Article by Jennifer Adams
Congratulations, you’re moving in together! You just got
married! Or, you’re in a committed relationship and are ready to take it to the
next level. Or you’re moving back home, or having a child move back in with
you. Or, getting a roommate. Whatever your circumstances are, a little planning
before combining households will help keep things smooth.
There will be plenty to discuss than just décor. Talk about
chores, pet responsibilities, child care if necessary, curfews, splitting finances
and errands. Many potentially relationship-ending misunderstandings come from
sharing finances and different preferences for cleanliness, entertaining hours
and events. Food and beverage separation is another big topic!
Here are a few of my favorite tips for successfully sharing
a household, especially if you’re engaged or in a committed romantic
Talk with a lawyer to
work out some of the financial logistics, or at least talk with each other and
write down your ideas before moving in.
Some questions to address are whose
name(s) go on the lease, agreement, loan or title, and how will the utilities
be split up.
Keep the best and
toss the rest.
Donate the ratty pots and pans, keep the nicer ones until
you can shop for new stuff together. Allow each other to keep a few sentimental
objects or favorites, especially if they’re small. If there is truly something
you cannot agree whether to keep or toss, literally put aside your argument. Unless
it’s alive, like a plant or pet, box it up and save it for a year. Open it up
again later and see what you both think.
Try hard to blend
your décor styles if they’re radically different.
Keep the public areas of
the home neutral, though private areas like bedrooms and baths can be more
personal. If you have duplication of furniture, for example, two sofas, put the
nicest one where it will get the most use. Be creative, if you have two dining
tables, use the smaller one as a desk!
Look for similarities in your furnishings such as wood tones
and color. Use those together for a cohesive look, and accent with contrasting
items. Take turns choosing what art goes where if you’re struggling. Flip a
coin to see who goes first!
If possible, choose
your new home together so you’ll start fresh, as equal partners
. If that’s
not feasible, start by cleaning out the clutter and starting with a clean of a
slate as possible. Paint in neutral colors, choose important pieces like your
bed together, and have fun putting it all together.
Lastly, make sure you each have a corner or whole room to call your own. A desk, a "man cave," a hobby center, something, someplace in your new house that you can express yourself will be rewarding. As much as you may now have a life together, try to indulge in a separate interest.
Labels: combining households, combining two households, combining two lives, merging two households, moving in together