How to Merge Two Households

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Merging two households might seem like a daunting task, but planning ahead can make it easier. Whether you’re two friends moving in together or a newly married couple, working together is the key to success. Survey the future home and plan where everything will go, sort through your belongings and downsize, compromise on contributions and style and make the most of your space.

Survey the Home

  • Walk through the home you’ll be living in together and plan out the use of each room. If it’s a new home for both of you, start from scratch. You might consider how many bedrooms you’ll have, as well as designate rooms as an office, craft room or guest room. If one of you is moving into the other’s home, rooms might get a new use such as an office turning into a guest room. As you walk through the house, take measurements to determine what belongings will fit. Measure cabinets, doorways and closets, recommends organizer Leslie Straka. This helps you know what to keep when it comes to sorting through your belongings and downsizing.

Compromise on Contributions and Styles

  • Talk together about which items each of you will bring to the new home. Consider furniture, kitchen appliances and dishes, artwork and other household items such as linens. An article on The Container Store website recommends taking inventory of everything and then making a detailed list of what you’ll keep. It’s also important for each of you to feel like your style is incorporated into the home. If your styles are different, compromise by allowing one person to decorate one room and the other to decorate another room. Allowing each person their own space is also helpful.

Sort and Downsize

  • Sort through your belongings and downsize as much as possible once you’ve created the list of what each of you will bring to the new home. Start in one room and work your way through the house. If you haven’t worn or used something in at least a year, it’s a good idea to get rid of it, according to the article, “For Better or For Worse – Merging Two Households,” on the website Simply Organized. Sell, donate or throw away items you don’t need. As you pack, clearly label the contents of each box and which room it will go in to avoid confusion during the move.

Make the Most of Your Space

  • Once you’ve combined the two households, organize to make the most of your space. Shelving in closets and on the back of bedroom and bathroom doors are ways to add more space. Vacuum-sealed bags and large plastic bins are an option for storing items you don’t currently need, but aren’t getting rid of. You can also find decorative bins to store things in and use them throughout the house. If you don’t have enough space for everything, consider a storage unit as a last resort, and only rent it for a set period of time. After that time, reevaluate what you want to use out of the unit and get rid of anything you don't need.

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