There are many milestones in a relationship, but one of the most life changing ones is moving in together. Yes, getting married is a big step but in today’s world, a lot of couples end up living together long before they get engaged. For those that don’t cohabitate until after marriage, adjusting to life together is still going to be a pretty big step. People get used to doing things their way and living on their own with no regard for what someone else thinks, but when you move in with a significant other all of that changes. To make sure you’re prepared, here are 6 things to do before moving in with a significant other.
- Make Sure You Can Communicate
One of the most important things to do before moving in with a significant other is to make sure that you can communicate effectively. Strong relationships are built on trust and communication and that’s not going to change when you’re living under the same roof. If you can’t communicate, you’ll end up fighting all of the time, which in turn leads to both of you walking on eggshells. This isn’t fun for anyone. Avoid growing resentments by learning how to communicate effectively and discuss your feelings openly and honestly. This will come in handy when you start noticing some of your partner’s habits that annoy you more than your pet peeves.
- Discuss the Big Stuff Ahead of Time
Another very important communicative step to take is discussing the big stuff ahead of time. Don’t wait until you’ve both packed up your separate lives, stored your extra baggage in self storage units, and unpacked your new life together to talk about the future, money, and any personal routines that are important for you to maintain. These are hard conversations, but you need to have them before you’re stuck in a lease together.
If you haven’t had a serious talk about your future, take some time to gently approach it. Make sure that you want to move in together because it’s the next step, not because it will save money or it’s a cheaper option than keeping separate space. Moving in together should only be done when you’re ready for the next step in a relationship.
Next, talk about your finances. This might not be a topic that you’ve breached yet, but you’ll need to be on the same place so that you can create a budget for your home or apartment and get a better understanding on what you can and can’t afford. During this time, you’ll also have to mention any debt that you have so that you’re 100% transparent before the big move. If you don’t, it could cause serious problems down the line. If one partner makes more than the other and is comfortable with paying a higher rent, this is a good time to discuss it. Getting the money talk out of the way early will make the move much more enjoyable.
Finally, bring up any personal habits or routines that are important in your life. Some people rely on these habits and routines to stay healthy, sane, and happy and it’s a good idea to let your partner know so they can make sure to give you space come move-in day.
- Establish Guidelines
You’ll also want to establish some general guidelines for the house. This isn’t to say that you’re giving each other a curfew, but if one of you works an 8:00am – 5:00pm job and the other has more flexibility there should be some preemptive discussion about respecting each other’s schedules. For example, throwing a late-night party on a Wednesday because one of you has a random day off the following Thursday might not go over very well. This is also a good time to talk about groceries, bill payments, and any additional costs that you’ll incur as a couple under one roof.
While you’re on the topic of “guidelines,” bring up chores. Does one of you clean more than the other? Is your significant other cluttered and disorganized while you prefer organization and minimalism? How are you going to split up the chores? While you might think this will fall into place easily, that isn’t always how it happens. If you’ve never lived with your significant other before, it’s always better to be prepared and have these conversations while you’re not frustrated or angry from a lack of action. Establish your expectations from the start so that both partners can contribute from the beginning.
- Consider Your Pet Peeves
This is a tough one. Are there things that other people do that really bother you? Have you noticed your significant other do them? If so, it’s only going to get on your nerves more once you move in together. If you haven’t noticed anything that annoys you, just wait. Make sure that you’re aware of what your pet peeves are and take into consideration the fact that there are probably some things that you do that annoy your partner. Be prepared and figure out a way for you to personally handle your pet peeves without criticizing your partner.
- Discuss Plans for Your Home
Now the fun begins. Figuring out where you want to live and how you want to decorate your home is great to do before moving in together because it can significantly simplify the moving process. Take an inventory of all of your things and all of your significant other’s things. What are you going to use in your new home? Chances are that you won’t need everything, so figuring out how you’re going to set up your home in advance will allow you to strategically pack your moving van and make a plan for anything that won’t be used. Start with all of the furniture. If you have a one-bedroom house or apartment but you each have a bed, talk about whose you would prefer to move. If you think you’ll eventually want to grow and move into a bigger place, consider keeping the other bed in a temperature controlled self storage unit so that you can use it in a guest room later on. Do this with all of your things. Sometimes, one person in the relationship is more attached to their things and the other doesn’t really care about how the home is going to be designed, but everyone’s different. Working through any compromises before moving day will help to shorten the process. We recommend working through a comprehensive moving checklist to help you get organized for the big day.
- Make a Plan for Unused Things
Once you’ve figured out what’s going to come with you to the new place and what’s not, great! The hard part is over. Now it’s time to figure out what you’re going to do with all of the unused things leftover. If this is your first time living together, both people in the relationship might want to keep their things… just in case. For whatever reason you decide to keep your things, the best way to make sure that they’re safe and in good condition when you need them is to rent a temperature controlled self-storage unit like the ones at The Lock Up Self Storage. Using a self-storage unit for your extra items will give you flexibility when it comes to home décor and will save you money when it comes time to grow your home. By finding a self-storage unit near your home, you can also utilize the extra space for holiday décor, seasonal clothes, and bulky sports equipment to free up more space.
If you’re not sure whether or not moving in with your significant other is a good idea, try taking a week-long trip with them. During vacations, couples spend a lot of time together and many people realize on their first trip how valuable their personal space really is. If you don’t travel well together, then at least you know before you make a financial commitment. If you do, you’re more likely to flourish when living together. If you decide to go forward with the move and have already made a plan for who’s going to bring what into the new space, now it’s time to find a self-storage unit to store your remaining items in. Head to The Lock Up Self Storage to find a self-storage unit near your new co-habited place so that you can easily access anything that you may need. All of our temperature controlled storage units offer plenty of space in a secured environment to give you the peace of mind you want and need when storing your possessions. We have a variety of sizes to fit all budgets, so you’ll never overpay for storage space you don’t need. To learn more about our storage units or to find a temperature controlled self-storage unit near you, call The Lock Up Self Storage today at (866) 327-LOCK.