All it takes is one look at the latest statistics by the U.S. Census Bureau to see that although marriage, itself, is starting to become a thing of the past; cohabitation is not.
More than half of the 60 million households with multiple occupancy in the country consist of unmarried but cohabitating people.
The latter situation is somewhat unique in history (at least the sheer quantity is), so there may be new things to consider as you plan for moving in together with your significant other.
Let’s go through some useful tips one-by-one, in no particular order.
1. Get Ready for Some Major Housecleaning
By this, we’re not talking about the traditional spotless once-over. Since you are starting a new life with another person, it is inevitable that you’re going to need to toss a few (or more) items.
As a result, you will likely need to take some time to get together at each other’s current domiciles and compile a “sell, donate, keep” list.
Give yourselves plenty of time to do this, so as to avoid any hurried, last-minute sales of sentimental items.
2. Moving Efficiently For Two
Basically, you should strongly consider using the same moving company for the two of you. Clearly, you will save time and money on this; as well as coordination issues that could otherwise arise with two separate companies.
Just have the moving vans make two stops; or alternatively, have the same moving company move your stuff to the same place at different times.
3. Pack Valuable Property Separately And Securely
Depending on what you possess, you might want to strongly consider buying insurance. However, some things are irreplaceable (such as family heirlooms and sentimental items), so the safest thing to do is know where these are stored at all times.
In fact, you should move these, yourself; keep any jewelry in a sturdy container made for precisely that purpose. It would otherwise be easy for the movers to “misplace” such things.
If you have a very trustworthy friend or family member, you could also have them temporarily hold on to your valuables for you.
4. Is Moving In Together The Right Thing To Do?
Frankly, many people make a hurried decision to move in together. Oftentimes, you may let the feelings of love and closeness dictate the move before you’ve even had a chance to actually talk about expectations and desires at length.
Usually, it is a matter of financial convenience, too, which can cause problems to arise later.
The point is, you two need to talk about and understand the real reasons that you’re moving in together.
Convenience eventually runs its course as leases draw to a close, so there has to be stronger reasons to stay together. A healthy dose of both financial and emotional reasons tend to work best.
5.Test The Waters First
If this is at all feasible, do a trial run living together before you make the commitment. That is, one of you should open up your space to the other for a few weeks or months, all while keeping your own place – it’s not about saving money; it’s about ensuring compatibility.
In this manner, you can get a feel for the in-house habits of your partner. It will also gauge how well you start and end any disagreements, and whether or not one person has a tendency to run instead of solve problems.
6. Make a Business-like Decision: Get Formal Residency
Few couples plan the breakup from the very beginning; as such, you have to approach signing the lease logically. The reason the both of you want to establish formal residency is so that no one is at the mercy of the other (financially) in the event of dissolution of the partnership.
There are too many cases of a break-up in which one person is loft holding the bag. This starts with ensuring that both names are on the lease; even better, have a monthly lease instead of a yearly one – even if the former is just between the two of you.
7. Talk About Housekeeping Duties
We know how this goes traditionally; but we’re no longer living in traditional times. It’s always better to talk about the allocation of chores beforehand so that there are no surprises and immediate issues with dishes being left undone.
Since both of you likely work, it’s only fair to divide up the house cleaning duties.
Communication is the only way to make this process go smoothly; there may be certain chores that you or your partner prefer, and it is best to allocate them thusly.
8. The Clearing Out Process
Although you’ll mostly have your hands full clearing out your own space, there are few ways to build even stronger bonds by helping each other.
You can go to her/his house, for example, and help get rid of food – most moving companies, whether local or long-distance, will not transport food items. Your options are to eat it, donate unopened but perishable items, or simply chuck it.
If you’ve got some good stuff that is perishable, now is a wonderful time to throw a little party or get-together for friends and family to help you eat most of it.
Moving in together is a big deal, and hopefully the tips in this article help facilitate the process. Good luck on your new life together!