One of the most exciting aspects of married life is the prospect of having a shared home together after the wedding. Putting together your household as a married couple can be one of the most fun, exciting, and rewarding parts of your new life. It can also cause unnecessary confusion and stress, if you don’t plan for some issues.
Here are some things to keep in mind as you plan your new household together:
Bringing Everything Together
As far as furniture pieces go, it can feel overwhelming to begin your new life with two beds, two coffee tables, two dining tables, two sofas, 12 chairs, etc. It’s a good idea to plan ahead as much as possible regarding which pieces you will use in your new household, so you don’t need to do double-duty when you’re moving all that furniture. Don’t forget that you might have friends and family who could use some of your duplicate items. If not, perhaps you could store some things in your attic or repurpose them for other uses in the house. The smaller dining table could become a kitchen table, for instance, or an extra coffee table might make a great piece for the porch. You can also choose to donate unwanted items to a local charity, have a yard sale or put some things up for sale in the local classified ads for some extra money.
Remember that this is supposed to be a fun time in your lives, so don’t let extra furniture bring you down. If you’re finding that none of your furniture options fit your style as a couple, just use some of that wedding money and purchase something that you’ll both enjoy.
What about the plans you’d like to make for your future family? Make sure you bring your plans out onto the table and start talking about what you hope your future home will look like. What about a guest room for when the in-laws come to stay? It can be overwhelming to realize that your lives are really merging together in a lot of ways. It’s good to discuss your hopes and dreams as soon as possible, so you both can really begin to plan your home.
Prioritize Your Household Needs
Working together to prioritize each of your needs, both in terms of the physical space and how you’d like to run your household together, can be one of the most difficult parts of forming your new home life. Sit down and have an honest, open conversation about what you would like to make a priority in your newfound family home. Whether it’s a decorative choice or a holiday tradition, learning what is important will help you see some new ways to work together and create a functional household that works well for everyone concerned.
Now that you have all of your priorities out in the open, you should each decide where you can compromise for the good of your relationship and for your family. This is especially important when communicating about common household questions like divvying up chores or preferences in home decor. Taking each other’s priorities into account, if each of you can compromise even a little on the small things, it will be that much easier to work together and resolve the more difficult problems and decisions you will face as a couple.
Schedule Your Household
Although this may sound like a very mundane thing to do, keeping a schedule or a shared calendar with your partner can really be a helpful way to stay connected. Whether you prefer a pen and paper calendar on the fridge or sharing a calendar through your phones, being aware of each other’s schedule can be helpful—especially when you are beginning your married life. Some couples choose to only put outside activities on their calendars, while others use it for everything from familial events (like birthdays) to tracking shared tasks around the house. Whatever method you choose, make a practice of keeping your schedules up-to-date for each other to see and you’ll save yourselves a lot of confusion and miscommunication.
Over-Communicate on the Issues
Speaking of communication, when you are in doubt, you should over-communicate. Your partner is not a mind-reader and neither are you. When you’re having discussions about your joint household and making decisions about it, big or small, it’s essential that you’re willing to be as open and communicative as possible with each other. Sometimes it can be difficult to state your opinion, particularly for your preferences on smaller decisions. Although some of these decisions might feel silly, if you really care about something, you should say so. The best thing you can do for your relationship is to keep the lines of communication as open as possible.
As you’re entering into this amazing and exciting new phase of newlywed life, don’t forget to take each other’s opinions, thoughts, and desires into account. Add a little compromise and a lot of communication and you’ll be off to a great start planning your household together!