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Essential Tips For Making A Temporary House Feel Like Home After A PCS Move

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Moving is an inherent part of military life. With Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders coming in periodically, military personnel and their families are often challenged with making temporary spaces feel comforting and homely.

It’s not just about moving personal items; it’s about transitioning memories, emotions, and a sense of belonging to a new rental home. However short the period might be. While the experts at Military Movers are always there to ensure a smooth and hassle-free move, making a house feel like a home post-PCS is an art in itself.

This comprehensive guide aims to share invaluable tips that can transform any rental house, even if for more than a year, into a cozy, welcoming space. As you embark on this journey, you’ll find insights on settling in, infusing personal touches, and creating a sanctuary even when you know it’s temporary.

Understanding the Emotional Impact of a PCS Move

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Every relocation brings with it a medley of emotions, but for service members, a PCS move can carry the additional weight of leaving behind what’s familiar. Delving deep into the emotional tapestry of such transitions, let’s explore the landscape of military relocations and the importance of creating a sense of home.

1. The Military Life and Frequent Relocations

Military life is synonymous with adaptability. Service members and their families often face the challenge of frequently relocating, making it essential to create a sense of stability wherever they go. Every move, though filled with a sense of duty and pride, brings forth a unique set of challenges – from acclimating to new surroundings to integrating into a different community.

2. Emotional Challenges Faced by Military Families

The frequent relocations, though part and parcel of military life, are not just physical transitions. For a military family, they bring along a whirlwind of emotions – from excitement at a new duty station to anxiety and homesickness after a few weeks. Children, especially, grapple with the challenges of leaving friends and schools behind, making it imperative for families to craft a comforting environment in their new homes.

3. The Importance of a Stable Home Environment

A stable home serves as an anchor, especially amidst the waves of change. It’s not just about the physical walls or the furniture; it’s about creating an environment that resonates with warmth, love, and security. Such an environment acts as a refuge, a place where service members and their families can recharge and find solace after a long day.

4. Coping With the Uncertainty of Temporary Housing

A rental home, especially in a small space, can evoke feelings of transience. There’s an underlying realization that this isn’t a permanent stay. Yet, it’s essential to find ways to make even temporary settings feel familiar and welcoming. Adapting to such environments requires a blend of flexibility, creativity, and a dash of optimism.

5. How Military Movers Supports Service Members During Transitions

At Military Movers, we don’t just see ourselves as a moving service. We’re partners in your journey, ensuring that the transition is as smooth as possible.

Recognizing the unique challenges military families face, we tailor our services to provide both logistical and emotional support. Our commitment goes beyond just transporting belongings; it’s about transporting memories and ensuring they find a special place in your new home.

Steps to Get Your Temporary House Set Up Quickly

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Setting up a dining room or entire house in a new duty station can feel daunting, especially when dealing with the constraints of a temporary home. However, with a structured approach and the right strategies, you can create a comfortable space in no time.

1. Efficient Unpacking Strategies

Unpacking doesn’t have to be chaotic. Begin by organizing boxes based on priority. Unpack essential items first, like toiletries and basic kitchen supplies. As you progress, ensure each item finds a designated place, reducing future clutter. Remember, the sooner you unpack, the quicker your new place will start feeling like home.

2. Organizing Essentials for the First Few Days

The first few months post-move to a new duty station can be hectic. Having a separate box or bag with essentials like a change of clothes, toiletries, medications, and some non-perishable snacks can be a lifesaver. It’s about ensuring that the transition period, before everything finds its place, is as comfortable as possible.

3. Using the Right Moving Tools and Resources

The right tools can significantly reduce the effort and time spent in setting up. Consider using dollies for heavy furniture, label makers for organized unpacking, and apps or checklists to track progress. Sometimes, investing in the right resources can pay dividends in terms of convenience.

4. Seeking Assistance From Professionals Like Military Movers

It’s okay to seek help. Professional moving services, especially those attuned to the needs of military families like Military Movers, can make the process considerably smoother. From providing packing materials to offering expert advice, such professionals can be invaluable in speeding up the settling-in process.

5. Setting Up Utilities and Basic Services Promptly

Nothing says ‘home’ like having your utilities up and running. Ensure you have the basics like water, electricity, and gas sorted before you move in. Additionally, setting up services like the internet can help you reconnect with the world and make the new place feel more familiar.

