When my boyfriend and I made the decision to move in together, I volunteered to help him pack up his old apartment. I am experienced with this task; I have lived in five different places since I moved to the Washington, DC area five years ago.
I told Paul I was happy to help him pack the apartment he’d been living in for the past six years, but I did give him a warning in advance: part of my job would be to question the necessity of his keeping certain items, but he was free to veto me at any time. I am a fan of getting rid of items I no longer use or consider important (I take a donation to Goodwill every time I move, but I still think I have more belongings than I need).
Our system worked well, for the most part. He was disappointed about getting rid of his coffee table (we ended up retaining most of my living room furniture and put his furniture in the office/guest room), and there are a few small items he agreed to part with during The Great Apartment Purge 2011 that he has since wished he’d held on to. However, we made it through the process with minimal trouble and we are both satisfied with the result.
The move occurred one month ago today, over the first Saturday in December. It took a few weeks to get completely unpacked (our new apartment is located in the same building as my old one so I can’t complain about the new commute) and we still have some pictures to hang, but for the most part, we are done.
We both held on to some things we don’t technically need, which means we now have duplicate items in our newly combined household. We have two complete sets of pots and pans. We are using my silverware, but his is packed in a large Ziploc bag not far away. We have three kitchen shelves crowded with coffee cups, glasses, and beer mugs…for two people to use. We also have two flat-screen televisions. I assume these extra items will figure themselves out – or we’ll decide which ones we use most often and donate the rest – the longer we live together.
Most importantly, living with Paul is easy. It’s fun, it’s great, it’s right, and I’m looking forward to spending 2012 and beyond as part of this new joint household.