Couples should declutter before cohabitating

American couples today are more likely to move in together before marriage than any previous generations. In fact, a 2010 U.S. Census Bureau report shows that 45 percent of households claimed unmarried status. Although many couples see cohabitation as a trial marriage, combining two lives can prove challenging.

Moving in together may cause anxiety regarding the lack of personal space, shared financial responsibilities and developing a three year plan.  One of the best moving and packing tips for those combining two households into one space involve throwing away the following items before the relocation movers arrive.

Couples moving in together for the first time will have to decide what to sleep on in the new space. Consider the size of the room you are moving into when deciding which bed to keep. Consumer Reports suggests that mattresses should be replaced at least once every 10 years, so people sleeping in bunks from junior high school may consider combining  finances on a new bed.

Moving in together is also a perfect time to replace old blankets, sheets and pillows. Deciding on a color scheme together should cause couples eagerly awaiting the arrival of a household moving company.

Old love letters
A new home should mean a fresh start together, and there’s no better way to fan the fires of jealousy than to keep around traces of your ex. Although each relationship is unique, holding on to remnants of past loves may make a current partner feel inadequate or threatened. The same can be said about that college diary filled with intimate romantic details and old photos. If it is too difficult to trash these items outright, give these to a trusted friend or put them in storage.

Teenage decorations
A couple’s love nest shouldn’t look like a dorm room. Cohabitation is a grown up decision, and a new home should reflect that. Maxim pinups and decorative beer cans do not equate to interior design, gentlemen. As for ladies, boyfriends don’t want to have to push aside a menagerie of stuffed animals to slip into bed. Put these items in the garbage, not into the vehicles for moving van lines.

Decluttering now will save headaches later, especially for couples moving out of state. With communication and preparation, couples can take their first step toward living happily ever after.