So you are getting married – congratulations! This is an exciting time and no doubt the culmination of many months, or even years, of planning. But now that you are officially uniting as a couple, your belongings are as well. And that can mean you’ll have a lot more things than you have space for in your new, merged home.
From duplicate toasters and an abundance of engagement party gifts to a wedding dress and precious family heirlooms, the amount of “stuff” you have – and what to do with it – might just be your first challenge to overcome as newlyweds. Here are some tips to help you, literally, sort it all out.
Just because you’re making a vow “to have and to hold…from this day forward” doesn’t mean it has to apply to your possessions. Return any duplicate items if possible and donate older items you have new replacements for. You can also try selling some of your used items that are still in decent condition, or give them to a friend or family member who could put them to good use. For example, your college-age cousin might love that mini-fridge or coffee maker. And it goes without saying to just throw away anything that is broken or no longer usable.
Furniture for now…and the future
For larger items like furniture, decide which would fit best in your new home both in terms of size and style. Prior to moving be sure to take measurements and take into account how you will maneuver certain items up the stairs, through doorways, and around corners. You might love your king size bed but if it can’t fit up the stairs, your spouse’s queen size may just have to do.
It is also important to consider where you will be living in the future. You may be in a studio or one-bedroom apartment now, but in a couple of years you might want to move to a larger apartment, condo, or house. While your great desk might not fit into your current living space, it could make a nice addition to a home office someday. For items like this, renting a storage unit can be a good option.
Sentimental items and family heirlooms
Maybe you or your significant other has a cherished collection of 100+ CDs from the 80s, a 3-foot trophy from a 4th grade Little League World Series championship, or a giant oil painting of Venice painted by a beloved family member. Emotionally-charged items like these often cause the biggest rifts when it comes to combining households.
Perhaps you can each create a small space in your home where you can keep or display these items. If that is not possible, contact family members to see if they would like to keep a particular heirloom to ensure that it is kept in the family.
You can also try refreshing or refurbishing an item. For instance, if your spouse has a dresser that has been passed down for generations, a different finish or new hardware may update the look and make it more compatible with your style.
Again, a storage unit can be a good option. You might not be able to accommodate these items now, but you may in the future. A climate-controlled storage unit will keep everything safe and secure until you are ready to make room for them.
Happily Ever After
Moving is stressful and when you are combining two households, it can be even more so. With compromise and open communication, you can gradually evolve your new shared living space into a home that reflects both your personalities and serves as the perfect foundation to build a lifetime of memories.