For Better or For Worse – merging two households

June 12, 2013
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For Better or For Worse: Merging Two Houses into One

June is the busiest month for weddings. I just attended a beautiful wedding for two of my friends and after they return from their honeymoon, I will be helping them tackle the daunting task of moving all of the bride’s belongings into their new home (formerly his bachelor pad). If a couple can survive this process, they can make it through any other challenge that comes their way.
Step #1: Talk about your goals for this move and make a list of the “must haves” for your shared home. Your list should include the furniture that is staying or being moved, each room and its new “use” (guest room, craft room, future baby’s room, etc.), items you are willing to part with and a moving date.
Step#2: Go through the new house/ future house first to purge any items you don’t need anymore. You may have lots of new wedding gift items and can donate your older dishes, pots and pans, bedding, etc. If you find duplicate items you just can’t part with (and don’t have room for), box them up and label them for storage in an attic, basement, or under the bed.
Step #3: Use your space wisely by installing shelving, using the backs of bedroom or bathroom doors and inside kitchen cabinet doors. These are often unused areas where you can maximize space. You can also store out-of-season clothing or bulky items like comforters in Space Bags and put them under your bed.
Step #4: Go through your items in the house you are moving out of. This is the time to donate or throw away anything you have not used in 1 year. After you have purged, sort all like items together. After you can see all of your books, clothes, kitchen items, etc., it’s easier to figure out what will fit in your new space. If you still have too much stuff to fit in your new place and they are all nice items you know you will need and use in the future, rent a storage facility. I only recommend this as a last resort and only if you put a time limit on how long you will rent it. Most people find they do not need any of the items they put in a storage unit and wind up wasting money but sometimes it is unavoidable.
Step #5: Box up all items you are moving and label the boxes by the room it will be going into and items in each box. The more detailed you are about your labels, the easier it will be for you and the movers. You may not be able to unpack everything immediately, so this also helps when you are trying to find your stuff after your move. Try to keep bedroom boxes in the bedroom, kitchen items in the kitchen, etc. if you can.
Step #6: Label the rooms of your new house for the movers using post-it notes. Make the labels on your rooms the same as the labels on your boxes. For example, label one room the “master bedroom” so all boxes that say “master bedroom” will wind up in the right place. If you have items being moved to more than one place (like a storage unit), keep those items separate and label them well. Make sure the movers know so they can load them accordingly.
Step #7: Enjoy your new home and new life together!