It has been a very busy past few months with wedding planning, moving, and working on some really fun projects that I cannot wait to share! This is why it has been such a long time since my last post, so let’s get to it.
One of the biggest stresses I thought I would have during this time is MOVING (which actually didn’t turn out half bad)! It can be especially hard when moving in with someone who is already settled in his home. So I decided that I wanted to share my experience with everyone. Because I am an organization freak and ended up getting settled in with ease, I feel that I can offer some tips that will help newlyweds get settled in their new homes!
Make yourself at home
This sounds like a no brainer, but this was the first and most important step for me. Months and months before Nick and I got married I made sure that I made Nick’s house feel like home to me. Obviously, being a designer, this included some changes to the home. Nick has lived in his home for almost a decade which means he was PRETTY settled in. Let me clarify that I did not just come in one day and say “We are changing up your whole house. I hope you’re excited!!” because I wanted to respect this home that he had made for himself. We decided together to make some changes that would suit both of our styles. Basically this house was beige on beige on beige – so all it needed was a little bit of TLC, added color, and some accessories to make it cozier. This was just the start.
Nick ended up getting really into re-decorating once he started seeing these small improvements on his home. We ended up doing some bigger upgrades in certain spaces – mostly the kitchen and bathroom. He had lovely wallpaper in the kitchen, honey oak cabinets, and pink laminate countertops. We didn’t go too crazy, but we did remove the wallpaper, paint the walls, add some trim details (wainscoting), paint the cabinets, replace the countertops, and add a backsplash. Okay – that does sound like a LOT, but we did things one at a time which made it much easier and such fun! I will add in that making his house OUR home, together, helped bring us closer. This is why this was the MOST important step for me. I ended up LOVING the look of our two styles morphed together! This house is a complete 50/50 of Nick and I which makes it comfortable for the both of us. He feels more at home than he used to and so do I. I just want to add for clarification that we did all of this little by little because we were on a tight budget. We made changes as we could afford them. That was another fun challenge, but I could ramble in this section for hours!
Make room for you
Another no brainer, but again so important!! Before you even think of moving anything of yours in, make room for your things! This step can be uncomfortable for some to approach but don’t worry about it. This man asked you to marry him – he is so excited to get you moved in so he will want to help. Nick got excited to de-clutter. It’s almost like he was just waiting for someone to jump in and help him. He had to give up some drawer space, make room for me in the closet, and donate all of those old clothes that he would never wear again. We dated for 3 years – If I had never seen him wear something, we decided that it should go! We went through the entire house donating things that he hadn’t used in years/ things that we knew we wouldn’t use. We also set aside some things that would be great for a yard sale!
Put gifts away as they are received!
After each and every shower, I would bring in the gifts we received and find a home for them, immediately. This meant exchanging old dishes with our new dishes – exchanging our old pots & pans for new pots & pans – exchanging old towels for new towels, etc. There is no reason to keep old sets of dishes that you won’t use. For me this was easy to decide because I have very limited cabinet space. I couldn’t keep old and new if I wanted to.
The majority of people end up having more than one bridal shower. That means that if you wait until the end to put things away, you have this huge pile of things to sort through. Because people will also bring gifts to your wedding, you do NOT want all of that stress when you get back from your honeymoon. If you find a space for things as you receive them, then the stress is limited. You are already so excited after the shower, that it is a good time to organize without being overwhelmed.
Let me add that you will most likely have things that need to be returned. I started my pile of returns from the time of my first shower to after the wedding day in a room that Nick and I didn’t go in too often. Again, these items had a place of their own in this room, organized together for a quick and easy return.
Unpack ONE BOX at a time
This step helped me create a place for each item instead of shoving a bunch of things into a closet or drawer. I began packing up things from my home to move to Nick’s home little by little. I began months before the wedding (once again) and would pack up the things that I knew I wouldn’t be needing until after the wedding day. I would also bring my boxes over right after I packed them up. If you bring over 4 or 5 boxes at a time instead of 40 boxes at a time, then you can focus on each one individually without being overwhelmed staring at a huge pile! My biggest advice for this step is not to even open a second box until the first box is completely empty. With each item you pull out, you must find it a home. I cannot tell you how easy it has been to get settled in and keep my house clean based on the fact that each item that is ever taken out of place has a specific place to go back to. There is never a reason to shove random items into random drawers just to get them out of sight. This only leads to drama later when you can’t find your nail clippers.
Wait to spend your gift cards
I know it is so exciting that you have $1,000.00 to spend at Bed, Bath, & Beyond so you just can’t wait to tear that store up, but don’t do it!! Every-time I have ever had gift cards, it’s like easy money so I end up spending it on stupid things that I don’t need – this may just be me… What worked best for Nick and I was to wait until we had lived in our new home together for about a week. This was a good amount of time for us to see what items we actually needed. During this time we noticed that we didn’t have good towels, we needed a waste basket in the bathroom, a curved shower curtain would help the shower feel bigger, we could use some more shelves for our shoes, etc. What’s funny is that Nick had lived here for so many years before so you would think that some of these things would have been problems for him already, but until you both live in the house together certain things won’t come up. ALSO, I noticed things that he hadn’t because he is a guy who doesn’t care. Had we not tested out living in our home before shopping our hearts out, I guarantee you I would have bought more kitchen things (which I DID NOT need), a really cute ironing board cover, and a few “As Seen on TV” items instead. All of these items would have been a waste of money that would just turn into clutter.
Our house is now truly a home for the both of us. I could not have imagined things going as smoothly as they have. I hope my tips will help you with your move!