Mr. Firefighter and I only "officially" lived together for about a month before the wedding. I had clothes and other things, mainly kitchen items, that I had slowly been moving in since we got engaged, but most of my things stayed at my house.
To explain how this move went down, you need to know that Mr. FF has owned his house for 7 years. He was married previously so all of the remnants of that marriage that he, like most men, don't think of remained in the house... along with all of his other boy stuff. Y'all, I have a go-kart and an inflatable play house and a scooter in our sunroom right now. Next to the "party wall" that has signatures from all of the ridiculous parties he hosted when he was 21 - all hilariously inappropriate and we are finally agreeing (i.e., I am explaining that his son will soon be able to read them and that will NOT be pleasant.) to paint over it soon.
There were a lot of ghosts to overcome and compromises to be made. Most of the furniture in the house is his - some is great, some is, well, bachelor appropriate. I can make it work. Remnants and things that triggered the "ghosts" in the house to me went, after a lot of discussion on WHY they upset me. Guys seriously don't think the way girls do. Paint colors will slowly be changed.
My favorite thing? I have a spare bedroom as a closet. My least-favorite thing? Besides my lack of a pantry in the kitchen, that my bedroom-sized closet is also home to Mr. FF's "trophies." Not to be confused with all the sports memoribilia (soon to be packed when the room is redone) in the OTHER spare room. These are the trophies with eyes. Or, in one case, skin and rattles. I did the impossible. I convinced him to share his man cave (although one could argue the necessity of a man cave in a bachelor's house, but whatever). An entire day of "Why do you need this many clothes? Why can't all these shoes go to Goodwill - you just need a pair of black, a pair of brown, running shoes, flip flops, and boots. Done. The rest can go. SEVEN black skirts?! SEVEN?! HOW MANY DRESSES ARE THERE??? etc.." and my clothes (my biggest possession not in storage) finally have a home.
Keep in mind, this has taken over three months. Our dining room area still has piles of clothes to be listed on eBay, purses to be sorted and put away, and other odds and ends. And I still have my classroom packed away in a storage unit. But progress has been made.
There have been a LOT of arguments that could have been avoided had we not assumed the other knew how we felt. Many of our compromises started with a glass of wine/ vodka tonic with extra lime in my hand and a Jack and coke in his. Many included bartering. Many are ongoing.
It takes work to combine two lives. Especially when the two lives belong to two STUBBORN people. But making a life together, one shared life, requires a shared space. One each person feels equally at home in. And while this house may not be my first choice, and I can't wait to find a new space that is truly ours, this is home. Anywhere can be a home - and it goes from "house" to "home" a lot easier when you're working together.