PS: loving the new "collage" feature the A Beautiful Mess app!!
|This print by Ashley Goldberg is just my favorite.|
|Getting organized takes the longest! Hooray for IKEA, though, for helping to keep us in line.|
|Tip #4: Get a Pet. Not only are they a joy to be around, but they can really make a house feel like a home.|
|Tip #5: Utilize Existing Features. If you have really unique lamps or moldings, it is easy to find ways to accent them with paint or antique-style bulbs to offset some of the modernity in a room.|
We are still working hard on integrating everything, but the best part is that it is a very rewarding challenge. What are some ways you nest in a new place? What's your favorite palette ever?
Unpacking. The word itself brings out the dual nature of being displeased and overzealously excited in the same instant. In part, I'm really looking forward to everything having its specific place and being able to find what I need at any given point in time. On the other hand, I really hate unpacking-- it is tedious, and if things don't fit, it sort of makes you crestfallen. After you spend so much time and energy moving, it is that little annoying voice in the back of your head saying, "Hey, I know you're REAL busy and tired and all, but don't forget about me!" BOXES EVERYWHERE. However, downsizing was really great-- I'm down to roughly half of what I owned before, and my boyfriend couldn't be happier about that.
2. Gauge Your Partner's Moving Style: Although ideally, most partners welcome change, it doesn't always work out the way we envision. My partner, for example, was really resistant to having things moved around and balked at every load I brought to our new home. This is pretty typical of folks who have lived on their own for a while, especially if you are moving into an existing residence rather than getting a new home together. My solution, which was silly but also effective, was to move the smaller loads while he wasn't home, or not have him help me move those loads. When he only had to move some furniture and any of the heavier stuff, it cut down a lot of the tension. I then could put unpack at my leisure and once he saw the house start coming together (without me making too many major changes), he never failed to mention how it looked way better than it did before I moved in.
3. Six Months Rule: If you're having a disagreement over placement, colors, or certain pieces of furniture, tell your partner that you would like to try it for six months-- if they are still unhappy with it after six months, you will change it back. The key to this is that six months is a long damn time, realistically. By the time the six months had rolled around, they likely will have forgotten all about those changes and may have even grown accustomed to them or even like them now.
4. COMPROMISE!: That being said, you can't use the Six Months Rule with everything. Sometimes you just gotta get over that old seventies eyesore of a recliner in your living room, or the life-sized cardboard cutout of THOR in the guest room. Because whether you love these things or not, they do. And if you love each other, you have to accept the fact that cohabitation means blending your personalities together, not snuffing one's individuality out.
5. Do New Things Together: This doesn't just apply to cohabitation alone, but it is so good for your relationship to do new things together and build up rituals and traditions-- it releases stress from outside influences and strengthens the bond with your partner. Moved to a new neighborhood? Go on a nature walk and document little things or trails and parks to visit. Look up a recipe together for something you've never eaten before and experiment with different ingredients. Learn about a new subject, craft, or place together. Go on a thrifting adventure (we did this a few weeks ago and had so much fun).
8. Housewifing: I would never recommend establishing a chore list necessarily, but a tried-and-true method for us is that if we see something that needs to be done (dishes, dirty floor, trash, laundry, etc), we will just go ahead and do it. My partner does the same, and this really helps keep the house clean and makes the workload manageable. While we're both not neat freaks, we both like the house to be clean and relatively uncluttered. You can also establish from the beginning who likes doing what, and switch out on occasion as needed. Some people really don't mind cleaning a litter box, while other people will throw up if they even look at it, so trading out certain tasks works well in those instances.
10. Let Go of the Past: When you start a new life together, you both may have trouble letting go of some things. Things I am talking about are photos of you ex-boyfriends, love letters, gifts, etc. Some of these things, of course, are okay to keep if they have some integral value to who you are as a person, or are practical (like the mop your ex-girlfriend bought for the kitchen that isn't quite on its last leg yet). That being said, try to do a once-over of your belongings before the move-in to make sure there isn't anything too incriminating or disturbing. There's really nothing worse than going to move a piece of furniture or opening up a book and finding ten-page love letters (to or from a previous ex) or graphic photos of previous lovers (or in my ex-husband's case, a pair of underwear from the first girl he ever dated-- gross). Just use your best judgment. If you put yourself in their shoes and think about what is acceptable and comfortable behavior, you'll know what is appropriate and what isn't.
11. Keep Your Family Close: When I moved, a big plus is that my parents are now less than an hour away and most of Jonah's family is in-town or within a short driving distance. If your family lives near you, definitely make more of an effort to maintain those relationships and let them thrive. Just because you live together doesn't mean you're conjoined at the hip. Take daytrips, have a night on the town, or invite your folks over for a cookout. Get to know each other's families and call every chance you get just to check in with each other.
18. Don't Go to Bed (or the Bar) Angry: Perhaps the biggest mistake folks make is that they let their egos override their reason-- they go to bed (or storm off) pissed as hell at their significant other. If you love someone, no matter how annoyed or mad you may be at them, don't forget that at the end of the day, disagreeing with them doesn't mean you're not still on the same side. The goal is to stay together and make a strong, beneficial relationship. If you can't deal with occasionally being pissed off at each other (major or minor stuff), why would you want to be together at all? Everyone's moody on some level, and everyone's going to blow off steam from time to time in various ways. If an argument gets too heated, take a short break and walk around the block or spend time working in another room for a bit just to cool down. Passion is a great aspect for any relationship, but sometimes it can cause problems because of the height of strong emotions getting in the way of logic and reason. Fight fair, don't point fingers, and whether the issue gets resolved or not, if you think about how sad you would be without them, don't sweat the small stuff too much.