Purge before you merge. Couples who have differing clutter tolerance-levels need to have frank conversations about what stays and what goes prior to bringing two households together.
I prefer to run a household with zero point zero knickknacks whereas Fiance has trouble parting with most items, down to the free ballpoint pens he gets at the bank during routine ATM stops. One would think that we seem to strike a good balance here, except I am slightly guilty of performing a little too much purging.
Fiance is particularly delighted by today's blog post as it is the first one that comes to you from my own personal computer rather than from usurping his laptop for hours at a time for productive and not-so-productive ends. After my decrepit Dell Dimension Desktop took a turn for the worse, I figured I could put off dipping in to my savings to buy a new one for a while and occasionally borrow his MacBook.
"Occasionally" turned into "always" for 2.3 years. Our friends wondered why he had virtually no Facebook presence, while his golf handicap improved tremendously. When his desktop photo (elephants) became unrecognizable underneath my collection of links, documents, photos, and grocery store coupons for future printing, I realized perhaps it might be time to let him have it back.
It wouldn't be the first time I had poached from my partner. Early in our relationship, both Fiance and I lived where we worked. Being the inseparable couple we were, I suggested that we could save some extra money and become a one car family, thus pocketing the auto insurance and maintenance savings to put towards better use. As his vehicle happened to be a bit younger and sprier than my own, we agreed to sell my car and use his for jaunts away from home.
This worked... until I happened to make my acquaintance with another driver's bumper at a gas station one afternoon. A minor fender bender, true, but a high deductible and emotional debt not yet entirely paid to Fiance over this incident causes me to believe perhaps we would have been better off continuing to pay for having a second car. Now we both have cars and jobs outside of the home, and limit driving each other's cars to the extent possible.
So perhaps, in paring down, I've gone too far beyond making sure we don't have two toasters. I've certainly taken advantage of Fiance's patient and supportive nature, and will be more considerate about the things we truly each need to own. Besides cars and computers, here are some other things you may want to make sure you maintain separately once you move in together:
1. Soap - Unless your husband likes smelling like coconut.
2. Underwear - Clearly.
3. Chocolate - This might just be on my own personal list, but I can't have my stash depleted if there's an emergency situation.
However you decide to trim some of the fat prior to bringing together a lean household, be clear on what is genuinely duplicative before disposing it!
How do you plan to tackle the merging of possessions? Leave a comment to share your stories of success with other brides.