Too Much Stuff? How to Merge When Moving in Together

Once the initial excitement over taking that big, next step in your relationship has subsided, the stress of actually moving starts to hit. Merging two households can be messy, but with some thoughtful planning and expert advice, you can make it so much easier. Here are our tips for how to combine your stuff when you move in together.

Discuss expectations.

The vision of what your shared space will look like might be vastly different from what your partner is imagining. Before you begin the process, sit down and have an open conversation about the end result. What will each room look like? What possessions of yours will you absolutely not part with? What of your partner’s possessions do you not imagine in your new place?

Scale back.

Before you start to pack, make sure to purge. It’s a lot easier to get rid of things before you go to the trouble of moving. Even if your partner is moving into your home and you’re staying put, you’ll want to have as much space as possible. Take a look at all of your stuff and figure out what you don’t need anymore. If you want a little help being more minimalist, try the 12-12-12 rule: find 12 items to throw away, 12 items to donate, and 12 to keep.

Consolidate to avoid duplicates.

What are you supposed to do with two toasters? Sit down together and make a list of all the duplicated items you have between the two of you. Decide which ones are in the best condition and keep those. Here are a few things to take note of: beds, couches, kitchen tables, blenders, microwaves, TVs, washers, dryers, coffee makers, can openers, baking supplies, linens.

Buy new things together.

Consider starting fresh by coming together to pick out one or two big things for your home. Harmonize your individual tastes and agree on a focal point (e.g. a couch, bookshelf, or wall art) that you both love.

Make a room plan.

Draw out a rough sketch of each room in your new space. Make sure to include measurements to figure out how each piece of furniture will fit into the puzzle. By deciding where the big items will go before you even move in, you’ll sidestep the hassle on moving day and be able to put it right where it’s supposed to go as you move in.

If there’s anything that you don’t want to part with but that simply doesn’t fit in your new space, you don’t have to say goodbye — you can always keep it safe and sound at extra space storage.

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