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The Challenge of Combining Households
Tue May 19 2015 |
It’s spring wedding season, and that means clients start contacting me to help with the challenge of combining households and dealing with all that extra stuff. When a couple moves in together and combines furniture, art, and decoration, they often end up with more than they need, and it gets really complicated when one partner doesn’t even like the other partner’s tchotchkes.
My client Lena wrote with the good news that she was engaged to Daniel, the man of her dreams, but that moving in with him was a challenge. Fortunately, Feng Shui principles can help the couple decide what to keep and what to toss.
First, we started with the master bedroom, which is the most challenging, and also the most important, room for any couple. Lena didn’t know if she should move her furniture or use Daniel’s. I told Lena that the first decision was to make sure both she and Daniel liked all of the bedroom furniture. If any piece didn’t fit in with the others, or if one of them truly disliked it, it was a better Feng Shui choice to replace it all.
Lena thought the photo of Daniel’s deceased grandfather that he kept on his dresser was “creepy” (her words), but didn’t know how to ask Daniel to move it. I explained that the only photos in a master bedroom should be of the couple - no children, parents, grandparents. Photos of deceased relatives could be displayed in the Family Area or Helpful People Area, and moving the grandfather’s picture to a more public area would better honoring his memory. I recommended she use this as an opportunity to take an engagement photo for their bedroom.
Daniel kept a teddy bear on his bed that he long ago received as a birthday present from his now-grown daughter. Lena already knew that the bear had to go, especially since Daniel’s relationship with his daughter was currently strained. I suggested packing away the bear and instead displaying a current photo of the daughter in their family room near a picture of Lena and Daniel to symbolize a healthy relationship among the three of them.
Lena didn’t like the two black ceramic cats that Daniel bought on a business trip to China before he met Lena. While Feng Shui principles do suggest keeping things in pairs in the bedroom, if Lena doesn’t like the cats they shouldn’t be in the bedroom. We decided that Daniel could relocate the statues to his home office as a reminder of his profitable business travels. Lena and Daniel are planning to look for a pair of objects to display in their bedroom when they go on vacation next month.
If you’re getting married this spring, or like Lena and Daniel you’re moving in together, have you thought about the things you’re willing to give up? And if you’ve been together for a while, do you secretly despise some of your partner’s “stuff?” The new energy of spring might be the perfect time for a Feng Shui face-off.