Congratulations! Take a bow – you’ve just made the next big step forward in your relationship: moving in together. You’ve likely been in a relationship for quite a while, and have known each other for even longer. Maybe you’ve even been crashing at each other’s place – and you might think that you’ve been practically living together already, so making it official is just about moving in.
The reality is, moving in with your partner is actually quite different than just crashing at their place. If this is the first time for both of you, then there’s plenty you should know beforehand.
Read on to learn about the top 10 most important tips you really need to know when moving in together.
Learning about the tips and tricks to internalize the big move will most definitely help you smooth the rough, edgy sensations that you might be feeling. It’s not wrong to feel a little anxious, and apprehensive, or to have mixed feelings and some bittersweet emotions.
Remember, Failing to plan is planning to fail, so use these 10 tips and tricks to help you prepare to live better together.
1. Be prepared to share the space.
The first thing to prepare yourself for the area, and how you will fit in. Until yesterday, one person had been occupying the space – and adding another person will take some adjusting.
This isn’t like crashing for the night where all you need is maybe an extra set of clothing or two; living together will have a truckload of clothing among other things. Here are some ways to make this process simpler:
- Plan out the storage
- Figure out what goes and what stays
- Be prepared to live with half opened, sealed, scattered boxes, at least for the first few days
- Don’t rush into unpacking and push things out of sight
- Use this time to get to know each other through your collectibles, and decide together whether to keep things in your shared space or leave them in the box.
2. Create a chore schedule – and stick with it.
The first few weeks or months living with the one you love is known as the “honeymoon phase”, which can be super pleasant and blissful. You want your partner to feel at ease, so you’ll both do everything in your control to be considerate and accommodating to each other.
But, there comes a time when the honeymoon phase is over – and it’s up to you and your partner to make sure that it only gets better. The easiest way to that is by creating a plan to tackle a major argument starter for couples who live together: chores.
When you first move in together, talk things out with your partner and figure out which chores you are both comfortable doing. If he hates the sight of a washing machine, maybe he can be in charge of vacuuming. Maybe you can’t cook – so how about doing the dishes?
Chores can be a bore, but living together can help divide the boring chores between yourself. If both of you hate the same chore, then do it together. The fact that it brings you two together might turn the activity into something to look forward to.
3. Have the “money talk” early on.
Living together is a decision with big economical impacts on both partners. Sure, you save on the rent – but other expenses may go twofold.
A shared space means shared utilities, and if you’re both working individuals, the best tip would be to split the bills, rent, utility, and all. As partners, you can have a joint account to make the payments for shared utilities.
You can also look up investment opportunities if both of you have enough savings to set aside from your earnings. Doing this together can help you make good financial decisions and acquire financial independence as well.
If there’s a huge difference between your income levels, you must talk this out. Come to a decision where both of you feel comfortable enough about expenses without feel pressured. In a case where only one partner has regular income, discuss how the other partner can contribute with non-finance related aspects.
4. Plan out your food and diet preferences.
When you live together, you’ll be eating together every day. Although you may very well be aware of each other’s eating habits, eating together while living together can be an entirely different ballgame.
There are many decisions that need to be made, from choosing what to cook, the ingredients, the hobs, and deciding who cooks or serves. You can’t survive long term on ordering in or grabbing take-out.
Understand each other’s eating patterns, food choices, special dietary requirements, allergies, and food likes or dislikes. This way, you can have a weekly visit to the grocery store, and mealtime doesn’t have to turn into a fistfight. Encourage each other to eat healthy as well.
5. Be prepared for changes in your sleep.
You might have already chosen your side of the bed – that’s a piece of cake, but not quite the issue. Some individuals can sleep like a log, while others are light sleepers.
If you or your partner are the latter, it’s time to face the bitter facts: sleeping with your partner will never be like living by yourself. Unless your significant other sleeps without snoring or moving one bit throughout the night, you might have settle for hoping your significant other is as considerate as possible.
When you or your partner have an early day, then you can make some sleeping rearrangement the night before.
6. Expect imperfections galore.
Crazy eating or sleeping habits are just the beginning, dear lovebirds. Because you’ve decided to live together, you’ve probably already witnessed a few of your partner’s annoying quirks. You may have confessed lightly, laughed about them, and never thought about it, but guess what? All those idiosyncrasies will come a little too often to your liking when you’ve been living together longer.
News flash: Your partner has imperfections galore, and so do you. How your partner folds the laundry, why they can’t seem to hang their key on the key holder, why they always leave the toothpaste open… the list could go on – so be prepared to ignore, if these annoying habits are harmless.
However, if a certain habit of your partner bugs you a lot, have a word and find a way to compromise and meet halfway. Otherwise, just learn to enjoy their “perfect imperfections” and love them just with their flaws and all.
7. Perfect your communication strategies.
The best strategy to not misunderstand each other or have gaps in communication is to actually communicate.
- Stop beating around the bush.
- Stop dropping hints.
- Stop thinking your partner knows what’s in your head.
- Stop with the passive-aggressive huffing and puffing!
These are strategies with zero winners. Keep it simple and communicate. If you want him to take you out for dinner, tell him instead of dropping hints.
Open communication can save you both a lot of trouble – but, this doesn’t mean openly criticizing one another or picking out flaws, which can seriously hurt your partner’s self-esteem. So, tread softly when you have to communicate.
Be tactful in communicating your partner’s flaws, and when you point out their “areas of improvement”, also add how it can be done. Screaming, “that’s not how you do it” won’t help! “Honey, let’s do it this way” is better, and tear-free.
Learning to communicate clearly can help not only in your relationship, but in your professional life as well – so start with the person you care about most! Here are 13 Tips for Communicating Effectively With your Partner.
8. Plan regular date nights.
Keep the romance alive with actual date nights every now and then. Now that you’re living together and seeing each other every day and night, it might seem like date nights are redundant – but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
You don’t have to wait for an anniversary or birthdays to get out of the house. Have a date night once a week and get into the habit of doing something special without any reason. Get dressed and go out and celebrate your love and the fact that you are together.
Sometimes, you may feel it’s too much of an effort for one date night and that it’d be easier to stay in wearing pajamas and ordering Chinese food. It won’t burn a hole in your pocket, but if you neglect date nights too often, your love life will turn into a loveless life. Before the romance jumps out the window, make the reservation at that famous Italian joint.
9. Don’t neglect yourself.
Living together doesn’t mean you can’t have your “me-time”. Plan your me-time along with your partner’s plans with their friends. That way, you can have some time for yourself while your partner is away.
If there are no get-away plans and you feel like you need some time to yourself, tell your partner and figure out the best way.
You may also find that you need some time to cool off from any occasional arguments. Use your “me-time” strategy to calm down until you’re ready to speak to your partner again.
10. Sync your daily routines.
Get acquainted with each other’s routine, from sun up to sundown. Find a sweet spot where you can do something together every day without having to interrupt each other’s routine.
For instance, if he drinks tea at 6:00 AM, maybe you can get your caffeine fix around the same time instead of grabbing one on the way to work. Why not make the best of living together?
Find something new to do together, or even start a hobby. This way, you’ll continue to grow closer to each other while living together.
The Bottom Line
You’ve found someone you love, and have decided to live with them. Be prepared for some bumps along the way and some little ups and downs, but at the end of the day know that you and the person you love are under the same roof – and that’s a blessing.
Remember that you have chosen to live together because you love each other. While it won’t always be easy, you can make every moment worth living for.