Moving in is Easy to Do

By: Matt Barker

Moving in together is an exciting time. Whether you're newly married or just decided to take your relationship to the next level, this new arrangement is going to take some compromise. There are a lot of factors in any move, but things can be a bit more difficult if one person is moving into another's space. "When we got married," says Sara, a Minnesota professional, "I sold my place and moved into his. It took both of us a while to get used to the fact that his house was now our home." The joy of sharing your life together will help ease this transition, but a little planning won't hurt either.

Combining your things inevitably means some of it will have to go. How much depends on the size of the space. The first steps of this are easy - you should start planning at least a month before the move. Start by sorting your things - get rid of the junk in the basement that has been gathering dust. Have a garage sale, sell things online or donate items to charity. The person who is already settled is not off the hook here - this is a great opportunity to take care of that spring cleaning you've been putting off for too long!

If between the two of you, you have doubles of any one item (toaster, DVD player) choose the nicer one and sell or store the other - any money made from this can be put towards choosing new things together.

Make a floor plan for each room of the new house. Why drag furniture from one place to another if it isn't going to fit? This is where couples sometimes run into problems over style differences - you may love everything about your partner except his ratty old sofa or her "quirky" vintage lamp. There are a few ways to resolve my stuff vs. your stuff disputes: the most diplomatic is each keeping a few favorite pieces and losing some others. If this doesn't work it's time to call for back up: ask an objective but stylish friend to help. Another option is to designate rooms - he gets to style the kitchen and the bedroom is her design. If you have the budget, you could hire a professional, but remember usually the underlying issue is not the lamp, per se, but the memories attached to it. If you keep this in mind during the decision making process, it will be easier to see your partner's point of view and negotiate with compassion.

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