Military PCS’s can be challenging, especially when the holidays come around. Having just gone through one myself, I can totally relate to all the things you have to leave behind and try to replace in a hurry, especially if you plan to have guests. However, you can still furnish your home to impress and even accommodate holiday guests after a PCS move, and I want to share some of my tips with you.
On our latest PCS, we had to leave a lot behind…”purge the excess” you could say. I don’t know how we accumulated so much (we *may* have gone over the weight limit…quite a bit…I blame the weight set), but it required some quick decision-making and selling or donating of our items.
Psst…if you want to know where you can donate new to gently-used to very-used items (where they will be given for free to people who really need it), check out my Places to Donate post.
Furnish Your Home to Impress & Accommodate Holiday Guests after PCS
Knowing we would have to replace these items when we moved, we were forced to sell our couches, dining table, washer and dryer, extra chairs, and countless other items that we would typically use for everyday relaxing or having friends and family over for holiday celebrations, birthday parties, or board game nights (because we all know how much I love my board games).
Take the stress and guesswork out of your PCS move and yourself less work!
Wouldn’t it be helpful if there was a way you could replace those items quickly without burning a big hole in your pocket, accommodate more guests in your home for holidays and events, and even decorate your home in a way that doesn’t accumulate a bunch more “stuff”? Well aren’t you in luck…because it is possible and I’ll share how. It’ll take the stress and guesswork out of your PCS move and give you less work in getting everything prepped.
Check out the Spouses Guide to Surviving Military Relocation.
RENT YOUR FURNITURE
No, I’m not screaming at you…shouting maybe…because, SERIOUSLY…did you know you could do this? CORT Furniture Rental gives you the ability to rent furniture when you need it, for your home or for the office, instead of having to buckle down and buy all the things as soon as you move (you know, so you can live and things).
Yes, you can totally rent furniture from CORT to furnish your home after a PCS, from washers and dryers to dining room tables to couches and a bunch of things in between.
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE. Not only can you rent furniture just to furnish your home to start with, but have you ever realized you can rent furniture to accommodate your holiday guests after a PCS?
Had to leave that big couch behind and replaced it already with a small couch (here’s ours we had to leave behind…below)? Rent another small couch or some extra chairs for when your guests come! Whaaat? Mind. Blown.
Need another dining room table to fit your guests (or maybe some TV trays or an ottoman if a table won’t fit)? CORT has them for rent. Need extra table space for all the party food? Rent a buffet or sideboard. Not enough room indoors and the weather outside is delightful? Rent some patio furniture and allow some guests to congregate outside.
Rent Appliances, Big or Small
Yep, you read that right. You can also rent appliances from CORT! So if your mom is visiting and she has to have a cup of coffee every morning…but you don’t have a coffee pot…you can totally rent one from CORT so she feels at home and taken care of (they even have a Keurig you can rent). Oh, and the coffee maker will totally help when serving your party guests.
You can even rent extra dishes, pots and pans, an indoor grill…the list goes on.
Your empty new kitchen…
Can be filled, functional, and ready to take on house guests!
Whether you want to add some artwork to the walls to impress your guests and make your new house feel pulled-together or you want to bring some holiday cheer home, there are many ways you can decorate simply (so you don’t pile up a bunch more you’ll end up having to move again…like me…*guilty*).
You guessed it…you can rent artwork, pillows, throws, and other decorations from CORT to fill your home (without *really* filling it)!
But…even beyond renting decorations, I want to share a few quick decorating tips for making your home look spiffy around the holidays:
Hide the Boxes
If you’ve recently moved due to a PCS, you probably still have boxes everywhere. We moved months ago and I still have boxes sitting out. *Looks sheepishly off to the side*
Before your guests arrive, try to find a place for these boxes so you have some extra elbow room for your guests, whether you stick them in the garage, the attic, the shed, or even close them off in a closet or a room that will not be used.
Don’t have anywhere to put the boxes? Are they pretty sturdy? Cover them with a cloth and use them as extra counter space! Either decorate it for the holidays or place non-wet food items on top to serve your guests (think cookies, vegetables, maybe even casseroles…just not the juice or soup or anything that might spill and ruin your boxes and everything inside).
Store Their Jackets & Shoes
When you have guests over, especially if it’s a pretty good-size group, you’re bound to have a lot of jackets and extra shoes surrounding the door or tossed all around. If you’re like us and you don’t have a coat closet, there are several options to store guest shoes and jackets so no one is tripping over them:
Expand Your Seating
It’s time for everyone to open gifts. You have a good amount of seating now, when it comes to chairs, but the kids will have to sit on the hard wooden floor or on someone’s lap. Kids don’t usually mind the floor, but make the floor a little more comfortable for them and pull the room together nicely with a rug. (By the way, you can rent these from CORT too if you don’t have one!)
