If you have decided that you want to move in with your significant other, there are many things to discuss before and after you have moved in. Here is a guide to help guide you and keep the process going smoothly.
Before the move
1. Decide on a place together
This is the most important step after you have both decided that you want to take the next step and move in together. The keyword is “together”. Do not make the choice for the other person and do not leave the decision in someone else’s hands. This is going to become you and your significant other’s home after all.
Are you going to move into their place or are they coming to yours? Are you going to move into a completely new place together? Think about location as well if you are relocating.
Is it going to be far away from your workplace? How convenient is it for you and your hobbies? Let’s say you love swimming, but the nearest pool is over a thirty-minute bus ride away and it is closed for the majority of the year. Are you willing to make that sacrifice?
Another thing to consider is the environment. For example, if you are a person who dislikes loud noises and kids running around, moving anywhere near a playground or an elementary or high school is a horrible choice, no matter how great the new place is.
2. Have a few ‘keep/toss’ sessions
If you are moving in together, you will soon realize that you will have a lot of duplicates, especially for large furniture items – two refrigerators, two coffee tables, two beds, two couches, etc.
Decide what electronic appliances and furniture you want to keep, and which should be tossed. If you do not want to toss, it is also a good idea to sell it or keep it in a storage unit.
In addition to that, do either of you have any paintings or decorations that the other person may dislike? If so, discuss if that should go into storage or be kept in the new place.
This is an important time to compromise and talk things out, especially for non-essential items. My cousin’s then-fiancée had a large colored glass sculpture of a doll which simply had to be kept in storage because it was extremely creepy to the other person.
3. Establish a budget for utilities/rent
Set aside a monthly budget for bills. Decide who is going to pay how much each month. Perhaps you want to do a joint savings account and take from there. Maybe you split it halfway between each other. Or perhaps you want to pay a certain amount depending on your incomes.
4. Place some ground rules
It is always a good idea to set a structure so one does not feel like they have to do everything to maintain the home or feel like a maid. Come up with a chore chart or something similar.
For example, maybe you can take turns vacuuming every other weekend while the other person mops every other weekend. Whoever cooks for the two does not have to wash the dishes.
Perhaps you want to hire a housekeeper? Another good idea is to set some rules for having guests or family over. If both of you are TV fanatics, maybe setting a TV schedule is not so bad either.
5. Shop for new furniture together
Although you may have furniture from the past, it is always fun to shop for new décor and establish a new theme for your new place.
This is the best part of shopping for a new place, but it is also the most frustrating since tastes may not always coincide. Again, do it together! Shop for a new bed and take turns laying on it, making sure that the softness is good for both of you. Decide what kind of wallpaper or mood you want to set for each room.
Agree on a furniture color. Remember to be patient in this process, since this is semi-permanent. Although it can be changed, it is not that practical to change the floorboards or the wallpaper all the time.
6. Decide on the moving process
If you are moving far away, decide if you want to hire movers or do it yourself. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Hiring movers make the process much more streamlined and quicker, and you do not have to do the heavy lifting, however, it can be quite expensive.
Doing the whole move yourself may be cheaper, but with fewer people, the process is going to take much longer. In addition, you may risk injury if you have to carry loads of heavy boxes.
After the move
1. Unpack together
Although the move-out process is completed, there is still a lot to be done when you get to the new place. Unpacking together ensures that no one feels like that are being used or doing more work than the other person.
It also gets rid of conflict and arguments when something is missing or broken. Not to mention, it helps the process go by quicker and helps both of you bond.
2. Establish common areas and alone areas
Do not feel like you have to spend all your time with your significant other now that you are moved in together. Establish places where you get to have some alone “Do-not-disturb” without the other person and other rooms where it’s an invite to come and have a warm cuddle session.
It is important to still give each other space even though you are living together. If you had a roommate in the past, you will know that spending too much time with anyone, even your best friends, could make you sick and tired of their presence!
3. Re-evaluate ground rules
Are some of the rules that you established beforehand not working out? It is important to keep revisiting the rules you established. Perhaps the place is much larger than you expected, and instead of vacuuming alone, you take turns doing it on the same day, splitting the house.
Maybe the both of you tend to eat out more with your colleagues than you do together, and the fridge is just filled with gross leftovers that need to be cleared out. Life is always changing and the rules that you establish to keep an orderly place should also change to match your needs.
Images from pexels/ Top Photo by Igor Ovsyannykov on Unsplash