Military families move quite often and if they have been a part of military life for a while, it means they have lived in a lot of different houses. When we PCS’d to different duty station, it was almost a guarantee that we would live in at least two different houses during that time frame.

We usually picked a place to live, then some life event happens (promotion, baby, dog, renovation etc.) or we just didn’t like the first place, then we wound up moving to another place. For my and my military family, we have lived in…. 5 different homes in 7 years.

The homes ranged from apartments, to military housing, to duplexes, to single-family homes. Even though each home was different, I found that there were a lot of things in common to each house.

Here’s 10 Things That Happen to Your House When You’re a Military Family

1.You have a piece of furniture that seems “odd” in its placement

You fall in love with a chair, or bookcase, or table. You know exactly where it will go in your current home. And then you move. Now that piece is just hanging out somewhere because you don’t want to part with it.  This happened with our sectional. Word to the wise, don’t get a sectional.

2. You’ve developed a curtain collection

You have long curtains, short curtains, sheers, blackout curtains, etc. There was one window in our home in military housing that was near the top of the ceiling, but was only two feet high but still let in a blinding beam of sunlight in the afternoon. In another house, the entire back wall of the great room was floor-to-ceiling windows. My curtain collection will continue to grow, because well… I have a severe case of the “keep-it-just-in-case” disease.

3. At least one closet holds uniform stuff

And by “holds uniform stuff”, I mean “barely contains all of the uniform stuff”. Between regular uniforms, then dress uniforms, then really fancy uniforms, then old uniforms, then all the deployment gear, it can literally and easily take over a closet before you know it.

4. There is one box of books that you just cannot seem to get rid of

We have kindles and ipads now. Why do we have a box of old books? I don’t know. I feel bad throwing it out. So therefore it’s moved with us every time. Every single time. Every. Single. Heavy-ass. Time.

5. One corner of your closet is dedicated to old military ball gowns

Some of them are out-of-style, or they don’t fit, or you’re not young enough to wear that anymore. But they were so pretty. And so I keep them at least, because of that emergency fancy ball that comes up every now and then.

6. There is one rogue PCS sticker on a piece of furniture somewhere

You unpack after a move and you think you got them all. Until you go to clean behind a dresser, and lo and behold, there it is. You could pull the whole dresser out and remove that sticker. But nah.

7. There are some decorative wall pieces and frames piled together somewhere on the floor

There was a time we lived in Hawaii in a island style cottage. So I went and got island-style decor. Now we’re back on the mainland in a big city. So my frames and artwork of turtles, seashells, and sunsets sit collecting dust on the floor in the back of the closet again. Maybe one day, we’ll go back to the island, I tell myself. That’s why I can’t get rid of it.

8. You have torn apart your house looking for a lost PT belt, cover, name tag, etc.

And it’s always in the morning, when they are running late as it is. I explain to my military husband that this is why women have lots of different accessories. Because if we misplace them, we can just wear another pair. Ladies, am I right?

9. Old command shirts take up the bottom of the dresser or a bin

They serve for great memories. Great musty-smelling memories. I don’t know what his plan is for them. A quilt? No. A scrapbook? Probably not. A gift? Um, no. So we’ll just keep finding a place for them.

10.You grow a fondness for white walls…

Ah yes. The plain white walls that surround your temporary homes. Some people decide to paint if rules allow them. I can’t justify it when our average times in homes have averaged barely a year and a half. I’ve grown to love those white walls. They’re not fancy, but they serve their purpose. They say to me “use your imagination to make this place your own, I am your blank slate… welcome home”.

More on military housing:

10 Things That Happen to Your House When You're a Military Family