Mirror, Mirror, Make The Room Appear Bigger
PCS moves can be a challenge when it comes to housing, especially if your service member isn’t high-ranking and you don’t have a big housing budget. You may end up living on base (which is generally pretty small housing) or settling temporarily for a small, unfurnished apartment, townhouse, or other small house that seems to be the only decent thing available in the rush of PCS season.
The house we found is a pretty good size still, compared to everything else we were finding in our “rush to rent” before our time in TLF was up, but it is still pretty small and we lost quite a bit of storage space. For this reason, it seems like we have to have everything out and it can feel small and crowded at times (though added accent tables with storage, storage ottomans, and other types of dressers or hanging storage have helped it feel less cluttered at least).
Something neat that I learned in my studies of interior design and home staging is that if you have a small house/small room, you can make it appear bigger (you won’t have more space, but guests won’t feel quite so stuffed in). How can you magically make your room feel bigger, you ask? It’s quite simple–add mirrors!
While you can add several small mirrors for a slightly bigger feeling, adding a large mirror to the wall or resting in a corner can make a room feel a whole lot larger. These can be pretty expensive to buy outright, so you may want to consider renting one from CORT. They have some gorgeous mirrors available to fit all sorts of styles and room sizes; they even have some mirrors that stand up on their own.
Stock Extra Towels
If you are like us, you pretty much have a handful of towels to fit your immediate family and a few junk towels for cleaning up messes (like when your kid falls in the mud…happened yesterday). You aren’t always prepared for guests when it comes to towels, and if they are staying at your home they’ll eventually need towels…that aren’t the junk ones.
Rather than buying a bunch of towels and having to find somewhere to store them after the guests leave or having to re-wash towels multiple times a day so everyone can get showers in, you can actually rent towels as well.
Go Travel Size
When going through a move, you’ll probably end up with several travel size bath products, whether you stocked up before your trip or you collected ones you only used one time at the hotel. Since it’s all in the family, I like to repurpose these by having them available for family members who maybe didn’t bring their shower essentials along.
You can share full-size products if needed, but since we have multiple bathrooms it can be a hassle moving things around. I like offering overnight guests a small basket full of the necessities they may have forgotten (body wash, shampoo, conditioner) and some other goodies as fillers (K-cups, makeup wipes, individually-wrapped chocolates, lip balm).
Get It Clean
Before your guests arrive, make sure everything is clean. If you had to leave your vacuum behind, you guessed it…you can rent those too.
Story behind this picture: when we moved into our current house, some of my family came down to help us find a house, clean it up, and move things in. I was taking pictures of the rooms and my mom happened to be vacuuming while I was snapping all the pics.
Well, my mom doesn’t like being in pictures and I still wanted to share it…so I compromised. I put a robot sticker over her and shared without telling her. It was hilarious. I had to share. Enjoy 😉
If you have guests over for certain holidays, someone is bound to want to watch a football game, Christmas specials, some parade, or toddler cartoons on repeat. Maybe you just want to blast some Christmas music to get everyone in the mood to celebrate. We [unfortunately] know several who ended up losing their TVs and other electronics in their moves because they ended up breaking.
Again, after a big move and all the money you have to spend out of pocket just for that, you probably don’t want to rush to buy a brand new TV, DVD player, or Bluetooth doc to keep your guests entertained. Rent them for your event!
You keep hearing me say, “Rent this! Rent that!” You’re probably thinking to yourself how much that’ll really add up. The thing about CORT is that you have the option to pay a flat monthly fee to rent what you need for your rooms instead of having everything a la carte.
Prices and availability vary, so you will have to check their website for availability near you and chat with a representative to find out prices and get help choosing what you need. You can choose to pick it up yourself or to have it delivered, which is helpful if you are exhausted and busy already from traveling and unpacking your things.
Rental lengths also vary, so discuss what you are looking for with your rep. You can rent items longer if needed and save up money during that time so you can purchase the items when you’re ready to (or just keep renting until your next PCS to save yourself the money and hassle later).
If you choose to make purchases on some items, check out CORT Clearance Centers where you can purchase previously-rented furniture at big discounts.
CORT has deals for military families as well for students, so be sure to check these out when you visit their site. Be sure to visit the CORT blog for more military family resources.
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