As the days tick by, I'm thinking more and more about the upcoming move to Washington. It's hard not to be able to plan ahead, but the military lifestyle does not allow for much planning. In fact, if you do make plans, you can pretty guarantee they will change. No less than six times.
Thoughts running through my head include the possibility of ending up stuck in Georgia because we have no house in Washington, or the thought of ending up with three houses in three different states. Neither of these scenarios sound particularly appealing to me.
I'm starting to worry about finding a house in Washington and selling our house here.
Our home in Georgia feels cramped, which is actually quite funny when you consider that we have none of our furniture here right now. But we do have our clothes and homeschooling books and somehow there are just not enough closets for 7 people in this house. Our house in Virginia was perfect, with plenty of space for us to live comfortably. Having a playroom in the basement was divine. Having an extra bedroom for homeschooling, guests visiting, and storage space was wonderful. Of course, none of these things are necessities. We are very blessed to even have a house.
Thinking of how tight things feel in this house, I can't imagine living in a smaller house. That's why I was disappointed to learn that the largest house available at Ft. Lewis is only 1400 sq ft. and it's a duplex. I don't think 8 of us could fit in a home that small without using bunk beds or some other method of condensing furniture. (And I'm not putting my kids in bunk beds yet because it's just too dangerous for my own sanity.) The lady from the housing office told me that they don't have adequate housing for a family our size and that they'd really encourage us to look off post.
I guess this could be a good thing, since Jason wasn't thrilled about the thought of being surrounded by "work" when he's at home. And I have my reservations about living on base for various reasons. It's kind of a relief that that decision was basically made for us.
Now we have to search for a rental home that will allow 6 children and pets and be large enough for us, but cheap enough for our budget. Our we buy another house. Or we put our names on the waiting list to get a little duplex on base. Or I just stay in Georgia forever until Jason gets stationed somewhere else. Or maybe I'll live in a camper. Either way we'll be packed like sardines in a tin.
I'd like to know what other large families do with regards to housing. Do you have a large home? Small? Somewhere in between? Can you fit two (or more) beds in a room without bunk beds? Do you have creative ways of saving space? How do you make it work?
Are there any other large military families with advice? Or any military family (of any size) with suggestions?