Everyone thinks it’s a piece of cake to move in together with a partner after they’ve seen each other naked.
The most difficult thing they can foresee is having to encounter actual tampons and being shocked to find porn on their shared browsers.
Unfortunately, that’s just two of the smaller obstacles you’ll have to deal with. There are a lot more where that came from, so you better get ready.
Are you ready to move in together?
If you’re reading this, you are probably considering it. Whether you’re ready or not is still up for discussion.
In terms of emotional preparedness, you should consider how this will affect your relationship dynamic. There is a big difference between knowing how a person is and actually seeing it with your very own eyes every day.
Living together with the person you love sounds like a dream, but if you’re not careful, it could turn into your worst nightmare. [Read: 15 things to know BEFORE you move in with your boyfriend]
What to do before moving in with each other
Aside from being mentally prepared, you have to consider the logistics of actually moving in together. There are a lot of factors that come into play and the first would be your finances.
Other things need to be considered as well. How you’re going to work together at home, how much time you spend together and even how you treat each other.
Seeing as all of that will require compromise and a little bit of arguing, it’s best that you cover all your bases before proceeding to record your new answering machine message together. [Read: 10 signs to know if it’s a good idea to move in with your partner]
#1 Change your mailing address a month before moving in. This is one of the things most people overlook before moving out of their old place. They think that a few days’ notice is enough, but most companies take weeks before changing your personal information. That just leads to unpaid bills, sudden disconnections and misplaced packages.
Even if they change your mailing address earlier than expected, at least your broker/landlord or your partner *if you decide to move into their place* can receive your package for you.
#2 Have a back-up plan. Moving in together with your partner means that you trust them enough to share your home with them, but things can happen along the way that may change that. Before you move in with them, make sure that you have other places to go to, in case it doesn’t work out. You can decide to sublet your old place or you can make sure that there’s someone who can take you in – either your friends or your family. [Read: The 8 scary things about moving in that no one wants to talk about]
#3 Let go of the things you don’t need. Before you decide to pack for your permanent honeymoon, you better decide whether or not the things you have are worth taking. You will be sharing the new space with your partner. It’s possible that they have just as many things as you do. That won’t work if you’re planning to move in to a place that is only slightly bigger than your old one.
To save on time, you can pack while separating the things that you don’t need to bring to your new place. You can opt to throw it away or give some of it to charity.
#4 Consider the pros and cons of the location you choose. Moving into your partner’s super chic and rent-controlled apartment may seem like a good idea, but you need to consider how this will affect your way of life. Is the place too far from your workplace? Is it in a new town? Do you have friends and family who can help you in case of an emergency? It’s best to cover all these things before considering moving to a completely new location. [Read: Living together – reasons to do it and reasons to avoid it]
#5 Prepare your personal space. Moving in together means sharing all of the place. If your partner is moving in with you, they have the right to put stuff where they want, as long as it’s not a burden to either of you. When you move in with them, you’ll have to set aside some space for your own things. You need to prepare your half of the closet, your shelves for your books and even some space for more food.
#6 Discuss the things that your partner should expect. I guess now is the best time to reveal your skeletons in the closet – or keep them back at your old closet. We all have weird habits and some of them can be bad. Now that you’re about to live with your partner, you should either change those habits or give your partner fair warning about them.
The bad habits can be remedied, but you still need to prepare your partner for any inevitability. At least they know what they can expect and not be traumatized too much by whatever your secret is. [Read: 6 common relationship problems faced by couples who live together]
#7 Compromise on the things that need to change. You can’t just move in together and expect it to be the same as sleeping over. You will be spending more time together and you’re only about to get used to it.
You need to think about how much quality time you’ll spend, discuss each other’s schedule and budget like crazy. Moving in together is the preemptive process for spending your life together. Things are changing at a rapid pace, so you better learn how to give as much as you want to take.
#8 Divvy up the chores. You may think that’s one of the easiest things to do when moving in together, but you will soon realize that rules like these rarely last. Different schedules and impromptu appointments can make it difficult to do what you’re supposed to. Some chores can be left alone for long periods and will end up annoying the person who isn’t assigned to it. And not doing your part can be a pain for the person who is.
With that in mind, you and your partner should consider backup plans in case neither of you is present to do the chores that are assigned to you. When it comes to chores that one of you aren’t familiar with, like cooking, the other can forgo that part and take their partner’s place in other chores like washing the dishes and setting up the table.
#9 Pick a side. Now that you will be living together, you probably have to discuss which side of the bed you’ll be sleeping in. Don’t forget which part of the couch you prefer and which seat at the table you’ll take. It might seem like a little thing, but having your own space can be relaxing and can give you a semblance of control. This is especially important for people who have OCD. Pick one or flip for it. Whichever side or seat you get, at least you can have it for the rest of your relationship. [Read: How to give space for each other without drifting apart]
#10 Make a schedule and stick to it. Since you’ve already discussed chores and when they should be done, you should also talk about how you’re going to go about your day or week. It helps to know what you and your partner are doing so you can adjust your schedule to accommodate each other’s.
You’ll find out when the best time to eat is, what time you should wake up and when you can finally lay back and relax with them in front of the TV. You don’t have to know what they do all day. You just need to have an idea of when and where you can see them, if needed.
The process of moving in together is hard enough as it is. Don’t make it harder by failing to prepare for the things that you will likely encounter. When most couples move in together, they think of the obvious things, but almost always, it’s the smaller, less glamorous details like these 10 things that cause the most damage in a relationship.
So remember to keep these in mind when you move in, and make moving in as pain-free as possible, so you can worry about the things that really matter – like why your partner forgot to put the toilet seat down again!