5 Tips For Moving In Together That Will Make Your Relationship So Much Smoother
If you're planning on moving in with your partner soon, here's a packing list of all the things you'll need: kitchen utensils, an HDMI cord (because don't you always need one of those?), an IKEA sectional, and literally all the tips for moving in together you can internalize before then. Trust me, that last one is really important.
In my experience, living together can make or break a relationship. In fact, it can even make or break a person. After my last relationship ended badly, I had the awkward task of helping my partner move out of my apartment. Except he wasn't there to help. He'd disappeared and left me to coordinate pickup times and locations for all of his stuff with his mom, who was less than happy to see me. Obviously.
To say this was the most miserable weekend of my life would be a colossal understatement and maybe even a lie. I had to relive the trauma of that weekend for the next few weeks every time she sent me a text message asking if I'd packed some very specific item or vaguely implying that I had stolen something. Sure, because a cordless leaf blower is what I really needed in my life at that point. Makes sense.
If I could go back in time and undo one thing in my life, it would be moving in with my partner before we were ready but most regrets are really just lessons learned. You and your partner can have better luck than I did if you follow these five tips from Trina Leckie, relationship coach and host of breakup BOOST Podcast.
Have A Trial Period
Leckie says, "Often people get so caught up in the excitement of the idea of moving in together that they don’t take time to look at the big picture. I think it would be wise to do a minimum two-week test run where you stay together for 14 consecutive days (no breaks) to truly feel what it would be like to live together." This would be different than going away together or sleeping over a few nights every week because it would feel more permanent. She tells Elite Daily, "Spending a night here or there and going home in between is a far cry from living together full-time."
Talk About Storage Before You Get To Your New Place
I know this seems insignificant but sometimes when you spend a lot of time with someone, you find yourselves arguing about the simplest things. According to a survey done by self-storage company Sparefoot, approximately 30 percent of all couples who live together argue about clutter and, of these couples, more than 50 percent say it's because of their partner's clothes.
Since apartment living can be tight, discuss practical solutions to make the most of your storage space before moving in. Some questions to consider, according to Leckie, are, "Are you going to have to rent an extra storage locker off-site? Are you going to equally divide the closet and dresser drawers? Are they going to be OK with you having a ton of products on the bathroom counter?" The more problems you can solve ahead of time, the smoother your transition from a commuting to a cohabiting couple will be.
Draft A Written Agreement
Remember how the guys in Big Bang Theory had a roommate agreement? You and your partner should consider doing the same. Leckie explains, "Creating a written agreement can go a long way in keeping the peace, starting with house chores. One of the biggest things that can get on a person’s nerves is another person’s mess, so while having an actual written agreement in place may seem like overkill at first, you will appreciate it down the road when you come home and there are dirty dishes everywhere or the bathroom is a disaster." I doubt you'll actually have to refer to this on a regular basis but the idea is that by coming up with one, you and your partner accept responsibility for different things.
Create A Budget For Your Living Expenses
Talking about money is so taboo that people are 30 percent more likely to talk about their STDs with close friends than their savings, according to a survey done by online credit company CreditLoan. But it's just as important!
To avoid financial problems and petty arguments, you and your partner should come up with a weekly or monthly budget that takes into account your combined earnings and expenses. It doesn't have to be 50-50. Leckie points out that one partner might earn substantially more money and offer to pay a larger percentage of the rent. Similarly, one of you might have very specific dietary needs and offer to do all of the grocery shopping. Regardless of what you decide, you should agree on how you will manage your finances.
Make Sure You Both Have A Space Or Corner To Call Your Own
Just because you live together doesn't mean you have to spend every waking second together. In fact, I'd actually advise against that. You need to maintain some semblance of personal space, freedom, and identity if this is going to work. If your apartment is too small for each of you to have a space of your own, make sure that you're getting out of the apartment to do activities on your own.
Relationships are hard work. Living together might make things like travel and sleeping arrangements more manageable but it doesn't mean everything else is going to come just as easily. Keep an open mind when it comes to compromising and adjusting to your new living situation.