Making the decision to move in together is a big milestone in a relationship. Not only are you going to have more time together as a couple, but you'll also save money on rent, utilities, and most of your other monthly bills.
As exciting as combining two households can be, it can also be stressful if you're not prepared. Below are a few tips to help make moving in together easier and a little less stressful for both you and your partner.
1. Know Your Living Styles
Understanding your partner's day-to-day habits and routines will help you prepare before you live in the same space, eliminating any surprises. Late-night TV watching or midnight snacking in bed are examples of habits to bring up prior to moving in.
2. Make A Money Plan
Money is one of the biggest reasons for conflict with couples. Talking through each other's financial situations is a first step to better understanding spending habits, income, debt, and credit history.
Not only are you going to have more time together as a couple, but you'll also save money on rent, utilities, and most of your other monthly bills.
Below Are A Few Other Items To Review Together:
How will the bills be split? This is an important question, especially if one person makes significantly more money than the other. Is it a 50/50 split? Does one person pay the mortgage or rent and the other the utilities?
What is our monthly budget? Setting up a monthly budget will eliminate any uncertainty about where money is going or how it's being spent. Rent, utilities, food, and transport are all items you'll plan for, but be sure to also budget for entertainment and other spending and agree to not make large purchases without checking with each other.
What are our savings priorities? Now that you're saving a little extra because there's only one place to pay for, you can save some money for other priorities. Is a new car or a vacation needed in the future? Start that planning now.
3. Decide Where To Live
Ideally, find a new place the two of you can move into together. Having a clean slate allows each partner to visualize how the new home will feel, and both people can share opinions on how much space is needed and how to decorate.
Look at this move as a new beginning for you and your partner, and let go of the things you don't need.
If you decide to live in one partner's already-established home, which can be a great option for saving money, prepare plenty of space in the closet and bathroom, and plan to redecorate as if it's a new home — we'll have more on this later.
4. Sort Through Your Stuff
Once you have a good idea about the size of place you're going to be sharing, it's time to take inventory of each other's personal items. There are probably items you each have that you won't need two of in your new home, such as couches, cooking utensils, and beds, so determine what to keep, what to sell or donate, and what to toss.
Don't wait to get to your new home to sort through your stuff. You'll not only be moving items you won't need, but you'll have a harder time letting go of personal items once you get them to your new space. Look at this move as a new beginning for you and your partner, and let go of the things you don't need.
5. Establish Rules For Chores And House Keeping
Discussing household chores or how bills will be paid isn't a glamorous part of a relationship, but setting a few clear household rules will help avoid conflict later. Once those guidelines are in place, each partner will understand what's expected. Do you like the bed made every day? Compromise by determining that the last person out of the bed every morning makes the bed. Don't like taking out the trash? Offer to clean the bathroom weekly if the other person will dump the garbage.
6. Decorate Your Place Together
Both partners want to feel welcome and invested in their new place. This is especially true if one person is moving into the other's home. Your new space should be a statement of who the two of you are together rather than one person's décor with a few things from the other person sprinkled in. Compromise so each of you can feel at home.
This is a great opportunity for purchasing a few upgrades that make your lives easier or more comfortable. If you have the means, invest in a couple of new furniture pieces to complement your shared space. Smart devices such as TVs, coffee makers, and smart home hubs can help make everyday tasks more convenient for both of you without breaking the bank. Painting a few accent walls is another low-budget way to make your house feel more like a home.
7. Have Your Own Space
Sharing a bedroom and other common areas in the home is one great advantage to moving in together. But you should also carve out private spaces in your new place that are just for you. That can be a private room or a small corner in the bedroom for reading or downtime.
Having your own space also means enjoying your lives outside of your home as well. And just because you've decided to live together, that doesn't mean you can't still experience other things on your own just as you did before you joined households. Spending time alone with friends builds your external support circles and helps you maintain your individuality.
Following these tips will help make this next step in your relationship a successful one. Do you have any tips for moving in together? Leave us a comment below!
This piece was originally published on May 26, 2018.
WRITTEN BYMassiel Remirez