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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): Organizing Storage Place in a Home with No Storage

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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Location: United States

After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Organizing Storage Place in a Home with No Storage

I am absolutely NOT looking forward to examining our storage situation when we move in.  Most European houses do not have closets, and ours will be no exception.  Our basement is so small, only a gnome can walk upright....well, maybe a 6 year old child.  None of the rooms have closets (not even a coat closet), and I plan on talking my way into the greatest number of CMFO (loaner) furniture from the military we can get....damn the ugly choices.  So, here I am.....wondering how to maximize stuffing the maximum amount of clothes in a minimum amount of space.  How about this?

After reading the article from Woman's Day, I immediately thought of being able to stuff twice as many t-shirts into a drawer....and continuing along that thread....I'm thinking I can do this with shorts, underthings and a few other items?  I believe every person in the family is authorized a wall locker and a dresser from the military, but that's about it other than couches, chairs and tables. 

Other lowcost thoughts:

  • Underbed storage containers
  • Baskets
  • Inexpensive wire hardware store type shelves hidden behind an expandable shower curtain rod and shower curtain
  • Pretty thriftshop hatboxes on top of those ugly CFMO wardrobes
  • Storage items to be found at the monthly SHAPE fleamarkets, civilian fleamarkets and what I can find at the thrift shop on Chievres Air Base.
  • Buy items on sale at IKEA and then sell them again when we leave.
  • Tell my husband that we can get lowcost antiques (which is true) and find some items with hidden storage space that we can take back to the US.
Any other ideas?



Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great idea on the hatboxes! Love that idea. Initially, we had the loaner wardrobes, but then turned them back in after we found Schranks (sp?) we wanted to keep. We ended up putting giant toys on top (big Playmobil ship and huge stuffed animal). This may end up being a wonderful opportunity to streamline and declutter. I think the locals have it right, when they purchase fewer quality apparel items that can be used repeatedly. You will actually come to welcome the limited wardrobe space, as it saves a great deal of money as well.

As for the rest of the house, are most of the homes there older in style? Are most homes on the school bus route? Is it like Germany, where you may have "Immobilien" fees on top of the initial security deposit and rent?

I can't even tell you how worried I am about finding a place, especially when arriving so late with the selection of homes limited. All of your information has been a huge help. Thanks again.

July 28, 2010 at 6:05 AM  
Blogger ****Veteran Military Wife at Life Lessons of a Military Wife**** said...

Half or so were older...half of those had recent renovations....there are still a few on the AHO list that I believe must still be on there because they are NOT renovated..especially kitchens and bathrooms are important for us all it seems. Just realized our home doesn't have a SINGLE towel rack!...didn't notice that before (we have a historic home that was basically gutted and renovated very nicely).

Quite a few were not on school bus routes, so many carpool/drive their kids in or drive them to the nearest p/u point. My kids have to walk 1 km over a canal and to the village square to get to theirs.

You'll be pleased to know that the landlords pay all realtor fees here! It is more like the US and NOT like, if you can find a rental out there before you come AND they are willing to do a SHAPE lease, you would be ahead. I know of a few folks who found homes on their own. And realtors only show you their listings from what I have noticed...not anyone else's be thorough! Best bet is to try to work the working spouse's predecessor's home!

July 29, 2010 at 11:44 AM  
Blogger 121Bourdelais said...

I have heard that Chievres has a limited number of non-climate controlled storage facilites for rent... perhaps worth checking into if you have any big items, altough there is a monthly fee. Check TROCs for storage helps, also. Old cookie tins are great for stashing stationery items, school supplies, etc. Pretty dishtowels hung with clip rings on a cafe rod can hide a lot. SLOTS (I believe it's in Tournai) is a beautiful but pricey home design store that may be of some encouragement!

July 29, 2010 at 11:20 PM  

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