Read More: Full-Service vs. DIY Moving: Pros and Cons for Military Moves

Personalizing Your Temporary Space for Comfort and Familiarity

Turning a temporary space into a familiar sanctuary requires a personal touch. Even if you aren’t setting down roots, introducing elements that resonate with your personality and history can make any space feel more like home.

1. Incorporating Family Photos and Mementos

Personal items like photos have a unique ability to transport us back to cherished memories from the past few years. Adorning your new space with family pictures or placing mementos on shelves can instantly bridge the gap between the old and new. These familiar sights provide comfort and a sense of continuity amidst change.

2. Bringing in Familiar Scents and Sounds

The ambiance of a rental house isn’t just about light fixtures; it’s felt. Familiar scents from candles, diffusers, or a favorite meal can bring back a wave of nostalgia. Similarly, playing familiar tunes or sounds, perhaps reminiscent of your previous home, can uplift spirits and breathe life into the new environment.

3. Introducing Favorite Colors and Textures

Throw blankets and colors in the dining room evoke feelings and memories. Perhaps there’s a particular shade that always soothes you or a fabric texture that feels like comfort. Incorporate these into cushions, curtains, or bedspreads. Even in a temporary setup, these elements can play a pivotal role in evoking homely vibes.

4. Creating Dedicated Zones in Your Space

Carve out specific zones for various activities. This could be a cozy reading corner, a dedicated workspace, or a play area for kids. By demarcating spaces based on functions familiar to your routine, the place becomes more navigable and aligns better with your daily life.

5. Adopting Plants for a Touch of Nature

Even in a small space, plants and a nice candle have an innate ability to make spaces livelier. Be it a large potted plant by the window or smaller ones on the kitchen sill, they add freshness and vibrancy. Moreover, nurturing plants can provide a sense of purpose and continuity, especially during transitional phases.

Leveraging Community Resources to Acclimate Faster

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Building connections and tapping into local resources is as crucial as setting up your home. The community plays a significant role in helping military families acclimate and find a semblance of normalcy in new surroundings.

1. Joining Local Military Community Groups

Community groups or military spouse networks can be a goldmine of information and support. They offer insights into the local area, help in navigating resources, and, most importantly, provide a sense of camaraderie. Being around those who understand the unique challenges of military life can make the acclimation process smoother.

2. Exploring Local Amenities and Attractions

Embracing the new environment involves exploring what it has to offer. Familiarize yourself with local parks, recreational centers, libraries, or theaters. These places not only help occupy free time but also facilitate integration into the local culture and community.

5. Enrolling in Classes or Workshops

Workshops or classes, be it for a hobby, fitness, or learning something new, can be a great way to meet people. They provide structured environments where interactions flow more naturally, and bonds are forged over shared interests.

4. Volunteering Opportunities in the Area

Giving back always feels good. Volunteering in the local community can provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Plus, it’s a great way to get to know residents, understand the local ethos, and create connections that make the new place feel more like home.

5. Seeking Guidance From Military Movers’ Community Connections

At Military Movers, our relationship with clients goes beyond just moving services. We have a wealth of community connections and partnerships that can help service members and their families get acquainted with their new surroundings. Leveraging these can help in establishing roots, albeit temporarily, in the new community.

Read More: Navigating School Changes During PCS Moves: A Guide for Parents

Addressing the Emotional Aspects of Temporary Relocations

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While setting up bath towels and light fixtures is crucial, addressing the emotional aspects of a move to a new life can be equally significant. Recognizing and managing these feelings can pave the way for a healthier adjustment to the new environment.

1. Acknowledging the Feelings of Loss or Grief

It’s natural to mourn the loss of a previous home, community, or friendship. Recognizing these feelings, rather than suppressing them, is the first step towards healing and moving forward.

2. Establishing New Traditions While Honoring the Old

Blending the old with the new can be a beautiful way to transition. While it’s essential to establish new traditions or routines, honoring the old ones can provide emotional anchoring.

3. Finding Local Support Groups or Counseling

Sometimes, external support can be invaluable. Local support groups or counseling services, specifically tailored for military families, can provide coping mechanisms and a safe space to express feelings.

4. Staying Connected With the Past

Regularly communicating with old friends, revisiting memories through photos, or even periodic visits (if possible) can keep the connection alive. These ties to the past can serve as emotional support pillars during the adjustment phase.

