There is a lot of pressure surrounding Valentine’s Day. Sometimes that pressure makes us do crazy things. Like propose. Or break up. Yes, apparently February 10th has officially been designated “Dump Day”, since many couples that would rather have a root canal together than sit through another Valentine’s Day dinner together choose this day to break up. But on the happier side are the couples that just give in to all the sentimentality of the holiday and decide to tie the knot. According to Time magazine, approximately 220,000 marriage proposals will take place on Valentine’s Day.
First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the moving van. One of the first tests of the relationship rears its head very early – merging households. This is when “yours” and “mine” becomes “ours”. Time to take a deep breath and focus on the relationship, not on the stuff. (Brides.com has some great stories about couples who have successfully handled the challenge of the merge.) It’s fairly easy to decide whose toaster to keep, but it gets a little more complicated when it is “your” neon beer sign versus “my” grandmother’s hand crafted embroidery sampler. Here are some basic tips to make things go a little more smoothly.
Get rid of the easy stuff first. Let’s face it, most of us have too much stuff. Both partners should purge their personal belongings as much as possible before even tackling the topic of the merge.
Get rid of duplicates. You might want two TVs, but you probably don’t need two blenders, coffee makers, or even kitchen tables. Make logical decisions based on age and condition, and keep the better of the two. This part shouldn’t be too hard.
Talk it out. Be willing to listen to your partner’s explanation of why the baseball collection is so important or why fifty pairs of shoes is not an unreasonable number. Through negotiation, some things will go away quietly, but don’t risk too many hurt feelings. Honor the things that are important to the person you love.
Keep an open mind. Furniture and art work tend to represent the taste and style of the owner. Accept the fact that your new combined household is not going to reflect just one person’s taste, and embrace a new decorating style that represents who you are as a couple. Re-paint, re-cover, re-position – an eclectic decorating style can be a lot of fun.
If, after all is said and done, you still have things you can’t part with that just won’t fit into your home, do consider a storage unit. We have locations in California, Arizona, and Nevada. Going forward as a couple, you might find that it will take a lot of pressure off your house and your relationship.