My team and I have an abundance of simplicity tips for all scenarios, but not actual experience in every situation. We are so excited to provide Jen’s advice on creating and keeping a decluttered home for every military move. Our hearts go out in gratitude and extreme thankfulness to all families who endure such a challenging lifestyle in service to our country.
Jen is married to a Navy helicopter pilot and is a mom to two amazing and well-traveled boys. Having spent 20 years in government and public affairs, she is now a contributing writer and the Director of Sales for Military Moms Blog. She and her family have moved six times in the past 12 years (including an overseas move), so she is passionate about connecting with and supporting other military families. In her free time, you can find her at the soccer field cheering on her boys, taking a Pure Barre class, or planning her family’s next travel adventure. Born and raised in the Midwest, Florida has now become “home” – at least that’s what her driver’s license says!
Jen’s Top Tips:
- Because military families move every 2-3 years and our things are always packed for us, we declutter as we unpack rather than before the move. This allows us to determine what we don't want or need in the new place. Keep those unwanted items in the moving box and then donate them.
- Holiday decorations get no more than 2 plastic storage bins. Keep the things you love or that have sentimental value.
- Each family member gets one storage tub for memorabilia. Whatever they want to keep has to fit in that tub!
- To manage the overwhelm of clothing, sort children’s clothes every season and donate / toss anything you don’t intend to reuse for another child.
- Once or twice a year, set aside a week to declutter, and assign a room to each day so that it’s not overwhelming. As you handle each of the items in a room, create piles for items you want to donate or throw away. Closets and cabinets are the first places to declutter, as they tend to store the most “junk”. Then work your way to easier areas of the room. Once you finish a room, take care of the donate and trash piles that day. Otherwise, the stuff piles up and family members will find things in those piles that they think must be kept!
- Clear storage bins are a military family's best friend. Those winter coats, hats, sweaters and scarves are definitely needed in South Dakota, but not so much in Hawaii. But you don't want to purge them in case you're headed to Connecticut next! Clear storage bins make it easier to see what's inside, and hopefully you've got an attic or basement to store them in until you need those items again.
[Military Moms Blog is a national parenting website written BY military moms, FOR military moms. We are passionate about being military moms, and our goal is to build a community for both spouses and active duty service members to connect and engage with others who are going through similar situations. We are a collaborative blog that covers everything from moving, travel, employment and parenting to coping with deployments, finding military deals, and navigating military acronyms. In short, we are the one-stop resource for moms raising kids while balancing military life.]