I’d like to introduce you to Jodi Holzband, an organizing specialist with SpareFoot I recently had the pleasure of meeting. Since June is wedding month, her tips on how a new bride and groom can harmoniously merge their households are right on time!
Planning a wedding and moving in with a significant other are both stressful life events, though the payoff is starting a life with your dream partner. Trying to do both at once without a strategy and support system may leave you feeling overwhelmed.
What’s more, when one half of the couple is a minimalist and the other is more sentimental, there are bound to be clashes. Here are some tips for making the process as painless and clutter-free as possible.
Evaluate Your Shared Space
Take photos and measurements of your new place to provide context when choosing which furniture will best fit the space. Go room by room and discuss what items you each own and what will work best. Decide who gets each closet, drawer space and storage space. This will allow you to form an accurate picture of what to move and what to sell, give away, or donate.
Prepare to Compromise
Try out the piece of furniture, for example, in the new home before making a hasty decision. Keep an open mind. Sometimes the item looks better accompanied by different types of décor. You might consider having a mutual friend help with an unbiased opinion. To avoid going head-to-head, compromise is crucial. If a decision cannot be made right away, consider putting items in storage until the stress and emotion of moving has settled down.
Communicate Openly and Listen
You might not understand why he wants to keep that wagon wheel coffee table or she simply must find space for her lighted vanity. Find out the story behind the item–maybe the coffee table was the first piece of furniture he bought for himself and she used to watch her grandmother get ready sitting at the vanity. It’s the meaning we attach to things that makes us want to hold onto them.
Experiences vs. Stuff
As couples are getting married later, or marrying for the second time, they may not need more “stuff.” Instead, sign up for registries like HoneyFund and Honeymoon Wishes to make it easy and fun for wedding guests to treat you to a romantic dinner or a couples massage for your honeymoon.
Shop Smart and Give Back
Before buying, be sure to look for coupons from sites like RetailMeNot to give you the biggest bang for your buck. Donate extra wedding gifts, duplicate appliances and furniture to non-profit organizations like Habitat for Humanity, your local women’s shelter, or a family in need.
Accept Your Partner
Are you a minimalist marrying a pack rat? One isn’t right and the other wrong. They’re just different. If one person’s style cramps their partner’s, compromise. Give the saver a space to keep what they want and agree that the common areas will stay clutter-free. That way, everyone feels comfortable.
If you’re moving into a truly tiny space, you may want to consider a solution like full-service storage to provide pickup and delivery of your stuff on-demand. Many use full-service like an extra closet, rotating items in and out of storage on a seasonal basis.