So you’ve taken that exciting step in your relationship and moved in with your special someone—you’re both completely comfortable with the commitment, ready to be a major part of each other’s lives, and maybe you’ve even discussed that big question that every couple moving in together eventually thinks about—Should we get a puppy? (Or, OK, OK, maybe you’ve discussed that other big question too.)
These are all big, important aspects of moving in with someone, and it’s great that you’re ready for them.
But are you ready for the little things?
Sometimes, when you move in with someone you’re so busy thinking about what it means for you as a couple that you forget about what it means for you as roommates.
To help you out, we came up with 5 ways to make moving in together easier:
1. Combine Your Tastes
Do you like clean lines and simplicity or bright colors and fun patterns? Even if you don’t think you have much of a style, once you move in with someone and begin to pick out furniture, hang up art, and arrange the kitchen you’ll find out that there are certain ways you like things to look and feel. Be ready to compromise and keep an open mind. Maybe you like white walls but your significant other’s bright paintings will look great on them. Maybe you prefer to hang your pots and pans above the oven, but you’ll find out they fit nicely in the cupboard as well. Don’t dominate the space and remember that this move is something you’re doing together.
Share the Expenses
So you might not be ready for combined bank accounts just yet, but you should think about how you’re going to split common household expenses. On top of bills there are things like garbage bags, soap, and groceries that you’ll now be sharing. Having another person to split the bill with is great, but don’t forget to take turns or work out a system of keeping things even that works for the two of you.
Make Some Space
Unless you’re planning to up the square footage, chances are you’re going to have significantly less space to work with. Dividing up storage, making room for someone else’s shampoo on the shelf in the shower, or giving up some closet space is going to happen. Be flexible and think about the other person’s needs and feelings. Do you really need all those winter sweaters? Making room for a new person in your life should be more important than keeping all your college term papers—so think about ways you can make your space work for the two of your and all your stuff.
Create New Routines
Many of us have routines and patterns we follow to get us through a week—playing music while getting ready for work, taking a long shower in the morning, or eating at exactly 6:00 every night. Routines are great because they give our lives balance and focus. But when you move in with someone you should be prepared for some changes in the flow of your everyday life. You might have to stop listening to music in the morning. Or you might have to cut the shower short if someone else needs hot water. You’ve found a system that works for you as someone who lives alone, now you have an opportunity to create a new routine that works for the two of you as a couple.
Find Romance in the Everyday
This is the fun part of moving in—discovering the small joys in a quiet evening in, deciding to ignore the dishes together, laughing over the antics of your neighbors, or being comfortable enough with someone to use the bathroom with the door open. (Gasp!) There are a lot of dynamics that change when you move in with someone—not every dinner is going to be a special, date night event. And you may even lose a little of that new relationship excitement, but there are new discoveries to be made about each other that can be exciting in a different way. Moving in brings a new level of intimacy and closeness that can be incredibly rewarding.
As your relationship progresses and you grow together as a couple, you may discover that things like romance, thoughtfulness, and even love don’t always look the way you expect them to. Sometimes caring about someone can be as simple as taking out the garbage, watching a TV show you don’t like, or going out to buy the toilet paper you both forgot to pick up on your way home.
Moving in together can be a big step, so make sure you don’t forget to enjoy the little things along the way.