When two people are trying to combine households, there's no limit to how complicated things can get. You can make this transition a lot easier, however, when you have a good plan. We're not talking about an average garden-variety type plan. This calls for some strategic planning.
Dropping hints about why your belongings should be in the new home and why most of their belongings should be recycled or thrown away, is not going to work. A more successful way of dealing with this involves you both looking at all of your options, formulating some ideas, and then looking for new ways to make things go smoothly. Here are 4 tips to help you get started.
Discuss all expectations before moving anything.
When you decide to combine households, you both have to take into consideration that you have your own ways of doing things. Daily routines and lifestyles have to merge. When you know what to expect, the transition will be much smoother.
Whether you're moving to a new home or moving into your partner's home, these are some questions you need to ask.
- Are we going to combine our things and have them in each room of the house?
- Can I change color schemes, how the furniture is set-up, etc. so I can feel more comfortable there?
- If I want to read a book, is there a quiet place where I can go to do this?
- Will there be enough space at your place so we can entertain or I can watch TV with my friends?
- Will I be able to turn one of the rooms into an office or is there another place where I can set up a workspace?
- Do we need/can we have a separate place in the house where we can do some things on our own?
Putting all of this right there on the table will allow you to work together and head off any potential problems.
Tip # 2
Purge duplicate items and pick and choose favorites from each person's belongings.
There was a TV show called Clean Sweep where professionals helped homeowners clear one or two rooms of clutter during a two-day period. This wasn't easy and there were some heated discussions between those homeowners. We don't want you to go through that, so here are some ways to make things progress smoothly.
- Take an inventory where you're living now.
- You both will have duplicates of everything; small things like spatulas and coffee makers and bigger things like coffee tables, dressers, beds, and sofas.
- Make a Keep, Sell, Donate and Toss list. How do you decide where to place these items?
- Start by looking at their condition. Is one of the two looking worse for the wear or in need of a repair? It's out.
- Sometimes bigger might be better (especially in the case of a shared bed). Which option fits best in the space you're moving to?
- Next, look at the quality of the items. Is one of the options of a much higher quality than the other, and expected to last longer? No-brainer. Pick the better items.
Tip # 3
Come to an agreement about how these items will fit into the new space.
This is important because you don't want to start moving in and then say, "Hey, where's all my stuff supposed to go''?
It doesn't have to get complicated. Just talk through each room and discuss where you'll put what. If you make some rough sketches, take some photos or notes before the move, you'll remember what you decided.
What if there isn't a lot of space? An empty kitchen cabinet can hold work files, books, collectibles and other items. You can also buy floating shelves, wall mounted shelves, and under-bed storage boxes. Over the door hooks and organizers can provide a place for shirts, ties, hats, scarves, handbags and even jewelry.
Tip # 4
Compromise, not criticize the other's belongings. They might have things that you think are hideous but have sentimental value to the other person.
You might think that this is the perfect time to just go wild and get rid of all the things that you believe are useless or ugly. That assortment of glasses, mugs, and plates that he's collected over the years? Out of here. Those dolls and stuffed bears that seem to be everywhere in her apartment? Gone.
Just talk to them gently and state why you think something won't fit into your new place and then see if you can find a compromise.
- If you both have dinnerware, for instance, you can use one set for casual occasions and the other for special occasions.
- If your partner has a shot glass, stamp, coin, candle, snow globe, guitar, or doll collection, Buzzfeed gives you 31 incredibly creative ways to display this stuff.
- If your partner is sentimental about some of their furniture, can you reupholster that chair so it suits both of your tastes? Paint a nightstand? Get a new top for the coffee table?
Whether you're moving together into a new home or one person is moving in with another, it's important to be considerate of each other's needs because this transition is unique for both of you.
At A-1 Freeman, we know that moving is a major change in your life so we want to help make it easier. Whether you're simply moving across town or to a completely different part of the country, let us do most of the hard work for you. And when you decide which possessions you're going to keep, we'll treat each item with the proper care and respect it deserves.
Just remember to follow these tips and start planning early to guarantee a quick and pain-free transition when combining households and moving to a new home.