5. Embracing the Adventure and Seeing the Positives

Every move, every change to a new duty station, is a new adventure, even if it’s for a sponsored post. Embracing this journey, focusing on the positives, and viewing it as an opportunity for growth can shift the mindset from apprehension to excitement.

What Services Do We Offer at Military Movers?

At Military Movers, we recognize the sacrifices and challenges that come with serving in the armed forces. Our aim? To provide unparalleled moving services that make every transition, every move, as stress-free and smooth as possible. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the exceptional services we proudly offer.

1. Local and Long-distance Moving

  • Hassle-free Transitions: Whether you’re moving within your city or across states, our expert team ensures a smooth journey for all your belongings.
  • Advanced Tracking Technology: Our cutting-edge satellite technology lets you track your shipments in real-time. Say goodbye to anxieties related to the whereabouts of your belongings.
  • Expert Handling: Our team, with its vast experience, ensures that every item, whether bulky or fragile, is transported with utmost care.

2. Packing and Unpacking Services

  • Professional Packing: With an emphasis on security, our team uses the best materials and techniques to pack your items. Every piece, from a delicate vase to a grand piano, is packed with precision.
  • Efficient Unpacking: Moving in becomes a breeze with our team assisting in unpacking. We help you settle into your new place faster and more efficiently.
  • Custom Solutions: We understand unique needs and offer bespoke packing solutions to cater to individual requirements.

3. Storage Services

  • Flexible Options: From short-term solutions for those quick assignments to long-term storage for extended deployments, we’ve got you covered.
  • Climate-Controlled Facilities: Sensitive items need special care. Our climate-controlled facilities ensure your belongings remain in pristine condition.
  • Secure and Accessible: Security is our top priority. Our facilities are not only secure but also easily accessible, providing you with peace of mind.

4. OCONUS Military Moves

  • International Expertise: With experience spanning across continents, we understand the intricacies of international moves.
  • Paperwork Assistance: Navigating through customs and paperwork can be daunting. Our team is here to guide you every step of the way, ensuring all documentation is in order.
  • Reliable Network: Our global network ensures timely and safe delivery of your belongings, irrespective of the destination.

5. Client-centric Approach

  • Transparent Pricing: No hidden fees, no surprise costs. Our transparent pricing model ensures you know exactly what you’re paying for.
  • 24/7 Support: Our dedicated team is always available to assist with any queries or concerns.
  • Tailored Solutions: Every move is unique, and so are our solutions. From initial planning to final setup, we customize our services to fit your needs perfectly.


Relocating, especially under the unique circumstances that come with military service, can often be a challenging endeavor. However, with the right strategies, a bit of planning, and a touch of personal touch, any temporary house can truly feel like home after a PCS move.

At Military Movers, we understand the nuances of these moves. Our commitment to quality, transparency, and client satisfaction isn’t just a business model; it’s a promise to be there with you at every step. We encourage you to reach out and discover how we can make your next relocation a seamless experience.

Get in touch with us today and let Military Movers be your trusted partner in your next journey. Because with us, every move feels like coming home.


What is a PCS move?

A Permanent Change of Station (PCS) move refers to an official relocation of an active-duty military service member along with their dependents, which includes any household members. This can be a move within the country or even overseas, depending on the assignment.

How often do military families typically move?

Military families move more frequently than civilian families, often every 2-3 years. The frequency can vary based on the specific branch of service, job function, and individual career paths.

How can I make my temporary military housing feel more personal?

Adding personal touches such as family photos and familiar décor items and integrating comforting routines can make a temporary space feel more like home. Engaging in community events and setting up familiar routines can also help in acclimatizing to the new environment.

Do Military Movers offer services for international relocations?

Yes, Military Movers provides services for both domestic and international relocations. With vast experience in OCONUS moves, we are well-equipped to handle the intricacies of international relocations, including customs and paperwork.

Can non-military customers avail of Military Movers services?

Absolutely! While Military Movers specializes in catering to the needs of military members and their families, our exceptional services are open to anyone needing professional moving assistance.

Mia Miller

Mia Miller, a true wordsmith, documents the journey of Military Movers through her engaging blog posts. She ensures that our stories, mirroring our commitment and dedication to facilitating military moves, reach a broad audience.