Professional organizer Laura Cattano—whose clients include Lena Dunham and Misty Copeland—believes that the secret to successful newlywed cohabitation lies in laying out expectations beforehand. “You and your partner need to discuss what you want out of your home,” she says. “Your space should support and reflect what’s important to you. At the end of the day, the relationship is ultimately way more important than your stuff.” Below, four tips for just-married couples craving serenity and order when creating their first nest together.
Do: Throw out your stuff
“Everyone has too much stuff,” says Cattano. “Moving in with another person forces you to confront everything you’ve been carrying around with you. Don’t focus on how much your partner hoards, though; you’re just going to open up a Pandora’s box of resentment. Keep your attention on your own things.
Do: Invest in lamps
“You should never just have overhead lights in your apartment,” says Cattano. “You should have many lamps scattered throughout. I have eight light sources—and I live in a studio! Overhead lighting replicates the sun. It tells your body that it’s daytime. But low lighting encourages intimacy.
Think about when you and your partner were dating: most likely your most memorable early moments together were at a low-lit romantic restaurant, over a small table, with lots of little candles. At the end of a long day, it’s important to turn off the overhead lights and put the lamps on. It’s a call to our bodies to transition into evening... and calm down.”