Blending two families together is a common phenomenon of modern life. People break up and get divorced, others lose partners to death, and eventually they move on. While finding someone new to love is reason to rejoice, there is no denying that the process of packing up two families’ worth of belongings and fitting them into a new space can be stressful at best.
If you’re in the midst of such a life change, fear not. If you follow the simple process outlined here, you can be sure that your move will be successful and as easy as possible.
Take Stock of What You Have
One of the most challenging things about blending two families is that you are very likely to have two of most essential household items: two toasters, two vacuum cleaners, and two sets of dishes and cutlery. In some cases, you may want to keep both – and you may even need extras of certain things. However, there will also be times when it just doesn’t make sense to keep them.
A good way to decide what to keep is to take a full inventory of what you have. Make note of the condition and capacity of each item so that you can see everything at a glance. It’s also a good idea at this point to make a list of anything you need that you don’t already have.
Once you have made a full accounting of your belongings, it’s time to decide what to do with them. For example, if one family has a brand new, state-of-the-art microwave and the other has an old clunker, then the decision to keep the newer appliance will probably be relatively easy.
It’s important during this process to make allowances for sentimentality. This is an extreme example, but imagine a scenario where one family has mostly new things, and the other an assortment of heavily used belongings. A purely practical approach might dictate keeping the newer items, but the end result is that one family ends up losing all of their belongings at once. One way to cope with that is to have a vote, especially if there are young children involved. It’s important to make sure that everybody feels that their new home belongs to them.
Sort, Sell, Donate, Store, and Scrap
You’ve picked out the items that you plan to keep. Now, the challenge is to make sense of what’s left and decide what to do with it. The quickest way to do that is to sort your belongings into four piles:
- Items to be sold
- Items to be donated
- Items to be put into storage
- Items to scrap
Keeping in mind the importance of giving each family member a way of feeling connected to the new family home, it’s a good idea to set aside some sentimental and favorite items to bring with you. Your furniture might not go together perfectly, but remember that you can always use slipcovers, throw pillows, and other items that you choose together to make your new home look good.
Once you’re done sorting, you can take the appropriate action with each pile. The process of sorting may continue after you move, especially since it’s fairly common to end up bringing more than you need out of a sense of nostalgia. That’s to be expected, but it’s important not to let things get overly cluttered, too. Extra items can always be put into storage – and by the time you’re done, you’ll have a blended home that feels like it was made especially for your new family.