First-time marriages are occurring later in life, according to recent U.S. Census Bureau figures. Men now typically get married close to 29, while women marry on average at age 27. That’s a 30 percent increase in median age from 1960.
Fifty years ago, engaged couples were barely into their 20s and often still living at home. The traditional wedding shower carried great value as it supplied newlyweds with all the necessities married life required, including dishes, cookware and bedding. But things have changed, now that your fiancee is likely to be living on their own, with their own apartment or even home.
Because today’s first marriages are between older couples – not to mention second or third marriages – the prenuptial preparations are also changing. Deciding whose couch goes in the new home, or how many TVs the new couple needs is only the beginning of the new challenges newlyweds must face when moving in together, after some time of single adult life.
Sean Wise, franchisee of several TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® locations, has helped many newlyweds move into a home for the first time. He shares a unique perspective of the challenges associated with combining households for first marriages.
“It’s tough because you both have things that you want to keep, but you just don’t have the space,” Sean says. “The successful couples we see when we help move people are those who first take inventory of what they have and sort it out. This way they have a good idea of what essentials they both have, and what can go towards donations or a yard sale. I know it’s a lot to think about, particularly when you’re planning for the wedding, but ultimately you avoid moving things two or three times, and can save money in the long run.”
Proper planning is the key to starting off in a stress-free environment when moving in together. If you’re looking towards the future with a new partner, take some time to discuss your moving Professionals suggest the following tips for combining households for first-time marriages:
- Go through each house together, and identify which items are duplicates. Talk about each item honestly. If you can legitimately use a second item or set, like your cookware and various consumables, keep them. If you can live with one item, like your television or large furniture, choose the one that is of better quality or is in better condition.
- Once you have narrowed down what needs to be packed, organize with boxes and colored markers. The best way is to put both of your items in boxes by the room category. Keep the personals separate, but most of what you pack should go together.
- Have a joint garage sale or auction as part of your pre-wedding festivities. A little extra cash can be spent on honeymoon luxuries, and your friends and family will know what not to get for the bridal shower. Plus, you’ll begin to envision your life as a shared commitment, when your material world begins to merge.
- Once everything is gone, consider going through one last time and finding things to donate. Try to be as logical as possible – will you really need that in a year? It feels good to give your items away to someone who may need it more. Giving away clothes or outdated electronics not only helps those in need, but gives you a reason to go shopping for something new together!
If you know someone who is planning to move in with a partner this summer, share this post with them to help them prepare. You can contact TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® for more moving tips, or click to download your Complete Moving Checklist