Committing to another person and planning a wedding are hard enough on their own. Add in the challenge of moving and combining households and you may start to question your love for your significant other. To make it through the moving process and get on the road to happily ever after, keep these five strategies in mind.
In conjunction with National Moving Day, which in 2015 falls on May 26, SpareFoot is sharing stories about people who’ve moved amid life-changing events. This story focuses on relocating after getting married.
1. Discuss Your Priorities.
Before you pack a single box, you and your significant other need to talk through the many variables involved in your move—particularly if you’re moving to a home that’s new to both of you. Of course, discussing your preferences won’t change the fact that one of you wants a suburban Tudor-style house while the other dreams of a downtown condo.
But you can make compromising easier by creating individual lists of what’s important to each of you, ranking items from 1 to 10, said Regina A. DeMeo, a custody and divorce lawyer in the Washington, DC, area. DeMeo is preparing for her own upcoming move and marriage.
Laying out what’s most important to each person will make it easier to ensure that both spouses are getting the things they value most. The lists may also highlight areas where one or both spouses need to make sacrifices.
“For example, being near my son’s school was number one on my list,” DeMeo said. “If this was also the same for my fiancé, who has a daughter entering her senior year of high school, then we would have had to wait another year to marry.”
2. Maintain Open Lines of Communication.
“Moves and family transitions are very stressful, even under the best scenarios, so there may be some tense or upsetting moments,” DeMeo said.
Her best advice for making it through these difficult situations? Communicate openly and often.
Frequent communication was the key to a successful move for Melinda Parrish, a plus-size model living in Virginia who got married in June 2014. She and her husband, Jim Snare, went through two moves when they got married. First, Jim moved into her condo, then the couple bought a house together.
With all the moving parts involved with combining homes, saying vows and merging lives, carving out time to talk and keep each other updated can cut back on a great deal of stress along the way.
3. Cut the Clutter.
Now that so many adults spend years living on their own before marriage, lots of couples find themselves with too many possessions when they’re ready to move in together. It’s easy enough to get rid of duplicates (you really don’t need two toasters), but eliminating one person’s collections or sentimental possessions might be more challenging,
Parrish faced this problem head-on when it was time to tackle her husband’s extensive magazine collection.
“At one point we were cleaning out his house and every drawer I opened had more magazines stuffed in it,” she recalled. “There was definitely a ‘me or the magazines’ moment.”
Parrish noted that both she and her husband were attached to certain possessions, and they had to push each other to get rid of the items that weren’t going to work in the new home.
4. Turn to the Experts.
If you just can’t get your husband to part with his zebra print recliner or convince your wife that her holiday sweater collection is taking up too much space, it might be time to turn to the pros.
“We ended up consulting experts throughout the process,” said Parrish, who worked with an interior designer to set up their new home.
“I also have a friend who is a stylist, so she came over and helped us clean our wardrobe, because we were going to have less closet space,” she added.
By relying on expert guidance, Parrish and her husband not only got a great-looking home, but they likely avoided a few arguments about what to bring to their new house.
5. Remember What’s Important.
Parrish urges other couples not to get too caught up in the material aspects of moving.
“You don’t want to lose sight of the fact that you’re doing this so you can spend the rest of your life with the person you love,” she said.