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    6 Ideas for Surviving an Extended Stay in Temporary Lodging

    Temporary military lodging isn’t so bad until it starts to feel a little less temporary and a lot more permanent. That can make the displacement that goes along with any PCS move only grow.

    But as with anything to do with military life, rolling with the punches is part of it! Let’s take a look at a few things you can do to make the most of a long stay in temporary lodging.

    6 Ideas for Surviving an Extended Stay in Temporary Lodging

    Surviving a Long Stay in Temporary Military Lodging

    1) Keep your routines in place. 

    Living in temporary lodging isn’t normal. But your routine can be. Provide consistency for the family by creating a new normal. While your active duty spouse reports for duty, try to put back in motion familiar routines like meal times and nap times for little ones.

    While routine is immeasurably valuable for helping kids transition, remember that venturing out for a few unexpected treats is a great way to make the whole TLF experience a little more fun. It’s all about a balance, just like everything in life! 

    Try to keep some routines in place while you're in Temporary lodging

    2) Cook if you can. 

    If cooking is a big part of your normal routine, then cut back on eating out and get creative about preparing your meals! 

    “While staying at TLF or hotels, we often purchase simple and easy to prepare foods at local grocery stores that can be grilled at a nearby park grill hut or a disposable hibachi grill. It’s not much different than what we do when we’re camping. We even eat outside if the weather’s agreeable.” — Jennifer Lambert A Sacred Balance

    If cooking is a big part of your normal routine, then cut back on eating out and get creative about preparing your meals while in temporary lodging

    3) Get to know the area...and stay busy!

    Embrace the fact that you don’t have a house to settle into yet, and explore the area around you while you can. You'll soon be busy unpacking, sorting, and setting up your new home. 

    Need some ideas? Try these!

    Be tourists. Google the popular spots in town, read reviews, and go check them out.
    Try some local restaurants. Dine in to get a taste of the local culture.
    Volunteer in the community. Get personal with the locals and volunteer your time out in town. 
    Go sit somewhere. Let conversations come up organically or sit on your computer and just feel part of the local crowd, whether that means sipping coffee at a local shop or letting your kids wear themselves out at the playground. 

    Staying busy doesn't mean breaking the bank! While there are plenty of adventures to spend your money on, you can find entertainment in free or inexpensive things as well. 

    “I always made sure we had something to do, somewhere to go, or something to see...We actually took up Geocaching since it's a free, fun activity and let us explore whatever area we're in”. — Jessica Lynn Writes 

    And don't forget the military amenities at your new duty station. Find out if the base has a bowling alley, library, pool, or movie theater.

    Embrace the fact that you don’t have a house to settle into yet, and explore the area around you while you can.

    4) Suppress the urge to shop.

    When you’re looking around a space that houses very few things you own, it’s tempting to go out and buy some filler items while waiting on your household goods to arrive. Try not to. While it’s certainly okay (and a good idea) to buy some games for the family to play, it’s not wise to fill a toy box. 

    When the movers show up with all of your stuff, the things that you haven’t seen in weeks or months will feel new again. Your kids will find a renewed sense of excitement with toys that seemed otherwise forgotten. Then, if they get bored or outgrow them, you can find them a new home and get something new for your kids. 

    Need another reason? Your budget. Why spend money on unnecessary things when you can spend it on experiences while you explore your new duty station? 

    Why spend money on unnecessary things when you can spend it on experiences while you explore your new duty station? 

    5) Keep it simple. 

    There’s nothing quite like "camping out" to simplify life. Busyness is somehow connected to our stuff. And once it’s gone, there’s oftentimes a feeling of freedom and an ability to unplug a little. 

    Embrace the initial boredom stage as your kids adjust to having less and help them find ways to entertain themselves. Without the responsibilities involved with having a home to maintain, you may have more time for slowing down.  

    Even though you’ll have to pack it up again to move to your more permanent home, you should unpack your most used items. 

    6) No living out of suitcases!

    Even though you’ll have to pack it up again to move to your more permanent home, it makes sense to unpack your most used items. 

    Rummaging through your bag to find everyday things leads to frustration. Instead, find a home for your clothes, toiletries, and other items you use regularly. The inconvenience of repacking your hung-up clothing will outweigh the headache caused by the time spent digging for your underwear every day. 

    As you make the final step of your PCS and move into your new home, remember there are some good things that can come out of a long stay in temporary lodging, if you learn to embrace the unique freedom associated with it.

    Want more PCS tips? Download our free resources, like this ebook.Bloom Where PCS Plants You E-book

    Danielle Keech

    Author

    Danielle Keech

    Danielle is just like you — another down-to-earth military spouse learning every day how to navigate the craziness. As a mama of two, she knows what it takes to juggle solo parenting, a work-from-home career, and the demands of military life. She’s a firm believer that community is a key part of thriving and hopes to remind readers that they’re not alone through her writing. Want to connect? Find Danielle on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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