The decision to finally move in with your partner is certainly an exciting one but there are definitely some things to do before you pack those bags and make yourself at home. Of course, at this moment in time during the lockdown, you may not be able to actually make the move but that means you have plenty more time to consider your options.
Sure, moving in together is exciting and a strong symbolisation of the seriousness of your relationship but living with someone is a wholly new experience to simply staying overnight and it’s safe to say there may be some teething problems before you’re settled in.
In this article, we’ve considered how to prepare for moving in with your partner with some steps to take before that big day when you’re presented with that all-important door key.
Ensure it’s the right time
While you may believe that they’re ‘the one’ it’s important to take a step back and consider whether the timing is right for moving in together.
How long have you known each other? Are you happy to spend hours and hours in their company? Have you stayed over several times and it feels natural to sleep and wash and generally live in their space? Are you familiar with each other and being open about flaws? It’s very important you consider whether you’re ready to expose yourself to one another as living together gives you a real insight into how another person lives – and how gross they can be.
Plus, it’s safe to say that if you’ve only been together for a couple of months moving in might not be the best idea. Go on more dates, meet each other’s parents and friends – ensure you’re totally comfortable before taking that risk.
Work out what your ticks are
We all have things that get on our nerves, lay these out on the table and note if you do things that might annoy the other. This may seem like you’re looking for a fight but making note of them now so you can avoid doing them later can help.
Perhaps they leave their dirty laundry on the floor? Or maybe they soak their dishes rather than simply washing them up there and then. Maybe you never change the loo roll or leave the TV on when you’re not in the room? You’ll find lots of little niggles along the way and it’s how you deal with them that can make or break your living arrangement.
Of course, there needs to be some give, no one is perfect but getting those big bugbears out of the way is necessary to a smooth living situation.
Check what they have already
It’s likely you’ve been living alone and you have cutlery and bowls and towels that you use every day. But you may find that you don’t need to take everything currently in your home to your partner’s house – or there simply isn’t room for it. Work out what you need to take and what you can get rid of before you start packing.
Donate anything you definitely don’t want or need but for any large furniture you can’t bear to part with or perhaps some sentimental items that there is no room for consider moving these into a storage unit. You can find storage providers up and down the UK, many offer lockers in a range of sizes. Cubic Storage, for example, is based in Southampton and Farnborough and you can access units as small as 9 sq.ft to 500 sq.ft.
Talk about bills
Ah, the dreaded money talk. But if you’re going to be living together you’re going to need to work out who covers what. It’s fairer to simply split the bills straight down the middle and you each pay half. Work out how much you can afford to pay out each month, alongside your other outgoings and ask your partner to give you a breakdown of what their monthly spend comes to on things like energy, water, broadband, rent or mortgage and house insurance.
If you move in permanently you’ll also need to think about being added to the council tax bill as a responsible person and energy bills.
However, if one of you isn’t working or earns significantly less this is a hurdle to overcome. If your partner owns the house or flat, you won’t be asking to be added to the mortgage just yet but you can definitely contribute towards paying it. You’ll also need to decide whose account those bills come out of.
Be ready to compromise
Want to decorate the living room together to celebrate your new venture? Be ready to compromise when it comes to personal tastes and budgets. The same rule applies when it comes to things as simple as shopping – perhaps they only drink whole milk but you prefer skimmed. You’ll either need to double up or someone will need to change what they have. Compromise is key to successfully living with your partner but for many of us, it isn’t something that comes easy if we’ve been used to our own company for a long time.
Make a plan when it comes to chores
As tedious as it sounds, it’s a good idea to decide who does what around the house or things can quickly spiral out of control. Perhaps assign a day of the week where the house gets a thorough clean and do this together. Maybe one person does all the dusting of surfaces and the other follows with a hoover? Or one cleans the bathroom and the other cleans the kitchen at the same time. Housekeeping and chores are considered to be two of the most common issues that cause arguments between couples living together – so it’s best to discuss it before you move in.
Make time for romance
With all this talk of money and chores and compromise it can leave you feeling like your relationship has been put on hold. This is why it’s a good idea to organise regular date nights, whether that means binging in front of the TV or heading out on a long walk hand in hand or stopping by the beer garden when the pubs reopen. Make time for each other amongst the madness of managing a home and remember why you moved in together – to live with your best friend and partner.
Have a plan B
Of course, you don’t want to think about breaking up but if it should ever come to that you’ll need a plan. Speak to a friend or family member and ask if they’d be happy to put you up should you need to move out and try to have a bank account you keep separate to the house that has money in there that can be used in an emergency.
Having this plan B doesn’t mean you don’t love one another but it pays to be practical and cover yourself for the future – plus it means if you want to treat yourself to something you can dip into your personal money and not feel guilty about using the account linked to the house!