12 Tips for Happily Combining Households

If you are planning to merge two households, you might want to tackle everything from duplicate items and treasured family heirlooms to furnishings of questionable taste (and tons of clutter). Moving in together, while exciting, can also possibly be the cause of some heated arguments and hurt feelings if preferences and housekeeping styles struggle. Be proactive and pave the way for a smooth transition with these helpful suggestions.

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1. Dedicate to open and clear communication. Be respectful of each other and acknowledge directly from the beginning that sharing distance (and making decisions about what stays and what moves) can be an emotional procedure. Whenever you have something to say that could be perceived as criticism, try framing it in a positive statement. For example, “I really do love how comfortable that seat is, but it’s been through a lot. I bet we could prolong its own life — and make it go better with all the rest of our things — if we had it re-covered. What do you think?”

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2. Take ample photos and measurements of your location. Even if it means creating an extra appointment to return, take action! Having the measurements and graphics to refer to while you are planning will be invaluable and save lots of headaches (and arguments) on going day, assisting you to avoid situations such as the couch failing to fit through a door.

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3. Just take the easy road. Pick and choose favorites from every individual’s belongings first, setting aside what you both love or want. It feels good to start off on a pleasant note. And when you come to a point of contention (“How could you possibly like that seat?”) Simply agree to disagree (for the time being) and revisit the matter at a later date.

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4. Get rid of duplicates. Size up every last item and decide on the best illustration: the sharpest, highest-quality knives, the very best mixer etc.. It can be tempting to keep multiples simply since they are high quality, however bear in mind the quantity of cupboard and closet space on your abode before burdening yourselves with surplus material. Decide on a date to give away or sell the duplicates you will not be maintaining, and adhere with it.

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5. Restrain yourself from criticizing family heirlooms. A great deal of emotion could be attached to pieces that have been handed down in a family. Not to mention they are normally high quality and worth maintaining. If a piece of furniture is not your style or feels a little fusty and outdated, try mixing it up with fresh cushions or drawer pulls.

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6. Handle gaps gently. Does your spouse love something you can’t stand? Trying to force him or her to eliminate something near and dear will be likely to backfire, resulting in resentment and hurt feelings. Start the conversation by empathizing with your spouse about the love to the piece in question, and then state your case in a straightforward, nonjudgmental manner. Before committing in (or inducing a significant row) see if he or she would not mind having the piece repainted, refinished or re-covered with fresh material to upgrade it and help it fit in better with your other decor. Or suggest placing the item in question in a room that’s more out of the way. Remind your partner that you are also inclined to undermine something important to you.

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7. Take some time prior to the move to plan room strategies. This doesn’t need to get complicated. Just talk through every room in the new location and talk where you will put what. It might be beneficial to make some rough sketches or take notes in order to remember what you decide on. Refer to the photos and measurements you took throughout your home tour or open house.

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8. Edit your closets beforehand. Be honest with each other about how much square footage you are used to having to your accessories and clothes. If there are too many clothes to match everything in the bedroom cupboard simultaneously, try sorting your clothes and accessories based on the seasons and store out-of-season stuff in a less accessible place. You might also go bulky, heavy items such as coats and shoes into a secondary cupboard beyond the bedroom. If you do not have an obvious spot for extra clothing storage, then try installing large shelves over doors or keep slim boxes under the bed.

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9. Discuss working customs and prerequisites for a home office. Can you or your spouse work best in peace, or would you welcome a small firm? Avoid potential conflicts by addressing this issue now, particularly if one or both of you operate at home.

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10. Rotate little decorative pieces for fairness and keep things fresh. Like rotating clothes on a seasonal basis, think about swapping out decor every few months, including pieces from every one of your collections. Keep what is not now being used in storage bins with lids, tucked in an out-of-the-way cupboard or in the basement.

11. Keep an open mind. Sometimes context makes all the difference. That fuzzy signal that seems tacky on your partner’s present apartment could read as cool and ironic on your new home together, when paired with a subtle color palette along with the glossy, midcentury finds you want to search for together on weekends. If your significant other is dead set on keeping something that is not your style, agree to try it in the new location — with the knowledge that you do have veto power if it doesn’t workout. Of course, you’ll need to be inclined to do the exact same to your spouse.


12. Mix it up with an art wall that’s a joint work. Split the ice in the new location by blending your posters, prints and other artwork in a collaborative gallery wall that mixes and matches both of your preferences.

Tell us Share your very best story about merging two sets of things into a single in the Comments section!

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