There comes a time in a serious relationship where the next logical idea is to move in together. This is a big step that shows you are significantly invested both emotionally and financially in the future of your relationship.
How do you know if you are ready? There are some signs that you might want to look out for before making the leap, including:
Already basically living together – do you stay with each other more than half the nights in a week?
Are you both on the same page? Do you get excited about the idea of living together and both want to do it?
Are you in a position financially to be able to commit to living together? This might mean needing to sell one or both of your properties or create a joint tenancy if you are renting.
If the answer to all these questions is a resounding ‘yes,’ then it is time to think about the practicalities of the move.
Whether you are getting a new property for both of you, or moving into one of your existing homes, one of the biggest things to think about is all your stuff.
The likelihood is that combining your households will lead to the duplication – of furniture especially. You will both have a bed, a couch, and a dining table that you had in your own house.
Before you make the move, you should consider decluttering your own home. This is a good excuse to go through everything you have and decide whether you want to keep it, store it, or find it a new home (thrift store or the trash).
When thinking about what to get rid of and what to keep, use this handy checklist:
Is it regularly used? A waffle iron that has sat in a kitchen cupboard for years is not something that you need to keep.
Do you have unconditional love for it? Cherished memories in photographs, jewelry, or anything else deserves to be kept, but you might not want it out on display. Anything in this category needs to be stored safely.
Is it a duplicate? You do not need two coffee makers, and if there are two in your house before you even move in with your partner then you know you can get rid of at least one.
Is it out of date? It isn’t only food that goes out of date; if you are keeping paperwork from ten years ago you can probably shred it. Make sure to keep paperwork about things like warranties and wills though, just in case.
What to Keep
When you are combining your households, a lot will depend on your own preferences as a couple. One of the beds that you have might be more comfortable than the other or fit in the space better.
Deciding on what to keep between you is easier when you know what style you are looking for in your new home together. In a new property this is slightly easier to accomplish as you will have a blank canvas to work with, but in any case, make sure that you measure up well to see what will work best in the space available.
If you want to keep hold of some of your furniture that isn’t going into the new property, you should consider storage. Outdoor space with a decent shed can provide safe storage for all sorts of things, including extra dining chairs or sentimental items.
This big step in your life is only going to work if you can communicate honestly and keep those lines of communication open. The most wonderful relationships can go swiftly downhill if small issues are not addressed – that toilet seat left up or the lid that is left off the toothpaste might be the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Make sure that you are talking about finances, consider opening a joint account and depositing a percentage of your monthly check each to cover essential household bills like the mortgage/rent, the electric bill, water, food, and insurance.
Setting ground rules and being ready to compromise to help each other be happy will pay dividends in the long run and ensure that combining your households and moving in together goes smoothly to begin with and is the start of a beautiful new chapter in your relationship.