My boyfriend and I are moving into an apartment together for the first time next month. We’re super excited, but also nervous about bringing two homes’ worth of belongings into one space. How do we pare down our stuff and how do we make the space reflect both of our styles?
Happy but Stressed
Dear Happy but Stressed,
Congrats on the big move! Combining lives can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. First, you both need to go through your own belongings to decide what’s making the move and what’s not. One of the most important things to keep in mind when moving is, “will there be a place for this in my new home?” There will always be some things you’re hanging onto just for sentimental reasons, and if you know you want to display it and that you have a spot for it, it can come. If it’s going to end up shoved away and never seen or enjoyed, you’re better off leaving it behind. Anything broken should be tossed. You don’t want to fill your shiny new space with broken objects.
The best way to have the space reflect both you is to plan it out together. If you both put work into planning the space, it will reflect both of you. You will have to make some compromises though. You might want to think in advance what design elements you really want to fight for and what you’re okay not having. Unless it’s something you really love, it’s probably not worth fighting over.
In terms of furniture, if you have the means to start from scratch you can buy all new furniture that you both agree will look good in the space. If you’re working with pieces you already own, try to use pieces from both of you. If all you do is move your entire bedroom suite into the new bedroom the space may feel like home to you still, but might not feel as welcoming to him.
Also remember that the space will change with time. As you live there things may get moved around, and new stuff that you’ve bought together will enter the space. If something’s not working don’t be afraid to change it.
It really is an exciting time, so have fun and enjoy setting up your new space!