As a military member, it can be hard to make on-base housing feel like home. After all, who knows how many dozens and dozens of people have lived there before you?

Throw in that you didn’t really get to choose the property, as well as all the stipulations and rules your housing comes with, and it can be easy to feel like a renter in your own home.

If you’re having this feeling, don’t let it get to you. There are actually quite a few easy, fast and affordable ways you can fight this feeling, and give your family the welcoming, inviting home you desire. Here’s where to start:

  1. Bring in the pictures – The easiest way to make your place feel more like home is to bring in pictures – ones of your kids, your wedding, your past homes and any others you can pull together. Filling your home with memories instantly makes a place feel more “yours,” so hang photos on the wall, put them on the shelves and tables, and pull out all the old photo albums. This place is yours – for however long you stay there!
  2. Personalize what you can – Since you don’t technically own the home, it’s hard to do much personalization, but there are some ways you can make the place more your own. A great place to start is the mailbox: Simply get some stick-on letters from the local hardware store, and line your box with your last name. You can also do the same on your front door, near your address numbers. Sometimes, just adding this little personal touch can make all the difference.
  3. Add a welcoming entryway – No home is complete without an inviting doorway, so spend some time sprucing up your front porch and entry area. Add a nice welcoming mat, get some hanging plants and flowers or give the door a fresh coat of paint to make it more your own. You can also add bricks or shrubs around the walking leading up to your door and make the entire walk to your house a more inviting journey.
  4. Paint – If you’re allowed to, consider giving the walls some new coats of paint. Choose colors that speak to you and are warm and inviting, and get rid of ones that aren’t your style or feel forced. If painting isn’t allowed on the premises, there are some other workarounds you can try. Our favorite? Grab some wall stickers, artwork and mirrors and build a full-out gallery wall!
  5. Plant a garden – Nothing is more welcoming than a happy, flower-filled garden, so if you’ve got some room in your yard, consider doing a little planting to make the place feel more like home. Add some seasonal flowers, a few shrubs, and maybe some potted plants here and there. If you don’t have much of a green thumb, choose plants that are perennials – ones that will come back year after year without much work. Those will give you the most bang for your buck!
  6. Cozy it up – Sometimes, a house doesn’t feel like home simply because it’s a little stuffy. It’s empty, the walls are bare and it just doesn’t have that home-y vibe you and your loved ones are looking for. Fixing this is simple: Just cozy it up. Add fluffy pillows and fuzzy blankets to your couch, hang rich drapes from the windows, place rugs on the wood and tile floors, and put a nice tablecloth in the dining room. You’d be surprised at the difference these little additions can make.
  7. Make it smell nice – Did the house just get a new coat of white paint before you moved in? Does it still smell like the past owners or have a musty, empty stench? Make the place feel more home-y by filling it with delicious, welcoming smells. Bake a batch of cookies or place a warm apple pie on the stove. Get air fresheners for the bathrooms, and light vanilla-scented candles in the hallways. Pick scents that make you feel calm and relaxed!

On-base housing can be limiting. Even after following these tips, it still may feel like someone else’s home – and for a long time, too. If you’re tired of bouncing from on-base property to on-base property, contact The Claus Team today. Our expert real estate agents can help you find an off-base home that fits within your housing allowance, meets your needs on size and space, and allows you to have the personal property you and your family have been hoping for. Call us today to get started.

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