You’ve found ‘the one’ and now you’re both ready to take it to the next level and move in together. Moving in with your significant other can be both exciting and terrifying at the same time. For many, the benefit of living together means more affordable home costs as they are now splitting rent and utilities. With that said, moving in together can feel overwhelming as you both need to figure out how to merge your belongings together.
One of the best ways to reduce stress during your move is to create a move-in checklist together. This will help streamline your to-dos and prioritize responsibilities. It will also help you assess if you’re making the right decision to move in together.
Figure Out Your Why
Before you decide to take the plunge, the first thing you should figure out is the real reason why you’re moving in with your partner. You should ask yourself the following questions:
- Is your lease up and does moving in together make financial sense?
- Do you look at moving in together as a prelude to marriage?
- Are you spending a lot of time at your or your SO’s homes so it makes sense to downsize?
- Is this the next logical step to move your relationship forward?
Once you’ve figured out your reason, make sure to discuss this with your partner. Be as open as possible and make sure you’re both on the same page. If you’re the one who wants to move in, make sure you’re not pressuring your partner to accept the terms, especially if they are hesitant. Sure, it might make sense to you, but if they’re not onboard with the idea, forcing the issue could lead to resentment.
Once you and your partner have decided to move in together, you’ll want to move on to the next step.
Take Stock of Your Belongings
Living together might sound great on paper, but it can lead to complications, especially when it comes to your belongings. Before you decide to pack everything up and move, you should do the following:
- Take an inventory of your respective belongings.
- Choose items that will stay and what items will be donated, thrown out, or sold. This step might require you or your partner to make some tough choices depending on the moving situation. If you are planning to get an apartment together, both of you will need to get rid of some stuff. However, if you are moving in with your SO or vice versa, the person moving might need to get rid of more than the other person.
- Declutter your apartments
- If necessary, get storage for items that won’t fit in your apartment
One of the most important steps that many couples forget to do is carving out personal space for themselves in a shared apartment. If you are moving into your partner’s apartment or vice versa, make sure that you both talk about your personal space requirements and needs. This way you can make sure you don’t immediately get on each other’s nerves. Living together with someone is completely different from simply dating them as you will see them 24/7. So those cute quirks could turn into annoying habits when you have to deal with it every day. That’s why it’s so important to have your own space.
Make sure to communicate often about your wants and needs as well. This is especially important when the two of you have different living habits. Perhaps they are cleaner while you are more laid-back on that front. This can lead to serious arguments down the line, so make sure to talk about chores and how you can both match each other’s expectations. While chores aren’t fun, it’s important you divide the work as equally as possible so that no one feels like they are doing the bulk of the work. Even if your partner enjoys cooking or cleaning, you should take the initiative and take over these chores at least twice a week.
Figure Out Where to Live
When deciding where to live, ask yourself one question: do you want to move into a new apartment? Some couples prefer this option as it feels like a fresh start and you both have input on important factors such as location, neighborhood, layout, etc. And since a new apartment is a blank slate, you can also choose decor, paint colors, and so on to match both of your aesthetics. It’s also a great way to make sure you both can carve out some space just for yourself.
If you do decide to go for a new apartment, you should talk with your partner and think about your requirements:
- What neighborhood do you want to live in?
- What is the maximum time you want to spend on your commute?
- How much can you both afford when it comes to rent? Also consider what one of you can afford in case you or your partner becomes unemployed
- What public transportation is nearby?
- How much space do you both need? Is a one bedroom large enough or do you need a two bedroom so you can have a home office?
When you go apartment hunting, make sure you’re taking both of your requirements into consideration. It might take longer to find something, but it will be worth the wait! Once you find a new place, make sure to include both your names on the lease. If you do break up, it’s better to have both individuals as the person moving out can show to the next landlord that they are responsible renters.
Once you have found your new place, avoid moving drama by hiring trustworthy movers. Moving is stressful as is so why not make it easier on yourselves by having professionals load and unload your belongings. This way, you can avoid a potential argument on your first day of living together.
No one likes to talk about money. For many couples, finances are one of the biggest issues in a relationship. Sure, living together doesn’t mean you have to combine your finances, but it does mean you should talk about how to split bills. Unlike a roommate situation, you’re not necessarily splitting things 50/50. While this might be a difficult conversation, it’s important to:
- Discuss who pays for what
- Decide how much you’ll each pay for rent and utilities. This might be dependent on your salary. If you are the higher earner in the relationship you might end up paying more.
- Figure out which utilities go in whose name
- Discuss who will pay for day-to-day expenses such as groceries, household supplies, etc.
- See if it makes sense to create a joint account for household expenses or keep everything separate. Even if you create a joint account, you can still have separate bank accounts so you each have your own spending cash. The joint account could be used only for household expenses, utilities, and rent.
You should have this discussion before you move in together. That way, you both will know what to expect and have an arrangement in place. It might be uncomfortable, but it’s an important and responsible step to take as it can prevent resentment in the future.
Talk About The Worst Case Scenario
The last thing you want to do once you decide to live together is talk about breaking up. However, it’s a conversation that you shouldn’t skip. While it would be great if things go smoothly and you and your partner never split, it’s just as likely that things don’t work out. In fact, around 40 percent of couples split up about five years after they move in together.
It might not be the most romantic topic, but it’s always good to have a plan in place. This plan can include details about handling the expense of breaking lease, splitting belongings, sublease options, and so on. You might want to think about drafting a cohabitation agreement, which is a legal document that both partners sign to clarify things such as division of assets and other logistics. Of course, not everything works out perfectly. If the break up is sudden, you or your partner might not have enough time or money to move out immediately. In these cases, you should consider how much time you will give each other to find a new place as well as more personal details such as inviting new partners over when your ex is still living with you.
Moving in together is an exciting moment. While it might seem overwhelming, by following these steps you should be able to make it a bit more manageable. With that said, things don’t always go as planned, but as long as you communicate what you feel and encourage your partner to do the same you should be able to solve whatever issues come your way. Just be patient with each other and work together.
Whether you plan on moving to a new apartment together or moving into your partner’s place, you can make the actual moving process a lot easier by hiring professional movers. Make sure to get in contact with us for a quote and we can get you both on your way to your new life together.
Is it better to get a new apartment together or have one person move in with the other person?
That depends on your requirements and your financial situation. Moving into a new apartment can be expensive as you’ll need to put up the first month’s rent, security, and often other administrative fees. It can also lead to complications if your or your partner’s lease isn’t up at the same time. In these cases, it might make sense to temporarily move into your partner’s apartment, but it’s generally a good idea to get a new apartment together.
Can professional movers move us both at the same time or would we need to hire separate movers?
You should ask the movers directly as some might be able to accept your request while others will require you to hire another team. It also depends on how much you plan on moving.
What is the best way to divide up chores?
This is something you will need to discuss with your partners. Some partners are better at keeping the house clean than others. With that said, the brunt of the household chores often falls to one person when there isn’t a specific chore list. It’s best to have a rough breakdown of tasks and responsibilities and stick to it.