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Merging Households

Combining His and Hers into Ours sounds so romantic, doesn't it? In truth, moving in together can provide the first real test of your relationship. It's also your first opportunity to practice the give-and-take every healthy marriage requires. Repeat after me, "He does not have to throw away all of his things. To help you evaluate what you both bring to the household, take a pre-registry inventory. Together you can determine what to keep and then register for the items you need to complement those pieces. Here are a few steps to help with the process.


Make a List

The first step is for each of you to make your own list of all the items you personally own and would like to keep. This is a time to look closely at what you have, evaluate its quality and be honest with yourself about how often you use it. Not always an easy task. We all tend to become attached to our possessions and have a difficult time letting go. Remember, though, anything you cut from your "must keep" list opens up a space for something new.


Check it Twice

Review each other's list. If you thought making your own list was difficult, get ready. This one can sting a little more. Identify where you agree and where you do not. Stay objective and really look at the quality of the items. Be gentle. Remember, your partner made the decision to keep certain items for a reason. Understanding each other's reasons is the first step to achieving a compromise. Who knows? Once you learn the history of an item, it might become more appealing as a family heirloom. Keep in mind, if each of you has a version of an item you would like to keep, you don't automatically have to get rid of one. For example, if you each own a set of dinnerware you'd like to keep, see if you can merge them into a unique look for yourselves as a couple by registering for a pattern that complements both.


Identify What You Need

Through your discussions, negotiate to create one complete list of items you will keep. That's your starting point to begin adding items to your registry. It will be easy to identify the obvious items that you know you will need: dinnerware, silverware, casserole dishes, etc. After that comes the fun part. Think about items you would like to have that would make your daily lives easier. If you have always wanted a stand-up mixer or the state-of-the-art vacuum cleaner, this is your time to ask for it, together.


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