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When a couple has decided to move their relationship to the “next level” they often decide to move in together. This allows them time to learn each other’s habits and lifestyles on the most intimate level. Roughly 48% percent of couple practice cohabitation before marriage according to USA Today.
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As exciting as this time in your life is, it also promises to be your first challenge. Space is always an issue to some degree. Along with the physical restraints of increasing closet, cabinet, and bathroom space, this is when you discover the habits of your partner.
Steve and Vickie had dated for about two years when they decided to move in together. The plan was to save the money from covering two households and use the money for a wedding and honeymoon after another year.
The first clue that there were unknowns, was when Steve opened a box labeled bathroom and discovered Vicki’s passion for cosmetics. At first, Steve thought it was funny. But when the cabinets and drawers in the bathroom began to overflow and Steve’s space became smaller and smaller, it was obvious that something had to change. But, where do you begin?
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1. The Three Column List
Each of you must grab a pen and paper and create a 3-column list:
- Column 1
- Things that you use every day or at least often. This is your “keep it” list.
- Column 2
- Things you like, but have not used in at least six months. This is your ”cannot part with it” list.
- Column 3
- You do not use it and you have not touched it in months, You would not miss the item if it was gone. This is your “donate” it.
Once you have discarded the items you no longer want, go over columns 1 and 2 again to ensure nothing was omitted.
2. Create your registry as you go
While you are merging your lives into one physical location, you will find items that may have served well for one, but will not to now. Register your Amazon Wedding Registry, Blueprint Registry.
Amazon Wedding Registry allows you to specify items that you will need to replace. You can have the traditional wedding items if you want, or you can request a big ticket item (like a king size bed or a nursery) allowing people to chip in on the things they want to along with other families.
Pegboards are easy to install on the workspace on the wall. You can gain more drawer space. Adding them to the inside of a closet door allows you to hang ties, belts, hats and even scarfs.
4. Dual purpose furniture
Use furniture that can serve more than one purpose. A cedar chest is modern, high, quality and very useful. Place cushions on top for additional storage. A small one in the bath area and gives you a place to store makeup or hair supply. A modern kitchen bench instead of chairs is trendy and a good place for tablecloths, placemats, bibs, and other things.
5. Look for tiny spaces
Is there a little area in the bathroom that is not being used? Install a floor to ceiling shelf rack. This gives you a storage place for supplies without taking away from the vanity.
6. Down Under storage
Use flat shoe holders or even Christmas bulb storage boxes to store items under beds and sofas. You can put anything inside and most have a zip closure. This is a great place to store seasonal items. Remove the dividers inside and use the zip up containers to store sweaters or hoodies in the spring. This opens your closet and dresser drawers and gives you a lot of additional space.
It can be a challenge to find enough room to merge two people. But, it is possible and even fun. When you are questioning the future of an item, ask yourself if you would want it bad enough to pay storage for it If the answer is no, then donate it.
This is the first exercise in learning to consider the desires of your partner. It takes two people willing to compromise to live together. Once you are married, your commitment deepens. Once a child is added to the family, you have a new family member that requires top consideration. It is a good idea to begin early in your married life.