Tips for Moving in Together...And Coping With All Of Each Other's Stuff
Dear April Masini,
I just got engaged and I’m in the process of moving in with my soon-to-be husband, the problem is we both have kids and lots of stuff. I don't know what to do because we can’t fit it all, nor can we agree on what should stay and what should go. Do you have any tips to help couples blend their tastes and belongings without igniting WW III?"
Too Close For Comfort
April Masini's Advice :
Dear Too Close For Comfort,
Who, over the age of thirty, can forget the famous scene in When Harry Met Sally when Carrie Fisher moves in with Bruno Kirby and makes him get rid of his wagon wheel coffee table?
Yours, Mine, And Ours
As people marry at older ages, they bring with them emotional baggage -- and physical baggage! Anyone who marries over age 30 or 40 has "stuff" to accommodate. Sometimes that stuff is a few boxes of books and some clothes, but more than likely it's two sets of living room furniture, two beds, two sets of linens, two sets of kitchen supplies -- and more importantly, two sets of styles! Furnishings and objects filled with meaning and sentiment to one person might strike a new spouse as candidates for the dump or the Goodwill. Here are a few tips for working it out, while maintaining the peace.
3 Tips To Make Co-Habitating Fun And Easy:
- Humor and the big picture. Keeping a sense of humor when deciding what stays and goes is key. Remember you don't want to make a piece of furniture -- or even two or three -- a deal breaker in the relationship. Being able to laugh and keep the big picture in mind will help a lot in accepting his giant television with nine different remote controls -- each of which performs fifty different functions -- and getting him to let you keep the antique chairs that look better than they feel.
- Bend a little. Compromise is important. Test your deal making skills and think outside the box! Agree to keep his lime green recliner for 18 months, at which point you both go buy one together, and give the old one to a charity. Agree to keep your dishes and donate his in exchange for going on his heli-skiing trip with him and his manner-less friends for three years in a row as an out of the box deal.
- Nuclear options. If you can't agree, and it's going to be a rocky road, agree to disagree and get rid of everything -- hold a giant garage or tag sale at both your places on two consecutive weekends or on the same weekend if you live nearby. You can even hire a company to hold the sale for you if you're too busy or too emotionally attached to your things. Use all the money to start a "Start Over" fund and buy new stuff.
When you've had enough packing and moving (and maybe even arguing), take a break and go on a hot date with some of the ideas you can find in my book, Romantic Date Ideas... you deserve it!