Moving in together is a big step. While being with the one you love has its perks, the process of blending two lives – and possessions – together can still be stressful and chaotic. However, with some planning and patience, you can pull it off smoothly and happily. The key is managing expectations, dividing responsibilities, and being willing to compromise when needed.
For purposes of this blog, let’s assume two things: First, that both of you are moving into a new space together, not to one partner’s existing space; and second, that this move is something you’re both excited about and not a matter of financial necessity, family-related issues or other less than ideal circumstances. That said, here’s how to make sure the process of “conscious coupling” comes off without a hitch.
Decide Who’ll Take Care of – and Pay for – What
The upside of co-habiting is that the day-to-day tasks of running a household can be divided between you. Have a serious sit-down to talk about how you’ll share chores, take care of bills, and spend your leisure time before the move to avoid misunderstanding and hurt feelings. If you’re better at fixing and organizing things, take the lead on these; if you’re more responsible about paying bills and general upkeep, that’s your realm.
You’ll also need to have a straightforward discussion about what you each contribute to shared monthly expenses like rent, groceries and utilities. You could split everything 50/50, contribute based on your respective incomes or devise some other system that’s agreeable to you both. Be honest about your income, debts and spending habits. Compromise where you can and make sure the solution seems fair and realistic.
Plan Your Move Day Well in Advance
The key to a smooth move-in is planning ahead, and the sooner you take charge of your move the better. In general, United Van Lines recommends scheduling a move at least two months in advance – and set an even longer timeline if you plan to move during peak moving season which runs between May and early September.
Fortunately, we can help you out with our 8-Week Move Checklist, which organizes the moving process step-by step so you’re not overwhelmed on moving day. Assign different responsibilities based on your strengths. If you hate packing but your partner doesn’t mind it, have them tackle the boxes while you focus on changing the utilities. While you’re at it, take a look at some useful tips for packing your things with care. And if packing is something neither of you want to deal with, consider the advantages of a full-service move with United.
Downsize and Consolidate
One of the biggest challenges when moving in together is deciding which duplicate items are keepers and which you should get rid of. Deal with items like small appliances, pots, pans and knick-knacks first. Then, go through your closets and get rid of or donate anything you don’t wear anymore, taking into consideration the climate to which you’re moving. Have an honest conversation with your partner about keeping or tossing larger furniture items. Remember, the less stuff you move in, the easier it will be to set up your new space. Another way to get rid of excess possessions is to hold a yard or garage sale. Check out our tips for making yours a success.
Once you’ve pared down your belongings, figure out how to allocate the closet, drawer and storage space in your shared home. For stuff you need but don’t use every day look for alternative storage solutions, such as underbed boxes, extra shelving in the garage or even an ottoman with a lift top.
Find a Shared Vision for Your New Home
Is your penchant for French Provincial at odds with your partner’s preference for mid-century modern? Take a deep breath and always remember that decorating your new shared space should be a collaborative process, not a competition. Check out the blogs we have to help you tackle some typical decorating challenges, including ways to use your wall space to its best advantage. With the right mindset, decorating your first home together can be a fun bonding experience.
Keep the Conversation Going
Be sure to check in with each other regularly about how you’re both adjusting to life under one roof. Be candid about any problems or frustrations you’re experiencing and work to find solutions together. Then take a moment to congratulate each other on successfully navigating this relationship milestone.
Consider Hiring a Professional Moving Company
Settling in together is already a “heavy” experience emotionally, so why don’t you let professional movers at United Van Lines take care of some of the heavy lifting? United’s full-service moving packages for long-distance moves provide flexibility to mix and match the services you want and need, from packing and unpacking to standard furniture placement.
Get a quote from United Van Lines today.