Tips for Moving in Together
Are you thinking of moving in with your significant other? Before moving in together, you should first be aware of the challenges that come with living with your boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, or fiancé. While moving in with your partner can be a very exciting time, it is also a time of merging lifestyles, tastes, and most importantly – belongings. Knowing some tips for couples moving in together ahead of time can help alleviate stress and lead to a smoother move, both physically and emotionally. Share these tips with your partner so you can both be on the same page before making the step of moving in together.
Have a Trial Period
Before you commit to moving in together, do a test run to see what it’s like living with each other. For 2 consecutive weeks, live together in the same space. This will give you time to discover problem areas, work out any issues, and get a better understanding of what it’s like to live together.
Talk Financials Ahead of Time
Before moving in together, set aside a time to completely go over all financials. You should fully discuss all the financials for both of you during this time. This includes income, savings, investments, credit score, credit card debt, student loans, and any other financial obligations. Once you fully know what you are dealing with, you can begin forming a plan.
Set a Budget
Now that you are aware of each other’s income, debt, and other financial information, you can begin creating a budget. It’s important to discuss living expenses ahead of time so there are no surprises. Unclear communication about bills and other expenses before moving in will lead to more tension and arguments down the line. First, establish how the rent will be divided. It’s important to note that sometimes 50/50 is not a fair split based on incomes. If your partner has a higher salary, they may take on more rent, and allow you to cover utilities. Determine whether you’ll split things like groceries or if one person will be responsible. Ensure that the home you decide on is well within budget for both parties. Be clear on any issues or fears you have upfront.
Decide on a Place
Now, you’ll have to decide where you want to live. Will you stay in your place, move into your partner’s, or move somewhere new together. Consider things like square footage, commute, pets, and the overall culture of the area when choosing where to live. Your partner’s home might be bigger, but if there isn’t much to do in the surrounding area and it adds 20 minutes to your commute, it may not be the right choice. Many couples may choose to move into a new home, as it gives a sense of ownership for both parties, and allows you to create a new home together. Sometimes, moving into an already established space can be hard, as it may not feel like it is your space.
Take an Inventory of Both Spaces
Now that you’ve found a space, take an inventory of yours and your partner’s belongings. You will likely have a ton of duplicate items that you’ll have to decide what to do with. Large items like beds, dressers, couches, and coffee tables will need to be pared down. Small items like kitchen utensils, appliances, and cleaning supplies will also need to be addressed. If you are not ready to give up these items, it may be wise to rent a storage unit to keep everything. That way, when you move into a larger space down the line, you won’t have to buy all new furniture and décor.
Decide What Stays and What Goes
This part will be difficult and will take a lot of patience and understanding. Your partner may want to keep things that you would love to see go. It may be difficult for you both to understand where the other person is coming from during this time. Try to keep an open mind and recognize that it can be hard getting rid of your belongings, and even harder when someone tells you they aren’t worth keeping. If you come across items you truly cannot part with, you can always put them in your storage unit. Go through all other items with your partner and decide what you’ll be keeping, selling, recycling, trashing, or donating. It’s important to do this step before moving in. Everything you keep will add to the cost of your move. You’ll spend more time packing, buy more boxes, and pay more through your moving company. When you get to your new space, you’ll be stressed unpacking and also choosing what stays or goes. Don’t wait on this step. Take the time to do it well in advance.
Measure All Furniture
Once you determine what furniture will be staying, measure it to make sure it all fits in your new home. Prepare for the move by thinking through where everything will be placed and how it will all fit in the new space. You may find that not all of your furniture will fit. Decide together the best solutions to getting rid of additional items or buying new, smaller versions. Based on your measurements, determine how much square footage you’ll need for your new home.
Be Prepared to Compromise
You may think you know everything about your partner, but you don’t truly know them until you’ve lived with them. Both of you will be used to doing things your way and will have little quirks you’re unaware of. Like with any roommate you’ve ever had, it’s important to compromise. If there are small things they do that you typically wouldn’t, but aren’t harming anything, you may need to live and let live. If there are things that upset you, don’t let it build up. Immediately communicate openly about your worries and expectations. You may find that they had no idea they did something a certain way, and it could be a very easy fix. The most important thing is to always address issues immediately, and be open-minded throughout conversations.
Separate Roommate from Romance
When couples start living together, their fights or grievances often turn into ones about home life. Understand the difference between being frustrated with your “roommate” and being frustrated in your relationship. Don’t let little things around the house put a dark cloud over your relationship as a whole. Learn to separate the two emotionally to keep the relationship healthy.
Make Time (and Space) For You
If your home is large enough, establish a space that is just for you. Living with your partner 24/7 can be a lot. You’ll be used to being able to go home and have time to yourself. Continue to give yourself that alone time to establish independence and freedom within your living situation. If you don’t have enough space, make sure you are still getting out of the house and having your own separate time to yourself. Go out with friends or dive into your hobbies and activities.
Don’t Fall Into a Routine
When living together, it can be easy to fall into a routine. Come home from work, make dinner, go to the gym, sit down and watch TV together, go to bed. Keep things exciting by scheduling date nights for yourselves. Once a month, take turns picking a new restaurant you both haven’t been to. Set a specific date, get dressed up, and treat yourself to a fun date night. This gives you the opportunity to explore your area and try new things together.
Always Have Open Communication
This is the most important tip for couples moving in together than any other on this list. Moving in together is a huge step and a lot of small pieces go into it. You’ll likely discover things that bother, upset, or worry you that need to be addressed. It’s important to bring these issues up immediately with your partner and talk about them in an open and respectful way. Keeping things bottled up or assuming your partner knows you’re upset will just lead to an unhealthy living situation. Creating an environment of open communication and acceptance allows both of you to feel comfortable and will ultimately bring you closer together.
We hope these tips for couples moving in together have helped you prepare for ultimately moving in with your partner. For more tips on moving, storage, and enjoying your home, sign up for our once-monthly blog newsletter.