Moving in Together: 15 Tips for Couples Taking the Next Step

Moving in together is a major life transition for couples. Whether you’re dating or about to get married, there are plenty of things to consider before taking this next step in your relationship. Check out these helpful tips for moving in with your partner to make your move-in experience as smooth as possible!

Consider the Why

Whether you’re carefully weighing how long you should date before moving in together or you feel ready to share a space now, discussing why you’re moving in together is crucial. It’s best to take this step when you’re both committed to the relationship and because you both truly want to live together, rather than because someone’s lease is up or you want to save money. Living with another person is completely different from living by yourself and requires careful consideration and communication.

Determine the Right Time

Not sure when you should move in together? The truth is that it differs for everyone. Some couples may be ready after a few months, while others may prefer to date for several years first. If you and your partner plan to get married, moving in together before planning a wedding can help make post-nuptial life less hectic—but other soon-to-be spouses prefer to hold off until after the wedding. There’s a lot of advice regarding ideal move-in timelines, but in the end, it just depends on what feels right for you and your partner!

Choose Where You’ll Live

Another important question to ask before moving in together with someone is where you should live. Ultimately, there are three options—you could move into your partner’s place, they could move into yours, or you can find a new home together. If one of you already has a mortgage or is stuck in a lease, there might be financial benefits to your choice. That said, many couples find it easier to move into a new, neutral space instead of trying to cram two lives into one person’s current home.

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Do a Trial Run

Haven’t stayed over at one another’s homes before? Give it a try for a period of time without going back to your own place. Not only will this help you get used to sharing space with your partner, but it will also bring up lifestyle differences you can discuss before moving in together—like daily routines before work, how each person prefers to clean, who likes to prepare meals, what time you both like to go to bed, and more.

Talk About Pets & Children

One of the challenges of moving in together is figuring out if you’ll need to accommodate pets or children—whether that’s existing ones or future additions. If you haven’t talked about whether or not your future together includes welcoming more members to your family, now’s the time! For example, you may wish to avoid raising a baby in a one-bedroom apartment. And if one partner is bringing a pet into the shared space, discussing any expectations of the other partner’s involvement in caring for it can help avoid future scuffles.

Make a Plan for Guests

Your partner’s preferences for having guests over is another good question to ask before moving in together. Not only does this give you an opportunity to set ground rules together for hosting friends and family, but it can also help you plan for where your guests will stay when they come over. That way, you’ll know if you need a home with an extra bedroom or if you can just utilize air mattresses or futons as needed.

If you’re moving in together before marriage—or you don’t plan to get married at all—you might want to consider drafting a cohabitation agreement. This will provide both you and your partner with some financial security and legal direction for dividing assets if you decide to part ways. It may not be the most fun discussion to have, but it can save a lot of headaches in the event that your relationship ends.

Create a Budget

Talk about your finances before you start packing boxes! Creating an equitable system for bills, groceries, and other monetary expectations can ease future tensions. This is also an opportunity to discuss how much money will need to be set aside to cover the cost of the move itself. If you’re nervous about bringing up the subject, find advice for talking to your partner or soon-to-be spouse about money.

Divide Household Chores

One of the biggest benefits of cohabitation is splitting chores up based on each person’s strengths and preferences. But when it comes to chores both of you hate doing—whether it’s cleaning the toilet or folding the laundry—there might be a few concessions to make. While it’s nearly impossible to reach an exact 50/50 split with chores, assigning out daily, weekly, and monthly tasks with a comprehensive chore list can help prevent resentments from building and keep each member of the household accountable.

Take Inventory of Belongings & Start Downsizing

Combining households likely means that some things will need to go! You and your partner should each make a home inventory to help you keep track of duplicate items, make note of furniture sizes, and get a clear picture of any household items that are still needed. If you’re getting married soon, some items can be added to your wedding registry. Once you know what you do and don’t need, you can start the process of downsizing and decluttering your home to prepare for your shared space.

There are plenty of items that you’ll want to bring with you to your new place—but you might not have room for both of your kitchen tables or all of the clothes in your closet. If you’re making space for kids, embracing small space living, or planning to share a studio apartment, making the most of your space will be extra important! Look into donating excess household items, or put furniture, keepsakes, and other items you’re on the fence about in self storage. This advice for couples moving in together is also helpful if you plan to transition to a bigger home in the future!

Divide Closet Space

When sharing space, the closet may be one of the most difficult zones to manage. Before you start unpacking clothes, couples moving in together should create a plan for who will get which shelves or hanging spaces. You may also need to invest in additional storage solutions like dressers or clothing racks to fit all of your belongings. To keep everything in order, try incorporating closet organization and storage hacks like hooks, closet organizers, and storage bins or baskets!

Decide on Home Decoration

It’s a good idea for couples moving in together to talk about home design preferences before getting too far into decorating. Agreeing on a general home design style can help guide decisions about which items you should bring to your shared space and which items you may purchase new. If you can work together to choose wall art, furniture, paint colors, and other decor—rather than one person decorating with all of their stuff and the other person not getting any say—it’ll make living together more comfortable for everyone!

Take Time For Yourself

Even though you’re building a shared space together, it’s important to hold onto your own identity, hobbies, and interests as you merge lives—and make sure you’re getting enough alone time! Similar work schedules could mean you’re both home at all the same hours, so plan times when each person can have the place to themselves. Alternatively, fit in opportunities to go to a coffee shop for some personal time or to attend gatherings with just your friends. If your home has enough space, you may also consider designating a spot that’s just for you—and your partner can do the same.

Schedule Nights Out

Just because you’ve moved in together doesn’t mean the romance is over! Make plans to get out of the house every now and then for a date night so you’re still spending intentional time together, rather than just existing near each other. There are many relationship changes after moving in together, so keep the romance alive by venturing out to a new restaurant or taking a stroll through your local park.

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Moving in with your partner? If you need storage during this life transition, Extra Space Storage has convenient locations in the U.S. to store your belongings. Find a storage unit near you!

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