Moving in together is a huge step in a relationship. It’s wonderfully rewarding to build a home with someone you love, but that increased level of commitment can also bring stress and conflict.
For a smooth moving process, it’s important that you and your partner are on the same page. To help avert arguments, we’ve put together the following checklist of what to do before you move in with a partner.
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1) Decide where you’re going to move
There are two options for moving in together, and each has advantages and drawbacks.
- Move into a property where one of you already lives: If there’s sufficient space, this can be a convenient option. However, if you’re renting, or if you have any housemates, remember to keep them in the loop and ask for permission before you surprise them with any big changes.
- Move into a new property together: It’s more effort for two people to move into a new house, but it’s also an opportunity for bonding and creativity. If you have any pre-existing housemates, let them know what’s going on. The unheralded departure of a housemate can be just as annoying as a spontaneous arrival!
2) Talk about the financial side of things before moving in together
With bills and groceries, living with a boyfriend or girlfriend is very different to living with a non-romantic housemate.
- With a housemate, it’s normal to keep your food separate and split bills evenly. You’re living separate lives, but under the same roof.
- With a live-in partner, where you’re collectively making decisions about purchases, things tend to be more complicated.
Talking about money with a loved one is seldom fun. However, you’ll save yourself distress in the long run if you have a conversation about money with your partner before moving in together.
- Are you going to share a bank account?
- If you’re going to keep your finances separate, will you be splitting all costs 50-50?
- How much money are you willing to spend on things like rent and new furnishings?
3) Be open about your concerns
After a while, certain things about your partner are going to annoy you. And, no doubt, you’ll start annoying them, too! Can you see disagreements on the horizon? Nip them in the bud before you move in together.
You should be sensitive to your partner’s feelings, but still be straight and direct. For example:
- “I support your dream of becoming a professional bag piper, but two in the morning is not the appropriate time for a jam session”
- “Your dog is going to need obedience classes”
- “No, your ex-fiancé cannot crash on our couch for a few weeks”
- “We won’t have room for your extensive beer bottle collection at the new house”
4) Figure out the furnishings
Before you move in together, you’ll both need to figure out which furnishings to keep in your new home. Even if one of you is moving into the other’s pre-existing residence, there will probably still be some changes. As Oscar Wilde once said, “either those curtains go, or I do”.
- Make a list of all the pieces of furniture you both like.
- Make a list of the household items you are absolutely unwilling to part with.
- Decide which of your beds best suits your needs. If you each dislike each other’s bed, it might be time to buy a new one together.
5) Hire professional movers
You’re already grappling with finding an apartment, talking about your feelings, figuring out the finances, and organising the furniture. You don’t need any other stressors making the process of moving in together any more complicated than it already is.
Make life easier for yourself by hiring some professional movers. That way, you can focus on a peaceful transition to cohabitation, without also having to, say, fit a big couch through a narrow door.