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How to Combine Two Households in a Second Marriage

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If you are entering your second marriage, and you already have two separate households, you’ve got some decisions to make regarding combining your two households.

second marriage counselingObviously, it’s pretty easy to decide whose toaster stays and whose toaster gets the boot. But that’s only one of the thousands of items that make up a household. Pardon me in advance because I’m going to start preaching. (You’ll thank me later.) Please do not make the mistake of buying a huge house because you can, thinking that everyone will get to keep more of their precious stuff! Just because you can afford it doesn’t mean you should afford it. Houses take work and money to maintain, even if you decide to hire a housekeeper. (By the way, it’s not as easy to hire a housekeeper as you might think.)

Combining two households is a process.

You may not know how you feel about everything in your house until it’s on the chopping block. This is not going to be done over a weekend. It could easily take over a year to accomplish. If you are having difficulty doing this on your own, please hire a professional organizer. Also, if you are not certain about letting something go permanently, rent a storage unit for six months or even a year, and practice having it out of your house. If you don’t want it back, it’s fine to let it go, but it will be there if you have second thoughts. Establish a time frame for making the final decision, though. Storage units are not inexpensive.

Lastly, be careful about diminishing the value of your spouse’s stuff. I know it can be difficult when you are looking at a coffee table made out of a wagon wheel, or an old barber’s chair your spouse thinks is a great recliner, but try to wipe that look of horror off your face while you are discussing it. We identify with our stuff, and your spouse could easily think you are not honoring him/her when you don’t honor his/her things.

I know, I said I was through, but I’m not. You are going to have to get rid of stuff, because you can’t cram two households into one house! Okay, now I’m really finished. Can I get an Amen?