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Tips for first-time brides and grooms combining households

Tips for first-time brides and grooms combining households

(ARA) - First-time brides and grooms are older than ever before, according to recent U.S. Census Bureau figures. The median age for men marrying for the first time is now 28 and it's 26 for women - that's 30 percent older than in 1960.

Because today's first marriages are occurring later in life - not to mention second or third marriages - more often the modern dilemma is whose couch stays and tallying how many flat-screen TVs the couple has between them.

When couples married 40 years ago they were barely into their 20s and often still living at home. The traditional wedding shower carried great value in that age as it supplied newlyweds with all the necessities that married life required, including dishes, cookware and bedding.

Bob Gomori got married last year at 27 - just one year shy of the median age for men. However, Gomori had already built a successful career as a franchisee of the moving company Two Men and a Truck in Youngstown, Ohio, and he'd already owned his own home for several years. He had a unique vantage point of the challenges associated with combining households for first marriages.

"It's tough because you both have things that you want to keep, but to keep it all is certainly not the most efficient thing to do," Gomori says. "The successful couples I see as a mover are those who take first marriage as an opportunity to take inventory of what they have and sort it out before they combine homes. I know it's a lot to think about, particularly with wedding plans in the works, but ultimately you avoid moving things two or three times, and you save money in the long run."

Certified professional organizer Monica Ricci is a renowned organizing expert, speaker and author based in Atlanta. Ricci counsels her clients on effective organizing and simplifying strategies for home and work, and offers free advice at

"Try not to be too attached to something simply because it's yours," says Ricci. "You each deserve to keep some items you love. Remember, the more you streamline now, the easier your move will be. "

Ricci and Gomori agree proper planning is the key to starting off on the right foot in the early years of marriage. They suggest the following tips for combining households for first-time marriages:

* Go through each house together, and identify which items are duplicates. Talk about each item honestly. If you can legitimately use two of something in your new life, such as televisions or stereos, go ahead and keep both.

* Do the same evaluation for small items, such as silverware, as you do for the larger items. These smaller items can add up quickly, and often produce the most basement or attic clutter.

* Organize with boxes and colored markers. Contact your local Two Men and a Truck moving company to purchase a variety of box sizes before you begin so you can appropriately tag and box both items that stay and those that go along the way.

* Think about donating to those in need. If a garage sale isn't of interest, consider donating to local churches or synagogues, homeless shelters or the Salvation Army.

The experts agree that couples can successfully blend two households if they take time on the front end to address the move. The key, as with all organizing projects, is proper planning. For more moving advice, visit

Courtesy of ARAcontent