When you’ve come to this point in your relationship, no doubt it’s getting serious. And while that may mean that your partner knows a lot about your best and worst habits, living together may unearth more unknown habits from both of you. They say your home is a reflection of your personality, so put your best foot forward for your partner.
Relationships need compromise to work, and moving in together will require more compromise than previously in your relationship. A lot of these compromises are related to the space you’ll be sharing. Here’s a list of ways to prepare a shared living space with your partner.
Make sure the space accommodates you both
When another person moves in, the space seems to become smaller. If both of your homes are too small, you may need to look for a different one altogether. Remember that you’ll need the extra space for lifestyles, storage, and if you’re the sociable type, entertaining.
Looking for a new space also allows you both the opportunity to start with a clean slate. Moving into a space that’s new for both of you allows you to build your new life together.
Make some home repairs
You probably have some minor things at home that need fixing but you were more than willing to overlook them when you were living alone. Now that you’ll be sharing your space, however, you’ll need to consider your partner. And remember that since one more person will now be using the facilities, the problem may get worse with the additional use or wear and tear.
For instance, since one more person will be using the bathroom, you may want to consider taking measures to prevent mold and water damage. Have your ceilings waterproofed and your floors sealed with epoxy. Have that leak fixed by a plumber. Check if your smoke alarm is still working well. Clean your AC system’s filter.
Some maintenance issues in your home can cost you more than they should or even develop into major health and safety hazards over time.
Now is the perfect time to get rid of those things you don’t need. You’ll need to make space for your partner’s belongings. Of course, you’re not limited to throwing things out. Items that are still in good condition can be sold or donated. Others can be recycled or repurposed into something new.
Consolidate your appliances and furniture
Go through both of your items together and decide what stays and what goes. If you both have a toaster, whose are you going to use? Perhaps you don’t even have to throw the other one out, but keep it as a spare in case the principal stops working. Doing this step will also help you determine what you’re missing and what you’ll have to shop for.
Clean, clean, clean
Moving in with someone — and having a relationship with them, in general — involves compromise. When you were living alone, you were probably okay with leaving your dirty clothes around, or not doing the dishes for a day or two. But now that you’re sharing your living space, you have to consider the other person’s feelings and comfort. A lot of relationship troubles arise from a disproportionate splitting of the household chores, so make sure to clean up after yourself. Once you make a habit of it, it won’t take as much effort to do it. You can even do it together. Split your chores evenly. Have a schedule.
Your home is now your partner’s home too, so the space has to reflect both of your tastes. The easy way to compromise on this is to go for a more neutral look, especially in heterosexual relationships, where decorative preferences are more likely to clash. It’s important to find a comfortable middle ground.
Hire movers or DIY?
How are you going to transfer all that stuff to the new abode? Hiring professional movers to do the job can lift a lot of the stress off your shoulders.
Doing the move yourself and maybe with the help of some willing friends can save you a lot of money. But it can also make things very difficult for the people involved. If you decide to D.I.Y. the move, make sure that you have an efficient inventory and moving system set in place.
Moving in with a partner marks a big relationship milestone. It’s also a sign of more changes to come into your new life together. Make sure to start it right by preparing your shared living space to accommodate both of you, whether it’s an established or brand-new home. Most importantly, remember to be flexible.