You will have two sets of everything. What will you do with all of it?
Now for some real-world expert tips to put you on the fast track to merging two spaces and saving your marriage before it even begins.
Put your purge brain on
Think about purging and your body goes numb. You mean, I have to get rid of stuff? Putting your purge brain on is more than just purging. “Purging can be an emotional experience. It can feel like you are abandoning or getting rid of a part of yourself; it is an emotional experience for most people,” says Jamie Bodily, Provisionally Licensed Professional Counselor. She goes on to say that moving can be an extremely hard time; not just physically, but emotionally. “It is normal to experience a wide variety of emotions from joy, relief to grief and overwhelm as you navigate this transitional time in your life.”
“One way to view purging is as an opportunity to welcome new and better things into your life. What a wonderful way to start a marriage by welcoming in new and better things,” says Bodily.
Talk it out and tell each other how you are feeling. Don’t just assume that your partner is okay. This merge can decide the fate of your marriage.
Invest the time now
It would be so much easier to throw everything in a box, move and go through it later. This may seem like a great plan, but in reality, things will just keep piling up. Taking things to the new house that will never be used wastes time and space. Invest the time to go through things while you pack.
Ask yourself these questions with every item you pick up:
- Do I need it?
- Where will I use it?
- Does it have a meaning?
An item with a meaning is no good in a box. If it’s a true legacy, you’ll figure out how to use it. “Knowing your WHY is extremely important. Why are you doing this? How do you want your environment to feel when you move?” says Jeff Arthur, Life coach and owner of Excalibur Coaching Institute. “Material things have no feeling and they don’t know where they are going.”
Begin with the Packing
Start with one room at a time and simplify your living space. Do not move to the next room until the room you are in is completely packed up. Label and date each box. Find an empty space in the garage or living room to start stacking boxes. To help with the process, have boxes labeled in categories and ready to fill.
Best wedding present ever
The best part of the wedding is opening up the wedding gifts. You get more dishes, more sheets, another toaster and the perfect picture frame. Don’t be afraid to be very particular about your gifts (color, function, etc). If you open it and don’t like it, chances are it will sit in your closet taking up space. Consider recruiting people for your move as a wedding present. Imagine helping hands, rather than more unwanted gifts that you may or may not like.
Dream a little
Lifting each other up will be the best part of your marriage to come. Lift each other during this merge with a vision. You won’t agree on everything. You won’t even like the decisions at every level. Dream about your new space. Don’t be afraid to camp out overnight in an empty space and dream together.
Communication is by far the most important part of marriage. Merging two spaces is about communication. “Think of this merge as a practice run for all the communicating you will do in your marriage. Making assumptions will cause major friction in any marriage,” continues Arthur. You are in control of your merge together. It is ok to stop for five minutes and chat about it.
Starting life together as a couple is an exciting adventure. Just as each of you will have hobbies, friends and activities separate from one another, you should have a little bit of space you can call your own. A space to relax, to keep some of your favorite things, to read, to play video games or just veg out. You can decorate it (or not) and make it your own. While you will share many things and most of the space in your home, a little bit of individual space can help to keeps your relationship thriving. Share the space; don’t dictate.
Making it yours
It does not matter what your mom says or how your sister acts. Friends and family can stress you out. They will have opinions that drive you crazy. It will only get worse.
You have 3 Options:
1. Tell them that you didn’t need their help (be ready to explain).
2. Let them know upfront what you need and don’t need. The last thing you need is a boss telling you how to merge your home.
3. Deal with it and the anger it will cause. Be prepared for the friction between you and your new spouse.
This is your home. This is your chance to have all that you have wanted. Don’t let someone else control it. It is not about them. It is all about you and your marriage.
Define your space
I can go through every room one by one; but, let’s talk about the rooms that can be the biggest asset to your home merge. Defining your space will ensure that your home runs properly. You will not have lost time by searching for things. You will also cut down on things draining your energy; thus, helping you excel in your marriage. You will soon realize that a great marriage is not based on a clean house or perfect relationship; but, rather on working together and simplifying things in order to give more focus to the things that you want and need.
The kitchen is the hub of the home.
- Compartmentalize things – Drinks, snacks, baking, batteries
- Talk about who will cook and design the kitchen for them
- Must have in all kitchens, a command center
Don’t be afraid to plan down time here. You will want to cuddle on the couch and watch TV. Make this room cozy. Make this a place where you can stop the world and have some carefree timelessness together.
The Bedroom, The Sanctuary
This is the sanctuary of your home and the most important part of your marriage. You will not want to be intimate in a room full of boxes. You will not want to be intimate in a room full of energy drains. Move this room up to number one on your list Choose sheets you love. Put in extra special touches to make it personal and intimate. Make this a room you love to spend time in! Doing it now will ensure a healthy sex life and an intimate relationship. Take time to talk about what your vision is for this room. You will want this room to have nothing but your personality.
Basement & Garage
Don’t use this area for storage. Plan it out and talk about the function of it. Most often, the basement and garage are where the over stock tends to land. In a few years, you will realize that 90% of the boxes left in these spaces have never been opened or used. Now you have a house that was never fully unpacked. Eighty-five percent of couples have reported they never finished unpacking. Then, they have to hire someone to help clean up five years later because, things got out of control. Don’t let this happen to you. Do the work now and fully unpack
It is your HOME
The most important thing in merging two houses is to remember that this is now your home—a place where spend every night, a place where you can feel safe and together. It does not matter what others think. If you don’t mind living in a messy house, than live it. If you want a spotless clean house, then plan it. If you want a comfortable house, then design it. Remember that each of you were raised differently and have different opinions about a house. Talk about this; don’t wait for three years to sneak up on you. Life happens so fast. If you don’t have kids yet, you might soon. If adversity has not hit you on the head; it’s coming. Without talking this out and making your house a home, you could soon blame your spouse for your unhappiness and pick apart everything they are doing, including leaving the dirty underwear on the floor. The simple household things could soon drive your relationship; but only if you let it.
Merging a home is a big deal. Open up the lines of communication now.
Lisa Jenkins is a professional organizer, certified Life coach, speaker and founder of Family in Balance, familyinbalance.com.