My Divine Concierge works with many clients going through the downsizing process. However, every once in a while we are called in to help a family get organized after combining multiple households. For example, we might work with a newly married couple who both have entire households of possessions due to coming from previous marriages. We come in to help them learn the art of combining homes.
A typical scenario would involve one partner moving into the established home of the other. With that move comes all of the household goods, most of which are unneeded in this new living arrangement. The temptation here is to simply take everything the new spouse is bringing to the home and put it in the basement or attic until the newly married couple decides what to do with it. A few weeks in storage turns into several months and then many years.
If you want to avoid this kind of scenario, there are ways around it. We like to think of it as another form of downsizing. We start with doing an inventory that takes into account everything already in the home as well as what has been newly introduced. The inventory immediately tells us where we are as far as duplicates are concerned. We can then make plans to dispose of duplicate items through donations, a garage sale, or some other means.
High Ticket Items
The art of combining homes entails high-ticket items that may be worth hanging onto. As an example, consider a washing machine and dryer brought along from the old house. These appliances are rather expensive to replace brand-new, so ask yourself whether it is worth holding onto them and putting them in storage. Why do this? It could be that the existing appliances in your new home are already 8 to 10 years old. They are still working, but their remaining years a useful service are limited. It might be worth storing your extra washing machine and dryer in a corner of the basement so that you have replacements when the others die.
How you deal with big-ticket items depends on how many you have, how much space they require, and what you are willing to put up with in order to keep them. There is no black and white formula for making these kinds of decisions. What you do not want to do is save so much that your new house becomes a crowded warehouse of unused junk.
When combining multiple houses includes family heirlooms, you have something entirely different to be concerned about. The priority for these items is to find space in your new home where they can be kept safe through the years.
Let’s say you have some antique porcelain that used to belong to your grandparents. You might want to store those items in a secure cabinet where they will be protected from moisture, light and little hands. That may mean the other items currently in the cabinet need to be removed. It is a balancing act of preserving your family heirlooms while not getting rid of things your new partner values.
My Divine Concierge understands how difficult it can be to combine households. We can help make the job easier by coming alongside to assist you with organization and making some of those tough decisions. The end goal is to have a home that includes all of the possessions that are truly dear to you without creating a space you cannot live in because of the clutter. It is not always easy to do, but it can be done.