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When you get right down to it, there’s only one reason for merging households: love. Think about it, why would you give up your personal space and preferred home decor to compromise with someone else? Because you love them. It doesn’t matter if you’re newly married, remarried, cohabiting, or caregiving —it’s love that brings you together under one roof.
So how do we go from “yours and mine” to “ours” with minimal fuss and maximum fun? Let’s look at the relationships impacted by the urge to merge and some solutions that ease the process.
Finding your soulmate is the best reason ever for turning two separate households into one love-filled home. With the growing trend of marrying later in life, men and women today enter the state of matrimony with the vestiges of their independent lives in tow: their own furniture, finances, and hard-to-break habits.
First and foremost, remember you love each other—that’s why you’re sharing a home in the first place! Check out our His and Hers Closet post for tips on remaining loving while merging contentious spaces like bedroom closets.
Thanks to the pandemic, another space begging for solutions is the His and Hers Home Office. A recent Gallup poll reported 56% of American workers working from home either all or part of the time, and, with 1 in 4 workers hoping to continue working remotely long term, home offices are here to stay. Here are a few tips for home office happiness:
Sharing a home office is different from sharing a closet. We tend to have emotional connections to clothes that complicate merging closet space —but home office requirements are more straightforward; you know what you need to get work done.
Communicate those needs to your significant other. Do you prefer quiet, focused time or are you more productive with music and podcasts playing? Is your workspace neat and organized; or is your desk a pile of papers, Post-it®
Notes, and pizza left over from lunch.
Use a dry erase board, like mDesign’s Wall Mount Entryway Mail Holder with Dry Erase Board, to coordinate schedules and write reminders. It’s great for leaving messages (and love notes!) and its durable, generously sized basket makes a nice drop zone for mail, mobile devices, and keys.
You’ve pinned inspo, picked decor, and created the stylish and functional home office you’ve always wanted: uplifting art, ambient lighting, ergonomically-aligned workspace —your side of the room is a dream. Your spouse’s decorating style, however, is a nightmare.
Managing your expectations makes compromising easier. Even if your shared space looks like a death-match between cottagecore and NASCAR, you don’t have to compromise on keeping things neat and tidy. Start with your desks: mDesign’s Home Office Drawer Organizer lets you create modular, customized storage inside desk drawers. Or keep less on your desk to begin with by maximizing wall space with our Metal Wall Mount Basket for Home Storage.
With more than half of U.S. families identifying as remarried or re-coupled, you can’t discuss merging households without talking about kids.
It’s important to be clear about shared spaces like the family room or living room. As you set out to “Brady” your bunch, make sure everyone feels a sense of ownership of the space. Let children share the responsibility of decorating the space and keeping common areas uncluttered. mDesign’s Kids Room Fabric Cube Storage Bins and Closet Organizer Boxes are an easy way to store clothing and toys.
Side note: some children have paws, i.e., they’re much-loved pets, and their feelings need to be considered, too (ask anyone who’s had a brand-new couch shredded by nervous cat claws). Create a safe space for your pets and fill it with their favorite toys and treats. Tails will wag whenever you reach for mDesign’s
Round Plastic Pet Food / Treat Storage Canister.
We’re hard-wired to resist change. Positive experiences help us override our fearful brains. Making new memories and starting new traditions with your kids eases them into a new idea of family.
Host a family movie night and let each child have a turn picking what to watch. Skip the overpriced movie treats and stay snack-ready by storing your Junior Mints® and Jujubes® in mDesign’s Airtight Food Storage Containers with Lids. Or camp out in the backyard and fill a caddy (we like mDesign’s Small Bamboo Kitchen Storage Caddy) with everything you need to make the perfect s’mores.
Blending households isn’t just for couples; sometimes, it’s bringing an active but aging parent into your home. Multi-generational households are more common than ever, and the benefits include strengthening intergenerational bonds and preventing elder isolation and loneliness.
Consider sprucing up a guest bathroom to give your family member their own private space. A new shower curtain and bathmat equal instant makeover (try mDesign’s colorful Microfiber Bathmat, Striped Bathroom Rug and Waffle Weave Fabric Shower Curtain) and a happy grandparent.
No matter what the reason for your growing household, remember: the more people, the more love.
Lisa Langford is a Senior Copywriter at mDesign
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May 18, 2021
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