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Moving in Together: Combining Kitchens

HOW TO DECIDE WHAT STAYS + WHAT GOES

Article by Hayley Hyer

Photography by Stock Images

Moving in with someone is an exciting step in your relationship with them, and it also takes a lot of planning and coordination. Unless one of you was still living at home with their parents previously, you probably each have your own set of kitchen utensils and decor. Here is how to decide what to keep and what to get rid of.

Decide together on your color scheme + decor style.

Since both of you will be using the kitchen and it is a central place to an apartment or home, you want to both fully agree on how it looks. If the person you are moving in with isn't a fan of your pastel-colored wall decorations that you had in your kitchen, maybe there's another place in the home you can still enjoy them. Or maybe they go in storage for a little while, and you bring them out for specific times of the year like spring.

You should also feel comfortable speaking up about what you don't like early on so that you make a habit of using clear communication skills and setting appropriate boundaries before you get into bigger, more serious arguments after living together for a while.

Once you have agreed on colors and decor styles, go through everything you both have that fit the guidelines and see what looks good together. Again, you don't have to actually throw something away if you decide it's not going in the kitchen. If you absolutely love a certain decoration, hang on to it and wait for a better spot to put it.

Sort through duplicates of kitchen supplies + utensils.

First, you'll need to decide if you want to have multiple cast-iron skillets in the event that one of you forgets to do the dishes, or if you would rather cut down on clutter and just have one. For everything that you have multiples of, think about how often you use it and if it would be helpful to have more than one or not.

Once you decide which duplicates you only want to have one of, the easiest way to decide which to keep is to go for the product of the highest quality, unless it's super old and wearing down. If neither of yours is in very good shape, it's probably time to get rid of both of them and invest in a new product that will give you lots of years.

This rule of thumb does not apply to antiques, family heirlooms or anything of sentimental value. Obviously, you should definitely keep the stuff that means a lot to you, whether you actually use it or choose to store it in a special place.

Combine kitchen furniture.

If the two of you together have an odd assortment of barstools, kitchen tables, benches and chairs, you may be in for some DIY projects. Pick which furniture items are in good shape and that you feel are worth investing in. You don't want to go through a bunch of work repainting a table that you'll get tired of quickly.

For chairs with cushions, you can learn how to reupholster them yourself to match the style of your new kitchen. Anything made of wood can be painted a new color. Let your creativity come into play here and have fun working on something together that you will both enjoy every day.

Follow Hayley Hyer @hayhyer

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