Moving in Together: Tips for Deciding What to Keep and What to Get Rid of

One of the fun parts of moving in with a partner is the chance to upgrade on all sorts of things, from toasters to TVs to mattresses. But how do you know which item to keep and which to get rid of? Here are some general rules of thumb.

Newer. Newer almost always wins. You want the newer computer, the newer audio equipment, the newer mattress, and the newer toaster, because they’ll last longer. Provided, of course, that they’re of equal quality. A more expensive, higher quality mattress may be the better choice even if it’s a year or two older.

More powerful: For tools and small kitchen appliances of about the same vintage, look at features like horsepower and how fast they can accomplish tasks. 

Size: You’ll probably want the larger TV, the larger capacity coffee maker, and the bigger stand mixer. But not always: If you’re moving into a place without a lot of counter space, or into a small place, you’ll want to pick items with an eye towards what will work best in your new space.

Comfort: If you both have a couch and you only have room for one, pick the one that sits the best for both of you. The same goes for mattresses, chairs and other furniture items.

Condition: Keep the furniture in better condition. Unless you plan on reupholstering, donate or dispose of upholstered furniture with large rips, tears or stains, and tables or chairs with wobbly legs.

Better quality: If one of has a table made from particle board and veneer, and the other has a solid oak table, keep the solid wood furniture. It will last longer and maintain its looks longer than the particle board.

There are some things you may want to keep both of, if you’ll have the space. Extra towels and sheets are good for guests; extra chairs can come in handy at holidays or as outdoor chairs, and it can be nice to have more than one TV. And having duplicates of pots and pans, baking dishes and other items can make your meal time prep easier.

There will undoubtedly be some items where you decide to get rid of both and buy new, and others where one person is emotionally attached to an item, even though it’s not in the best condition. And then there’s the issue of taste. Rather than digging in and refusing to get rid of something, talk about why it’s meaningful; it’s fair to expect your partner to compromise on items, provided you’re willing to compromise, too.


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