Moving in with your significant other can be either one of the most romantic or terrifying moments in a relationship.
Having realized that you are ready to take the next big step in your relationship you may be wondering what your cohabitation will look like.
While it may start as an amazing project, without a proper planning it could end up as a total failure. Although you both want to make it work, you are still apprehensive about this important phase in your lives.
We have put together these handy guidelines on how to make moving in together easier and less stressful.
Why are you moving in together?
Let’s face it, moving in with your partner requires a great deal of planning and organizing.
Why have you decided to move in together? Discuss the reasons for your big decision and be honest with each other. Just ask yourself whether the decision to move in together is the part of the natural course in your relationship. It’s no secret that cohabitation makes financial sense for many couples. Sharing rent, utility and living costs turns out to be convenient and cost-effective undertaking. But, don’t let the outside circumstances decide for you.
Just because one of you needs to move out from the current place as soon as possible doesn’t mean that you should move in together. The purpose of living with your partner shouldn’t be halving the rent and other upkeep costs. Don’t let the wrong reasons mislead you into making some rush decision.
If there’s no pressure to rush things, then you may be ready to take the next step.
Needless to say, both of you should be emotionally ready for the co-living arrangement. Having discussed your future, you’ve come to realize that you are in agreement about your long-term relationship goals and you are willing to make the effort to achieve them. If your long-term goals are completely different, keeping separate homes and lives would be a good idea.
Things to consider before moving in together
The decision to move in together should seem like the most normal thing in the world for both of you. If that’s not the case then you should seriously revise your decision. Although you may assume that the step forward will be beneficial for your relationship, which is falling apart, quite often it doesn’t turn out that way.
– Decide whether you are moving to an entirely new place or to the other person’s home. Which location will work for both of you considering your needs and daily activities? When choosing the most suitable location take the following into account: commute to work, local amenities, accommodation for pets, crime rate, entertainment options,…
– Talk about each other’s expectations openly and honestly. Are you on the same page in terms of some important issues like personal habits, daily routines, hygiene habits, having pets, how much personal space you need, how you feel about having guests overnight…
Even if you have different schedules, habits and daily routines, you should be able to work out your differences.
– How do you handle arguments? When you are about to embark on this moving-in-together adventure you are hoping for the best. Sometimes things may not work out the way you expected, so you should be prepared for the worst as well. Have a plan B in place should some unfortunate events happen.
– Define your deal-breakers and non-negotiables. Although you will be mentally prepared to compromise through challenging situations, you should set some ground (non-negotiable) rules. Cohabitation will test your tolerance as well as your ability to compromise.
– Discuss finances and how you are going to split household and living expenses. Bring up potential financial issues, monthly income and expenses, credit score, possible debts,… Although couples usually have a hard time discussing finances, the split of rent and household expenses should be in proportion to the personal monthly income. Also, merging all your money into one joint account may not be a good idea. Especially if your life savings are not legally protected.
How to make living together work
– Establish how to split household chores in order to head off conflicts about who does what around the house on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.
– Try to maintain an open communication and resolve issues as they arise in order to keep frustration from forming. Talk about what makes you happy and discuss about what bothers you.
– Try to match your schedules and discuss how much time you are going to spend separately with friends. It’s perfectly normal to have some time apart just for yourself occasionally.
– Assess your personal belongings before you start packing. Aside from unnecessary, old and unwanted stuff, there must be lots of duplicate items. Now that you are about to start fresh together, it’s time to figure out what to keep and what to donate or toss before the move.
Postponing this task for some time after you move would be both reckless and expensive, since everything you move adds to the final cost of relocation services. Therefore, be realistic about what you need and avoid cluttering up your new space with the items that you barely use. Instead, try to focus on making more room for a new life with your partner.
– Decide if you are hiring professional movers or performing a DIY move. While DIY moves are feasible when moving locally, it may not be the best option if you are moving long distance or to another state/country. If you decide to go for a professional moving company make sure to contact several of them and request moving quotes. And remember, not each moving company is worth the trust and able to meet your unique moving-related requirements. While reputable movers can tackle each aspect of the move efficiently, you can take your time to handle other moving issues and mentally prepare for your big adventure. If you are moving for the first time, you will need a professional assistance to rely on throughout the process.