Moving is a big step for some, but add a significant other to the mix, and you may be dealing with twice the stress. Moving in together is an exciting milestone for couples, but shouldn’t be taken lightly. Below we have some helpful tips to make this stressful experience fun, while still focusing on the fundamentals.
First things first…what can we afford?
Establishing a price range that fits both of your budgets can lead to some difficult conversations. Talking finances is not something often shared, but breaching this topic
with your partner is important to determine whether you can rent or buy, and which option best fits your current financial capabilities. Making a spreadsheet can help to organize each of your expenses and common spending habits to get a better idea of what your combined budget will be when looking for your new place. Finances are one of the main points of conflict in relationships, so prepare ahead of time, and keep your spreadsheet updated and organized to avoid any frustration.
Once you have your expenses established, it’s time to pick the perfect space to start this new exciting chapter of your relationship. Find a home that has all of the amenities you need, while having a few luxuries too. If they are in your budget and you are buying a home, move-in ready homes are perfect, and are the low stress alternative with no fixes or modifications being necessary. Or, if you and your partner are the creative type, invest in a fixer upper to make it your own! These are often lower in price, but can come with their own set of challenges. Click here for more insights, and the pros and cons of investing in a fixer-upper verses a move in ready home.
Packing, Decluttering, and Moving
Once you have decided on your new home, it’s time to start filling those boxes, and organizing your belongings. You will be combining two spaces into one, so there are bound to be duplicate items. Make a spreadsheet or list of things you already own, need, and want for your new shared space. After everything is organized, don’t immediately throw your unneeded items to the curb. Find some great alternatives to get rid of unneeded appliances or other clutter. Donate to local charitable organizations, like Habitat for Humanity, that take in gently used furnishings, or if you are the crafty type, refurbish old furnishings or decor pieces to bring them back to life. Use colors that fit your new space for an inexpensive way to style your new home.
Tag sales are another great option, and can help make some extra cash that you can put towards a new family sized sofa, or the farmhouse styled dining set your partner has their eye on. Tag sales are also a quicker alternative, and once the sale is finished, all leftover furnishings can still be donated! Make it fun, and have a little competitive game between you and your partner to see who can sell the most. Whoever wins gets first pick of a new item for your shared space!
The Dreaded Chores list
Once you’re settled into your new home, it’s important to have an honest conversation with your partner about the expectations you have for each other to keep the space looking like new. Divide up a chores list, and talk about which chores each partner is most comfortable tackling. This will help to prevent laundry from being left undone, or the trash from piling up, avoiding frustration between you and your partner.
Be patient with each other, because living together will be a new experience and lifestyle transition. If problems arise, or someone is not pulling their weight, don’t be afraid to confront the issue head on, but keep in mind that this is a learning experience for everyone. Be understanding of how your partner is feeling, and try to find a solution that suits both of you. For example, if one of you has never known how to do laundry, but have been given that chore, make it an opportunity to teach your partner something new.
Adventure Around Town
Once you have your routine down, it’s time to hit the town for some fun after the stress of moving. If you have moved to a new town, find some local shops and signature restaurants to check out. Or find a quaint cafe to grab a cup of coffee before work. Use Apps like Tripadvisor to make things a little easier, and make time for a date night or two. Be sure to celebrate this new exciting season of your relationship!