How To: Combine Households

When Jon and I moved into together we had to combine two well established households into one. I was coming into our new house with the girls and all of our stuff and he was coming with years of his own crap (I mean stuff!) And, I can tell you, despite being an organizer and despite Jon being a very neat person, it was a hard task! We were just like any other couple who merges households and needs to create and establish a new, joint, shared space filled with items that we each loved separately and we both loved together. Now, I can tell you that I won the decision on letting go of his croc pot (I don’t think it had ever been washed properly) and he persuaded me to let go of a ton of Etsy prints that I had been hoarding in my old basement!

Once we both decluttered items from our previous households, we settled into our new home. We figured out what we had to purchase in terms of new furniture and items for our new space and where there were holes in what we both owned as a part of our new life together.

And I won’t tell you it was an easy task overall but it became a very fun one. I was excited to be starting our life as a family of four. I wanted to and did create a home that was very much a reflection of our new life together.

So, below I have laid out a few tips for combining households that might be helpful when the time comes. And if working together on these tasks don’t come easily to you as a couple, I would suggest bringing in someone that isn’t emotionally attached to either of your stuff!


Tips for Combining Households

Figure out your (new!) joint style. When you merge households and in the end up live with another person, it’s obviously no longer about just you. I am big believer that your new home should be a reflection of both your styles and not just your own. Sometimes, that means compromise so that each person can feel truly at home in the space. If you can’t completely agree, at least try to create a designated space for each person that they can decorate 100% to their taste. Taking the time to develop your joint style will save you a lot of time (and headaches!) in the future.

Measure your space. Before you move any furniture into the new space, measure, measure, and did I mention measure? What worked in your old home might not fit, or work aesthetically (see why joint style is important?) in your new one. Once you measure and figure out what furniture you need, you can start decorating! Check out my measurement post that will help you with this step.

Decide what to keep and what to toss. Regardless of if you are moving into a completely new space or one your partner already owns, it’s important to figure out how much space you have and what items you will need to purchase and what items you already own. Using your measurements, figure out what items you already have that will work and that won’t and then buy new. The same goes for small appliances. Most people don’t need two toasters or coffee makers. Pick which ones are in the best shape or best quality and keep those and donate or sell the other.

Set a routine. Sit down with your partner (and your kids, if they are involved!) to figure out what chores need to be completed daily, weekly, and monthly. Then decide who will take over what responsibilities and keep a list and post it somewhere for everyone to see.

I hope these tips can help you and your significant other successfully combine households!