Merging two lives together should be a snap… right? Actually, a lot goes into two lives becoming one. If only planning a new household was as simple as falling in love. Luckily, with the right ideas and steps, your household can become a well-oiled machine. More importantly, your house can become a place where you’re both comfortable and happy.
Merging the Stuff
Chances are you both have a lot of stuff. I’m sure you didn’t even realize this much stuff existed already in your life. There are so many questions like, “Where should this go?” and “Can this be thrown out?”
If you’re planning to get rid of some things before the wedding, it can be an even harder process because you don’t know what gifts you’ll receive. If you don’t know what old things you can throw out, you just end up with a lot of unused things in storage or the garage, waiting for that final verdict. On one hand, the merging of personal things can be very stressful. On the other hand, merging the stuff can be a great bonding experience between you and your partner. By planning out where everything should go, you’re taking the first step in beginning to build your lives together.
Another big aspect of planning a household is considering the smaller members of the family. If you have animals, you know they take up a lot of space. Space in the physical way and space in your heart. They mean so much, so you want to make sure they get the best. It can be stressful to move your pets, especially if your partner has pets of his or her own. Consider this aspect of planning just as much as any other, and take appropriate steps to make the transition as smooth as possible for your pets. Slowly introduce pets to each other before the move if possible. If your partner has never had a pet, slowly introduce your partner to pet ownership, being patient in giving him or her time to adjust.
What Do You Like?
When it comes to living together, it’s the little things that can sometimes make you crazy. I like to keep my makeup on this shelf, or he throws laundry in piles on the floor until laundry day. Chances are good that both partners have quirks and preferences when it comes to everyday living. It’s important to discuss these things and make compromises. If you do this work beforehand, there’s less of a chance either of you will get frustrated later.
Who Does What?
Another way to ensure your future together goes smoothly is to discuss responsibilities. You may be thinking, “Well, we’ll both just do everything equally.” Great! You should still discuss this, though. As long as the expectation of who does what is there, there should be no issue. It helps a lot just knowing what things should get done by whom and what you each expect of each other.
Speaking of expectations, what are your aesthetic expectations of your house? Does your partner share those expectations? Have a discussion and brainstorm any and all upgrades you’ll want to do to the home. Make a plan and timeline detailing how much you’d like to spend over what period of time. You can then make decisions like who will do these upgrades. Will you do them yourselves or hire someone? Either way it’s nice to be on the same page when it comes to renovations of your shared home.
How Does Your Life Look Together?
There are goals for the way your house looks, but what about goals for how your life looks? What do you want your lives to look like together? What are your long-term goals? Do these goals involve the house itself? For example, maybe you want to turn your property into a farm and live a more rural lifestyle together. Maybe you just want the house to be full of friends and family and to live in comfort. Maybe you want the house to be a high-tech one that fits your fast-paced lifestyle. Make this discussion a priority and touch back on it every so often. You’ll feel more comfortable when you feel in control of the direction your lives are headed.
Shared Budget and Financials
A life together means managing money together. Are you going to join bank accounts or keep them separate? Sit down and map out things like a bill planning cycle. Figure out who will pay what and what your spending limits should be.
Happy Holidays in Your New Home
Holidays are a huge part of a household. What traditions do you like to follow? Would your partner have any to add? Maybe you practice different religions. If that’s the case, will you choose one or try to observe both traditions? And what about décor? It may sound silly, but what kind of holiday person are you? Are you the kind that goes all out or the kind that doesn’t like all the decorations nonsense? It’s likely you and your partner will have some different ideas surrounding holidays. Make compromises and discuss what the plans will be for each year so you know what to expect. This way, your holidays can be stress-free and enjoyable.
It can be hard merging two lives. In the end, the love you share can conquer anything, and so can a good plan. By going over all these talking points, you cover most of the issues and decisions that will come up along the way. You can even be a little Type A and write it all down. Knowing where you’re headed will bring you both peace of mind. Happy planning!