If you’ve recently wed or will shortly do so or plan to move in with a long-term partner, there’s much to be excited about. However, combining households can also be tricky and cause many arguments, especially when children are involved too.
There are belongings to sort and place, finances to arrange, different décor tastes and cleaning styles to navigate, and much more. However, you can pave the way for a smoother transition if you follow a few tips to combine two households effectively into one home.
Have a Clear Out of Belongings
Since there will likely be many duplicate possessions among the belongings of the two households, start by having a clear-out of items. There’s no need to have two (or more) of everything, after all. Doing this cull will help you minimize the amount of stuff you have to try to fit into one home.
Combining households also gives you an excellent opportunity to go through all your things and declutter. Take the chance to get rid of old items that are broken, your kids have grown out of, or you otherwise no longer use. Consider the fact that your partner will see the goods you own once you’re sharing a place, too, so it might be time to get rid of anything you’d be embarrassed about them finding!
Note, though, that if you still feel like you have too many belongings to keep in the property you’ll be inhabiting, or aren’t sure which larger furniture pieces to keep, etc., you can utilize a storage unit to place goods in for a time. Look online for relevant businesses in your area, such as by researching “short-term rental units in New York City” or “hire storage units in the Los Angeles area,” and the like.
Spend Time Planning and Thinking Before Moving Day
It pays to spend time planning and thinking before it comes time for you and your partner to join households. For example, plan out who will be providing what and learn if there are any particular pieces of furniture or other goods that neither of you owns yet that you’d like to buy. Discuss who will be working from home and if you want or need separate offices, too. The same goes for determining which bedrooms children will live in and if any of them need to share rooms or not.
It’s wise to measure up all the areas in the house you’ll live in so you can better tell what belongings will fit where and avoid getting furniture stuck in doorways, etc. Taking photos of each property area will also help you visualize where things might go. You might like to make some rough sketches of what you’re thinking, layout-wise, or take notes of where key pieces can be set up, too. All this material will save headaches and fights on moving day.
Work Out What’s Important to Each of You
Before you move in together, sit down and talk about what’s most important to each of you. One person might have a recliner that they know suits their back perfectly and keeps them feeling good, while another might have some treasured travel mementos or favorite artworks that are meaningful and essential to have on display. Be open and honest about your individual needs so you can work together to compromise and come up with ways to make everyone as happy as possible.
Look for Common Themes and Matches
It can be tricky styling a home with both new and old pieces from two different households, but the secret to creating an eclectic scheme that works effectively is to spot common threads. As you start to combine possessions, look for instances where you have goods that match nicely (e.g., due to color, style, material, or scale) or at least items that fall under similar themes or usage levels.
Seeing patterns and similarities will help you integrate things more smoothly and find ways to make your pieces work together. Play around with different mixes, and you should soon find you can make rooms eventually come together.
As you move in together, always remember to focus on positive, clear communication. Be gentle and sensitive to each other’s feelings, try to keep an open mind, and compromise as much as possible. Don’t be afraid to set some ground rule if need be, too. Plus, look for ways to start new routines and traditions in the home that you create. Doing them together will help you feel more in sync and set a helpful path on which to move forward.