“My entire home is constructed and decorated exactly the way I want it to be!”
said no one ever. The truth is whether you’re a penny pitching newlywed or a seasoned hitched guy or gal with change to spare, there will always be a home improvement project or a desired piece of furniture on your wish list. It took me a minute to grasp this but now I do and I think Mr. TK does, too. Still, combining my 30+ years of life with his is daunting at times.

I had to give up my purple kitchen — even my cutlery was trimmed in purple — and he had to accept that I have a lot of accessories, paintings and books that I’m not parting with. I know we’re not the only newlywed or nearlywed couple who has experienced this so I found these foolproof tips  (with lots of assistance from The Nest) to help us all navigate the process.

1 – Don’t Be a Bag Lady [cue Erykah Badu]
As a recovering pack rat, I even shocked myself at how much ish I was harboring prior to getting married. Um, I’m talking Girl Scout uniforms and elementary school book reports. I had to purge a lot. And as I type, I still have two huge shopping bags of clothes to donate. However I learned post-marriage that my hubby was a bit of a pack rat, too. (Shhh.) Solution: We both are learning to live lighter in order to make room for new blessings in our lives.

2 – Maintain “Me” Space
Sharing a home with your spouse doesn’t mean you have to hang in the same room 24-7. Designate Zen areas to escape to (okay, from each other). Maybe a man/woman cave isn’t quite realistic in your tiny NYC apartment but even a corner of a room with a scented candle and your fave tunes can work. Wherever your Zen zone is, make it as comfy as possible, for you.

3 – Meet in the Middle
You gravitate to modern; he loves traditional. There’s a place for everything, just not necessarily together. If he spends more time in the den, add some touches there that will make him feel cozier. If you’re always hanging in your home office, let that be the streamlined space with splashes of color.

4 – Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day
You don’t have to furnish your entire home overnight. Getting pieces you both agree on is a process, so make it fun — a pillow from your vacation to Mexico there, a framed picture from your honeymoon here. If you wind up with an eclectic mix of stuff, all the better. As the budget allows, begin acquiring and/or upgrading big-ticket items like furniture and appliances.

5 – Remember, You’re Making Memories
No matter where life takes you, you’ll always remember your very first home together — so be sure to enjoy the journey! Mr. TK and I have a looong way to go but I’m proud of the baby steps we’ve already made. And it helps when we remember to laugh through it all; that’s what marriage is all about I guess.

In the midst of my research I discovered the site, Young House Love and now I’m officially hooked. Check ’em out.