This Friday is Valentine’s Day. One of the gifts given from one to another on this special day will be a key to the giver’s home. This key will serve as a romantic gesture of commitment, an invitation to move in together. Other couples will simply discuss the prospect as they enjoy their candlelight dinner. Marriage proposals are also being accepted and a new home together becomes inevitable. No matter the process, the next few weeks and months ahead will see a merging of households for many. Moving in together is a big step and while the prospect is certainly an exciting one, it is important to start the new foundation with a solid plan and a few household guidelines in place. In the spirit of this coming Valentine’s Day we thought we’d deliver some valuable pointers that will protect your burgeoning relationship better than Cupid’s arrow itself.
1. Reduce Your Overall Load When Uniting Households
Moving in together means doubling your household possessions instantaneously. Unless the two of you are moving into a new home that is collectively double the square footage of the ones you separately reside in at the moment, it won’t work without creating a cluttered mess. Simply make decisions as to who has the best of each duplicate item (LCD TV, sofa, bed, etc…) and donate, sell, or store the rest. A happy home is one not hoarded.
2. Give Yourself Space, Literally
You’ve moved in together to be closer together, and that’s great. But don’t forget to create a place in your home for just you and you alone. We all need a little “me” time and thus it is important to have an area designated accordingly. Whether that space is the garage (for you gearheads), the guest/fitness room, the basement, or attic, decorate it according to your tastes to make your mark and claim your space in the home. A little short term separation actually keeps the two of you closer in the long run.
3. Keep Clothing & Accessories Apart
We’ll make no assumptions as to which one of you has the biggest collection of clothes and accessories but one of you most certainly will overshadow that of the other. Granted in today’s more fashionable day and age both of you could come packing a closet to rival the nearest Macy’s. Either way, one of the best ways to keep the peace between a couple having just moved in together is to keep separate closets and dresser drawers. There should be no mingling of holed gym socks with fishnet stockings, no overlap of sneakers and stilettos, and no crisscross of t-shirts and well, t-shirts.
4. Shared Decorating
This tip is most notable for those couples where one is moving into the existing home of the other. It is important that the unique decorating tastes of each of you is represented within the home. While it can be a challenge you can find compromise. If one prefers pink and the other blue, consider purple. If one prefers hardwood floors and the other carpet (when considering renovations) opt for area rugs. Perhaps one of you will be in charge of decorating the bedroom while the other the living room? You get the idea.
5. Store the Excess that You Cannot Live Without, But Have To
Still have that life size mascot statue that you and your high-school friends took from the rival town’s stadium on the night of the prom? What about your outdoor recreational equipment that’s two sizes too big (kayak, SUP, etc…) to fit into your merged dwelling? No need to part with either. Some possessions are simply a part of who we are. Even though we make sacrifices in our household lives to accommodate moving in together we need not get rid of all the excess. Hold on to your memories and toys by looking into a storage locker located conveniently near your home and visit them whenever you need. Just don’t keep a box of letters from an old flame in there, or anywhere for that matter - you don’t have our permission on that one.