy it.

    Color specialists at big box and hardware stores do the same thing and assemble color stories that work together. Ceiling, wall, and trim colors are collected and packaged in fun little categories for easy browsing. There is one caveat to one-stop paint shopping—before committing to a palette, bring home the paint chips/strips to see how they change in light of the house throughout the day. Small containers of test-size paint show the true colors even better. 

    8) A fun way to use those extra paint samples, or if you come across an amazing color in a home store's “oops” section, is to use it somewhere unexpected.

    Inside cabinet doors, closet shelving, and small pieces of furniture all add a touch of charm with an eye-catching color that otherwise would be overwhelming used on four walls.

    basket against neutral wall

    Photo from Canva

    9) Sometimes, it’s necessary for a wall space to maintain neutral paint.

    This makes a great background to hang any collection you may enjoy. Fabric, baskets, and pottery are all attractive focal points that add much-needed texture to a room.

    10) The cheapest way to get a new look in a room is to re-purpose existing furniture.

    Each house has its own quirks, angles, and natural spaces to place furniture. Re-imagining items in non-traditional situations might just be the ideal solution. For example, an armoire that worked in the bedroom of your previous home may now look amazing in your foyer, or a tall and wide dresser might work perfectly for a TV stand in a family room. 

    Whether renting, buying, or living on base, these hacks save money and time. Tailor each tip for your next move-in and watch how quickly you’ll feel at home. MilitaryByOwner has a collection of home decorating ideas that offer practical advice that will spark new ideas and creative projects for any house.

    10 Decorating Hacks for Your New Home-1

    Dawn M. Smith


    Dawn M. Smith

    Dawn is a real estate and military life writer who has a serious HGTV habit. When she is not writing, her teen daughter, Army husband, and golden retriever keep her busy through chauffeur duties, travel planning, and long dog walks. Dawn is pleased to share her experiences with MilitaryByOwner readers who are hoping to simplify military family journeys of all kinds. Follow Dawn on Pinterest for more ideas and resources and visit her site at Dawn M. Smith Custom Content Creation.

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