So, you’ve been seeing each other for a year or more, and spend most of your time together. At this stage, it seems that the next obvious step is to move in. After all, you’re practically living together already! But wait – it’s not just a matter of throwing in your lot with your partner and hoping things will work out. Rather, take the time to sort out some of the issues that can cause problems before moving in together. Here are just a few things we think are pretty important.
1. Acknowledge that moving in together is a big change.
Firstly, make sure you are both on the same page and one is not pushing the other into something they’re unsure about. It is a big change, and can often involve a bit of stress at the beginning. You might even have a niggling question – are we doing the right thing? This is why it’s so important to talk about the move as much as possible before you make the leap.
2. Who’s moving in with who? Or are you moving into a new place together?
The latter is often preferable, as you’re making a fresh start. But sometimes it’s just not practical, for example, when one of you owns a house or apartment, or if moving to a new place is too expensive. In this case, the person who’s moving in needs to have lots of support, as they’re moving into someone else’s space, and it can feel quite awkward at the start. Make them feel welcome; rearrange the furniture to incorporate theirs; break some old habits – like taking up the entire sofa – and make some new ones together.
3. How are you going to arrange the bills & finances? Are you going to have a budget? Who’s going to be responsible for paying what?
These are all important (and somewhat tedious) things you should sort out before you move in together, as financial issues are a common cause of tension between couples. You could even set your arrangements out in a document and co-sign it. If issues ever arise, you can then refer back to the agreement you made at the start. Most of all, be transparent. If you’re having financial difficulties or someone’s falling behind on their responsibilities, talk to each other. Don’t let resentments fester, as that’s a sure path to tensions rising between you and your partner.
4. How is the housework going to be divided? Are your standards of cleanliness the same?
Again, finding these things out before the big move is a way to avoid arguments down the track. The answers may very well be based on who likes to do what (or vice versa), or work hours, or merely dividing up the list evenly and swapping sides every week. In terms of standards of cleanliness, this may involve a compromise, particularly if one is a clean freak and the other a bit more relaxed. After all, the ability to compromise is what a solid relationship is all about.
5. What will you do when conflict arises (as it inevitably does)?
It is perfectly natural for couples to disagree about things, in fact, it’s healthy to do so. How you’re going to cope with conflict is something you should definitely talk about before moving day. Not least because moving is one of the most stressful life events that humans go through, which makes moving day a perfect time for sharp words to be spoken and feelings hurt. Knowing beforehand how you’re going to resolve these moments means you’ll move on and be back to hugging before you know it.
6. What furniture will you keep, and what do you feel okay about parting with?
If you’ve both been living out of home for a while, you’re going to have double ups of various appliances, white goods and pieces of furniture. In terms of appliances and white goods, keeping those that are the best quality and in the best condition would seem to be common sense. Alternatively, you may want to store the extra items, just in case the move doesn’t work out. In relation to furniture, take it gently, as pieces can sometimes have great sentimental value for their owners. Don’t just assume that your sofa is better because it’s newer – your partner’s may have been inherited from his/her grandmother and, for this reason, is not to be parted with.
7. Discuss the things that annoy you about each other, and commit to trying to avoid doing them.
Everyone has annoying habits - it’s just a fact of being human. And sometimes these habits can really rankle the people close to you, particularly when they have to live with them. To avoid these niggly habits becoming real problems, have an honest chat with your partner before moving in together. Talk about the things that annoy you about them, and let your partner do the same. Make a commitment to trying to break the habit, so it doesn’t turn into something huge when you’re living together.
8. What are your future plans?
Funnily enough, this is probably one of the most important discussions you should have, but the one couples are most likely to skip in the excitement of the move. What are your plans after moving in together? What are your personal dreams and how do they fit in with your partner’s? Have a heart to heart about all the things you’ve thought about for the future – where you imagine yourself living, what you imagine yourself doing, etc. If there’s lots of cross-over points and similarities, talk about how you can make these dreams a reality as a couple. If you’re both working towards the same things, moving in together is going to be a whole lot easier in the long run.
Ready to make the big move? Talk to Chess Moving about how we can help make your move as stress-free as possible. Visit our website to arrange a free quote or contact our friendly team on 13 14 69 for more information.
Or maybe you need storage for those extra items? Chess Moving is a trusted source of short, medium and long term storage, both nationally and internationally. Find out more here.