Moving in together is a huge step in a committed relationship. It signals that you are both heavily invested in the relationship and wish to combine your lives in a more intimate way. Moving in together can also have financial advantages since you can now share the rent or mortgage plus other living expenses with your significant other.
Moving in is not without its challenges though, and can be quite an adjustment. Here are five tips for making your move as stress-free and fun as possible:
Make a List of Wants and Needs
It's important that you both understand what your partner absolutely needs in a shared home, while also having a good idea of those home features that are not necessary but desired. It's best to actually sit down together and write these down.
For example, perhaps you need a room that can be used as a home office because you often work from home, while your partner needs a garage to protect their car. In addition, maybe you're both hoping to find a home with a big fenced-in yard, but don't consider a smaller yard a total deal-breaker. Having all of this in writing will help you more efficiently evaluate the potential homes you check out.
Hash out Financial Details Ahead of Time
With money matters being the number one source of stress in relationships, it's critical to iron out a financial agreement with your partner before you move in together. Are you going to split the bills down the middle, or pay them proportionally to your differing incomes? Are you comfortable opening a joint bank account that you will then pay your household bills out of, or would you rather keep your own accounts?
Each couple handles the financial aspects of moving in together differently. The important thing is to discuss these matters openly ahead of time so that you can avoid misunderstandings and potential arguments.
Pare Down Your Belongings
When moving in together, you may find that you don't have quite enough room for all of your things. In addition, you probably have duplicates of many items.
Rather than try to squish two huge couches into a small living room, or deal with two microwaves, two toasters, etc., pare things down ahead of time. This way there is less to move and less clutter once you do move in together. Decide together which items to keep and which to trash or donate. Make an effort to keep things balanced, so that you each get to keep a fair amount of the belongings you love.
Rent a Moving Truck
Moving in together can be stressful, so it's a great idea to look for ways to eliminate stress and streamline the process as much as possible. Getting a moving truck rental instead of attempting to haul all of your stuff on your own in multiple carloads is a great way to do just that. If you rent a big enough truck, you should have no problem fitting both households into one easy move.
Find Ways to Maintain Independence
Before you move in together, come up with ways to maintain a bit of independence. While the increased time spent together and closeness that come from moving in together are positive things, it's also important to maintain a sense of individual identity. Make plans with your friends and sign up for classes devoted to your favorite hobbies. This will help avoid either of you from feeling smothered as you transition to living together.
By following these five tips, you should be able to enjoy moving in with your partner without hitting any major snags.