When I moved out of my college apartment, I had a couple of guys help me load stuff into vehicles. I was trying to make some last-minute decisions on what to get rid of, but they were in a hurry to get it all taken care of.
“Just pack it all and go through it later,” they said.
And that’s what I did.
You wanna guess how much later it was before I went through it all?
I don’t want that to be me again when I move in with my future husband.
So I made it a priority to start packing as soon as I knew I’d be getting married, even though we weren’t engaged yet (he was overseas for three months, okay?).
It’s so much easier for me to never even bring items I don’t care about into our married life than it would be to take the time to go through it after we’ve moved in together. We want to focus our time and energy on other things and not have one more task to add to the list of transitioning and merging our lives together.
Taking my time to be sure about my choices helps me not be as overwhelmed, which is especially nice during this busy wedding-planning season.
It may not be practical for everyone since each couple’s situation is different. But here are a few more tips that can hopefully inspire you on your wonderful new journey into married life.
3 Ways to Simplify Combining Your Possessions
- Know what you each have before moving in together. We not only discussed this but also went through all of our kitchen items together. I had a better crockpot; he had a better food processor. I cared more about the mugs I have than he did about his, so we got rid of most of his. This kept us from having duplicate items that served no purpose and just took up space. Once an item is already in the house, it’s even harder to get rid of because it takes more effort to remove it than to let it stay there.
- Be intentional about wedding registries. We signed up for literally 16 items in Target. And even some of those were probably unnecessary. We really just don’t need much, and if we weren’t sure about something, we didn’t want to get it only to have to go through the hassle of returning it. Knowing what you like and will actually use is super helpful when making a wedding registry. You may not completely know what you will or won’t use, but try not to let people talk you into registering for something just because everyone thinks you should have one. We registered for camping gear because we know it’s something we’ll use. We also did a HoneyFund because we’d rather have a great wedding that doesn’t break the budget. People could donate to our honeymoon, decorations, or food for our wedding or even to some of our hobbies like dance lessons. All of this helps our house not be full of so much stuff because we let people know we really care about experiences together even more than our possessions.
- Consistently get rid of items that don’t add joy. If you realize that an item you had on your registry is something you actually don’t enjoy using, you learned from that and can now get rid of it. Or maybe you have something that once brought you joy, but over time, it lost its appeal. That’s ok, you enjoyed it and now can let it go. When I think about how much stuff I’d have if I always kept every item that ever brought me joy, it makes it a lot easier to get rid of stuff. I’ve enjoyed quite a variety of things over the years, but keeping them all even just until I’m 50 would be overwhelming. I want my house to have space for me to function and enjoy what I have now. While I’m growing and changing, what I own should change, too, to fit my current lifestyle.
Thankfully I got rid of lots of stuff before I even met my fiance. I was a major packrat, but my interest in tiny houses changed all that. It’s a good thing, too, because my soon-to-be husband is in the military, which means lots of moving for us!
We really want to minimize the stress in our first year of marriage, which is why we’ve already spent so much time beforehand discussing our stuff and getting rid of as much as possible.
I don’t want anything of mine to even go in our house if I don’t really care about it.
I see this as a fresh start, an opportunity to get rid of things that were wasting my space and therefore my time.
I hope these ideas help you get your marriage off to a great start as well…and that in four years, you don’t still have boxes of stuff to unpack.
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