Unfortunately for many couples, the start to a new life is more stressful than blissful. It just gets to be too much all at once, and with the endless tasks piling up, it's a total meltdown waiting to happen.
But I have some tips on how you can avoid the wedding chaos, and get your new life back to bliss with your soon-to-be sweetie.
1. Communication Is Key
How many happy couples do you know that don't speak to each other? I think it's impossible to have a happy relationship with anyone, let alone your significant other, without having open, honest communication. A two-way street of thoughts, opinions and problem solving. Because in any relationship, problems will always pop up. It's inevitable and incurable.
The trick to avoiding marital melt-downs and verbal massacres? A good old fashioned conversation. Talk-to-text doesn't count. Sorry, y'all.
Stop and think for a moment about what marriage really means, and what it means to you and your partner. I know this dives a lot deeper than just home organization, but it is very important and is very crucial in establishing a healthy home life together.
Ideally you will have this conversation prior to moving in together, but you can also discuss this if you already have. This is the perfect conversation to have on a cold winter night when it's just the two of you and a bottle of pinot noir.
Ask each other these questions:
These 3 questions will really help you dive into the heart and soul of what kind of household you want to create with each other. If you ask these questions up front, during a thoughtful conversation between two adults, you'll avoid many massive arguments about why you can never find your car keys and he doesn't have anywhere to put his precious baseball card collection.
In theory, when you are marrying someone, you are saying "goodbye" to life as a bachelor/bachelorette and starting a new chapter as a "unit". So instead of cramming all of your furniture and all of his furniture into your new home, get rid of everything and start with a blank slate. This way you can both pick out the new living room set, the dishes, the dining room table, etc. together as a couple, and give the home a style that fits both of your personalities.
A lot of people probably panic at the thought of doing this, especially if they are getting close to their wedding date, but this is when it would be best to hire a professional who can help you with the process. Because, yes it is a lot of work, but if you do all of this before you move all your stuff in together you will save yourselves so much time and money in the long run.
3. Declutter In Small Doses
If you're planning a wedding, you may have heard the expression "don't bite off more than you can chew". This expression has stuck with me for a very long time, and I think it applies to life in general, and especially when it comes to projects at home.
When we get inspired to make changes, we want these changes to happen instantly. After all, this is the generation of instant gratification. I want my house to be organized as quickly as I can order a pair of new shoes on Amazon. Instantly, and with a click of a button.
Unfortunately, that's not how it works in the real world (unless your name is Harry Potter or Sabrina the Teenage Witch) so we have to think realistically on how long it will actually take to achieve these goals.
As a professional organizer, I can get standard projects done (like bedroom closets, kitchen cabinets, pantries, etc.) within 2-4 hours (depending on size), but I've had years of practice. For most people, they won't be able to make it halfway through decluttering their closet in 4 hours, let alone getting the entire closet organized in that amount of time. So what happens is, you pull everything out and you plan to try on your clothes to see what fits and what doesn't fit, but then get distracted because that's how life works, and the next thing you know it's time to make dinner and your bedroom looks like a t-shirt cannon went on a vengeful spree.
Decluttering is the non-glamorous part of organizing. It can get messy and disruptive, but is an important part of the process. Some people get very overwhelmed by this stage, understandably so. If you get intimidated by the decluttering process, this is another time I would recommend hiring a professional. You'll save yourself the time and frustration of having to take this project on all by yourself. Years worth of clothing and shoes and belts and handbags all adds up and decluttering and sorting can take hours if not done properly. There is a method to the madness which a professional organizer will know.
If you do decide to tackle this to-do on your own, my advice is break down the decluttering in small projects and sub-projects and set realistic time frames to get things done. Rome wasn't built in a day, and they certainly couldn't have organized it in one day either! Don't set yourself up for disappointment. Give yourself a week to get your closet decluttered and organized, then work on this project for a couple hours every day, but be sure to make time in your schedule. Think of it as an appointment, you can't keep rescheduling it because it may start costing you a hefty price. The longer you procrastinate this task, the more time you spend panicking over lost or misplaced items, and ultimately time is more valuable than money because you can never earn it back.
Melle Hartley is a professional organizer, interior designer and blogger. She currently lives in Minneapolis with her two cats and enjoys binge watching British (and American) reality shows on Hulu in her spare time. Follow her on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
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