Combining two households into one is a romantic idea but a challenging reality, especially for second marriages or for long-distance couples who have lived apart for years. The cold hard truth is that there is a lot of furniture. And unless your tastes are perfectly aligned, it’s unlikely that anything will match. Having furniture and decorations that don’t go together can make your space look cluttered and disorganized. So let’s tackle this problem together.
Top 5 Tips for Combining Two Households Into One
When combining households into one, you might have to deal with many issues, from having too many of the same things to dealing with cherished but aesthetically questionable family heirlooms. While moving in with a significant other can be an exciting adventure, it also has the potential to cause tense arguments and hurt feelings if the two of you have drastically different cleaning habits and decorating preferences. Take the initiative and prepare the groundwork for a seamless transition with these few suggestions. After all, the goal of It Does Spark Joy is to help one another make our lives simpler.
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1. Commit to clear and honest communication
Recognize from the outset that sharing a space (and deciding what stays and what goes) can be an emotionally charged experience, and treat each other with kindness. If what you want to say could be taken as criticism, you should restate it in a more positive light. So let’s say you dislike your spouse’s dining chairs. As an illustration, “The chair is very comfortable, but it has seen better days. If we had it re-furnished, I bet it would last much longer and look better with the rest of our furniture. I’m interested in hearing your thoughts.”
2. Take an inventory of your items and select the better of the two
Do you remember that infamous scene from When Harry Met Sally? It’s the one where Jess and Marie decide to live together. While Jess keeps trying to shove that wagon wheel table, Marie sarcastically remarks, “Everybody thinks they have good taste and a sense of humor, but they couldn’t possibly all have good taste.”
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Moving in together is an excellent opportunity to get rid of anything that’s damaged. You may feel overwhelmed by the prospect of completing this task at both of your residences, but taking it one room at a time can help. Your kitchen, of all places, will likely prove to be the most challenging. You’ll probably have an abundance of every gadget because there are so many. Make sure to get rid of duplicates. Don’t forget to ask yourself if you need to buy that extra set of cutlery, another set of dishes, and a dozen adorable mugs for your morning coffee. If something doesn’t bring you happiness, it’s time to let go of it. Self-storage will become your best friend if you and your partner come across a number of items that could be useful. And don’t worry – you can actually be saving money when renting storage. Nowadays, it’s easy to find a storage unit that can also fit into your budget. Maybe one day you will move into another space. Who knows?
3. Go room-by-room
If you are one of those rare people with a natural talent for decorating, you won’t have any problem combining your two styles. You and your significant other are in a good position to figure out what you like and gradually incorporate your respective styles. But for some of us, it isn’t that easy. Some people don’t have an eye for details or interior design skills. In fact, this is a significant obstacle for most people. We strongly suggest that you both do your research alone and then come together and brainstorm ideas. Go room by room. Start with the less complicated areas, like the hallway or utility room, if you know your opinions will differ. Choose some of the old pieces and incorporate them with the new ones. Patience is a virtue when it comes to purchasing home furnishings and decor. By focusing on one space at a time, you can save up for longer-lasting, higher-quality furnishings like the ones shown here that can be easily adapted to suit your needs and preferences. And remember to sort out all the clutter beforehand. Sorting out the clutter streamlines your life and sets you up for success.
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4. Don’t be so quick to poke fun at cherished antiques.
The sentimental value of heirlooms can increase dramatically over the generations. Furthermore, they are typical of high quality, and you should definitely keep them and cherish them. Make sure to respect your spouse’s heirlooms or anything with sentimental value. You can help them get rid of some sentimental clutter, but make sure not to push it too much. Even if it’s a big furniture piece, there are ways to make it a little bit more pleasant to the eye. Adding new throw pillows or drawer pulls can completely transform the look of a piece of furniture that isn’t quite up to your taste or feels a little dated.
5. Know the importance of compromise and remember that nobody is perfect
After some time has passed living together, you may begin to notice less than stellar qualities in one another. So make sure to keep your attention on what really matters. And that is making the most of every second of your lives together. The act of moving in together and combining two households into one is secondary to the countless small and wonderful moments that will unfold. Get a good look around and take it all in. We wish you all the best in your new life, and we hope you’ll make many happy memories in your brand-new home.