Moving in together is a monumental step in any relationship. While it’s exciting to start a new chapter, it also brings new challenges. Organizing and decorating your home together is one of those challenges. To help you and your significant other along on your journey, we’ve put together six tips that will help you create a home that you both love. And the best part? They won’t break your bank account or ruin your budget in the process.
Plan to Compromise
Before you start organizing and decorating, it’s important to set a foundation for the process: agree to compromise. Discuss any areas of design or function that are non-negotiables, and plan on compromising on everything else. For instance, if having a back patio to entertain guests is important to you, try to work it into your budget. If your partner works from home, carving out space for an office should be a priority. You also may need to compromise on things you both like so that you can stay within your budget.
Start with the Closet
Closet space is another factor to consider when moving in together. You’re now accommodating two people, so budget-friendly methods of organizing your closets are your best friend. Categorize your clothing (e.g., shirts, skirts, pants, shoes) and throw out or donate anything you don’t wear. For out-of-season clothing, store them away in plastic bins or garment bags.
Also, only keep items that you use weekly in your closets; if possible, store things like holiday decorations and old photo albums somewhere else.
Don’t Try Too Hard to Combine Your Styles
One of the most common mistakes couples make when moving in together is trying to combine all their furnishings for an “eclectic” style. However, if each of you tries to hold onto all of your items, the home’s charm can quickly dissipate due to a lack of order. Instead, keep some things here and there, and find your “together” style — whether it’s contemporary, French country, farmhouse, or any other kind of style.
Keep in mind also that you can make money by selling the items you don’t keep (especially furniture). Furthermore, going to thrift stores and perusing online second-hand shops can be a budget-friendly way to find new furnishings.
One of the cheapest ways to change the look of a home is to paint, and it sets the tone for all your other decor. Generally speaking, it’s hard to go wrong with a neutral color like gray, beige, or cream.
You’re less likely to grow tired of these colors, meaning you don’t have to invest in repainting six months down the road.
Painting your walls a neutral color also allows more room for pop and flash in other areas of the home. For instance, you may consider painting a wall in your living room bright red.
Or, maybe you want to add some fancy light fixtures or elaborate art pieces. Look for inspiration together on websites, in magazines, and on home improvement shows. Stores such as Hobby Lobby and TJ Maxx offer tons of home decor at low prices.
Most importantly: Remember to have a good time! After all, moving in together is an exciting step, and you should make the most of it. Try not to take the process too seriously, and reward yourselves for working hard during the process.
Organizing and decorating your new home as a couple doesn’t have to be a war, and it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Figure out what the most important aspects of the home are for each of you, and plan on compromising on the rest.
Re-organize the closets for two, find your “together” style, and paint the walls neutral so that you can add tasteful accents. Finally, always be on the lookout for inexpensive storage options and decor, consider selling the items you don’t need, and have fun in the process.
CONTRIBUTOR: Natalie Jones