As a military family, we live in a rental home. We do not always know when we may have to move and have to expect to be moving around frequently, so we never completely “settle in.” We have painted walls, but that isn’t always practical or possible. So what are some ways that we make our rental feel like home?
We are not the military family that frequently moves far away. We have moved, but only a few doors down as we have been at the same base for some time now (we are hoping to move soon!). Most military families, however, have to pack up and move very frequently. My hope is that this information will help them (and any others who are renting).
10 Ways to Make Your Rental House Feel Like Home
1. Furnish It
To make a house feel like home, you can’t leave it completely empty. Fill it up! Add couches, beds, a table where you can eat as a family…it doesn’t need to be much, but enough that everyone can feel cozy and have a place to connect.
Moving can be a pain when you have to pack and unpack a lot of things, especially the big things. It’s hard to want to purchase furniture then get attached and want to bring it along ,or want to sell it and have a hard time finding a buyer. Renting furniture can be a great option! CORT Furniture Rental has options to rent by piece or by the room: living room, bedroom, dining room, office, etc. Rent bedroom sets, office chairs, bookshelves, couches, even bath towels and accessories, kitchen essentials, vacuums, and home phones!
(Photo courtesy of CORT Furniture Rental)
You design the rooms and choose the items that fit your taste, then CORT delivers to you in 48 hours!
CORT Furniture Rental has military packages starting at $99/month. This includes 3 rooms designed and delivered to you. Just present a valid military I.D. before delivery. Rent furniture for convenience and less hassle–there when you need it, gone when you don’t. It’s that simple. Check out the customer story below to learn more.
Great curtains can make a huge difference in how your house feels. We lived without curtains for years and I never quite felt like my house was complete. Finally, we had family coming to visit and they needed curtains in the rooms they stayed in, so we added some and it completely changed the feel. Our rental started to feel like a home. Perhaps it is the fact that we are tucked away, hidden from the world when those curtains are pulled shut, but whatever it is, they truly make a difference.
3. Throw Blankets
You would be surprised at the difference a couple throw blankets can make in your home. They can bring on a completely cozy and “together” feel and the blankets you choose can also show your personality. Perhaps it is big and fluffy. Maybe it is a quilt your grandmother made or maybe you opt for the photo blankets.
4. Artwork/Wall Decor
White walls. These can be intimidating when you are in a rental, because you don’t want to waste your time and money painting (or you are not even allowed to), but the stark white with nothing on them will never make your house feel like home. Our solution–fill our walls with paintings and our children’s artwork, and chalkboards and mirrors. This makes the house feel like home without doing too much.
We use mostly nails, as we can leave small holes like that once we move out or quickly fill them, but we also use a lot of removable wall mount foam that does not leave marks if removed properly.
5. Something Personal/Family Heirloom
To make your house feel like home, add bits of yourself or your family history. Find at least one very special item–perhaps some hand-crocheted doilies that have been passed down for generations or a hand-made wall decoration that you and your spouse made together and make it sort of a centerpiece.
6. Trinkets/Personal Touch
You shouldn’t clutter your home, as that can lead to stress. No, that’s not what I mean by this. What I do mean is that you add little trinkets that you have collected and show your personality. For instance, when I was very young I found a wooden pepper grinder that was over 2 feet tall! It was hilarious, so I bought it. Now that same pepper grinder graces our dining room as a functional decoration.
We also have the soda tab flowers my husband made for me overseas, wind chimes indoors, my fairy mobile…we try to keep our decor minimal, but still allow our personality to shine through and display fun trinkets that mean something to us.
7. Family Photos
This is your house. It’s your home. Grace it with the lovely faces of yourself and your children. We have pictures of our boys, a couple family pictures from different stages in our family life, and even have a picture of my husband and me as a couple. While I do not love being photographed or showing my face in pictures about the house, it really does make our rental feel more like our home rather than some place we are renting from someone else.
8. Something to Pull Everyone Together
By “something to pull everyone together” I mean for you to think about what everyone in your family enjoys. Does your family enjoy watching movies together? Perhaps add a TV. Do you read books while snuggling up next to each other on the couch? Add a bookshelf. Love board games? Add a stack on the coffee table.
9. Family Night
To go with our suggestion above, why not plan a weekly or monthly family night?! Set time aside to get everyone together and participate in a mutually-enjoyed activity like board games, video games, baking, or singing. Filling your rental with laughter and joy makes it feel warm and homey.
10. Loved Ones and a Pet (If You Can Have One; Fish Are Great)
Home is where the heart is. By far the most important part of making your rental feel like home is to fill it with yourselves. If your family is never home at the same time, the house will just feel like a landing place you go for sleep. It will feel lonely. As a military spouse, I do understand that you may not always have the option to be together, but you can Skype, add pictures of Mom or Dad who is away, and share stories of those you miss as you await their return. A house is not a home until it houses your loved ones and gives you a place to create memories together.
Whether you are a military family or a civilian living in a rental, I hope you found these tips useful. We have made our temporary house feel like a home with these very things, and we love the memories we have been creating all the while.
Are you renting a house? What are some ways you make your house feel like a home? Share with me in the comments!