Oh, happy day! You're doing it; it's happening! You'll soon have a roommate, best friend, and a snuggle buddy, someone to binge on Netflix with, and someone to bring you toilet paper when you run out, or a spare key when you lock yourself out. You're moving in with all the back rubs, foot rubs, and head rubs, but also morning breaths, undies with holes, dirty clothes on the floor, and hair snakes in the shower drain. All in one person! Yes, our partners are a lot of things. And that's precisely why merging two households into one happy home is romantic in thought but a bit knotty in practice. There's a lot of work to be done. And, the first hurdle to jump? All of the stuff. Yes, some things you will want to purge. Decluttering before moving in together is important to start your life together on the right foot.
Moving in with your partner can be both exciting and challenging.
You’ll have a home that functions better
A cramped and messy home can lead to a less-than-ideal living environment. When the whole place is in disarray, you're always stepping on stuff, stumbling over things, your closets, cabinets, and drawers are overflowing, and it takes forever to find what you're looking for. Plus, you never have room for any new stuff. And, generally, it starts to feel like the walls are closing in on you. That's a big no-no! If you're starting your new life together, you want to start on the right foot. First, your day-to-day schedules will be hectic enough, and you want the home to be the space where you can relax and breathe. Also, you want room not only for both of your stuff but also for new furniture and everything else you decide to buy together as a couple.
You’ll be able to function better, too
But it's not only your physical space and Decluttering that matters: you want a healthy mental state when transitioning into sharing space. The two go hand-in-hand since clutter acts like visual noise, irrespective of who created the mess. Keeping things decluttered is crucial for emotional and mental clarity. It can give you more headspace and release the stress that would otherwise strain your relationship. The result is a relaxed state of mind and emotional balance.
You'll also be able to sleep better and develop better eating habits. Thus, you'll gain back your energy and become more productive. Finally, there is a sense of accomplishment, a boost in your confidence and mood, and a generally happier outlook. And when you're at peace with yourself, that provides a healthy foundation on which to build a successful romantic relationship. It starts with you.
A solid decluttering strategy and a fresh and friendly approach, like that of Marla Stone, a professional organizer and a former psychotherapist describes in her book "The Clutter Remedy: A Guide to Getting Organized for Those Who Love Their Stuff" may help a great deal. If you give it a read, you will find that creating a space you love helps with getting to know yourself and your values, as well as creating your ideal lifestyle.
It shushes the “clutter conflicts”
Clutter can be a touchy subject. And, believe it or not, it has the power to spell doom for a relationship. That's the word from psychiatrists who believe that when people fight about clutter, they're not just fighting about material things, but about something deeper instead. Experts believe it to be particularly true when one partner thinks of piles of clutter as "treasure" and the other one as piles of "junk". For instance, telling a person who over-accumulates and hoards books to get rid of their books is the same thing as telling them to give up hope of ever reading them all. It can also be about control and territory. Or it can be about the feeling that the other partner values material possessions above your relationship. And sometimes, it's just that our partners simply cannot function in a messy environment.
It can be a lot of things. It basically all comes down to the way our minds and brains operate, the way other people see us, and our environments. Clutter problems are normal. However, getting rid of some excess stuff before moving in together, or at least identifying the clutter "hot spots", truly has the power to shut the tension down. Your relationship comes first, before any material possessions.
Reduced financial pressures
Another point of stress in a relationship is money.
Joining households gives both of you a front-row seat to how you handle your finances, regardless of whether you choose to do it independently or collectively. That's why it's tough when two people who live together have different spending habits. If one of you is the clutterer/spender, that can be a point of stress to a saver who lines a neat and tidy space. It will directly impact your household budget and thus your partner. So, be prepared to go through some pretty awkward "money talks".
One of the most common things that couples argue about is money.
Did you know that by simply decluttering, you're able to adjust your spending habits and save money? Yes, when people's homes are out of control, it usually sends their budget spiraling out of control too. When they start to declutter, they find they're becoming more mindful of what they purchase and bring into their homes. As a result, their wallets and bank accounts remain fuller and their credit card statements lower. Finally, the home will not be cramped with expensive, useless things that have no other purpose but to start arguments about money.
You will have more hours in the day
When you don't have a gazillion things on your calendar, or when you don't have to spend hours cleaning, looking for things, and shuffling knick-knacks and piles of stuff from room to room, you'll have more time and energy to invest in yourself and people you love. Perhaps you can finally pick up that new hobby you've always wanted or pursue your dream. Less clutter can also make you more house proud, which, in turn, means you're more likely to invite people to your home to socialize. Or perhaps you just want to relax and enjoy your new life with your partner. Whatever it is, you'll have more time for it.
You won’t be drowning in duplicates
One of the most obvious benefits of decluttering before moving in together is that your home won't be overflowing with unnecessary duplicates. You both likely have duplicates of common household items, like appliances or furniture. Now's the time to decide what to purge and what to keep. Plus, if you're leaving LA and moving somewhere further away, you won't have to pack and schlep all those extra things. And if you hire professional long-distance movers, you'll leave LA stress-free knowing that you've saved some money moving things you don't want.
Decide what to keep and what to toss/give away/donate.
Separating from the past can heal us
The main reason it's so difficult to get rid of things is that we have an emotional attachment to them. We are so set on hanging onto stuff because of the memories tied to them that we don't realize how cathartic it can be to let donate, gift or sell them. This is especially true if those things were gifts, memorabilia, or items that belonged to one's previous partner. The past can make its way into your present every day, making your partner feel uncomfortable. They may think you're unable to move on and fully invest yourself in your current relationship. They could also start experiencing jealousy, which is pretty much a recipe for disaster.
No matter how difficult, decluttering before moving in together can help you Heal your past and start enjoying the people in your present life. It inspires a feeling of a fresh start. And if you think you don't want to do this alone, you can always turn to professionals for a helping hand. Organization experts can help you deal with your items most productively, while ensuring your emotional and mental health remain intact.
Are you and your partner taking your relationship to the next level? In this article, you'll find some benefits of decluttering before moving in together.
Here you will find an array of blog articles about decluttering your home, life and how to improve your business strategy
Marla is known as the Declutter Your Strategy™ expert. Marla earned her BA in Psychology and a Master's in Social Work and is the founder of