After many discussions and weighing the pros and cons, you and your partner have finally decided to move in together! And while this big step is certainly one worth getting excited about, there may be a few things you might not have thought about. Before you get that extra key cut, it might be a good idea to go through a moving-in-together checklist to cover some of your bases. Get started by checking out these ten things you should do before moving in together.
1. Discuss your expectations.
You’ve already decided to move in together. But have you talked about your long-term expectations for the relationship? If not, now might be a good time to do so! Don’t be afraid to be honest with your partner. Tell each other where you see yourselves 1, 5, and 10 years from now. Whether or not marriage is on the table, it’s important to know how invested you and your live-in partner are in the relationship.
2. Create a breakup plan.
Alright, let’s get real here. You definitely care about your partner. Otherwise you wouldn’t have decided to move in together! But as two adults, it’s important to understand the reality that things just might not work out how you plan. So, if you visit splitsville a little sooner than expected, it’s best to have a plan.
Discuss who gets what furniture, who stays in the apartment and who goes, and who takes the family pet. If you are signing a lease together, talk to your landlord about the option of terminating your lease early or replacing your partner with another roommate. Don’t think of a breakup plan as preparing for the inevitable. Instead, think of it simply as a formality!
3. Make sure there’s space for your furniture.
When you move in together, there’s a good chance you’ll be combining quite a bit of furniture. But before you start trying to make it all fit, save yourselves the hassle by making a floor plan of where all that furniture will go. Measure each piece and see how it will fit into each room. Use painters tape on the floor to mark where each furniture piece will go and decide if it’s worth keeping or if it takes up too much space.
If you do have to downsize, remember to be respectful of each other’s belongings. After all, that hideous dresser of theirs might be a family heirloom! If sentiment is not important, try getting a fresh start by furnishing your apartment with CORT Furniture Rental.
4. Figure out the pet situation.
If one of you has a pet, you’ll need to make sure it’s alright that they come along. Whoever’s apartment you’re moving into, make sure they allow pets. Your partner may love your little fluffy friend, but the lease agreement might not!
If both of you have pets, you’ll need to make sure they get along. If your pets haven’t spent time together, set up a little pet playdate in neutral territory – like a dog park or, if you’re in the city, that small patch of pee pee grass outside your building – and observe how they interact. If there is any tension between your furry loved ones, give it time, and try again. They could become best friends and go full “Secret Life of Pets” on you. If it doesn’t seem like your pets will ever get along, then just make them. You are the alpha, after all.
5. Decide who gets which responsibilities.
It seems that in every relationship, there is a more responsible one. Between you and your partner, you probably already know who it is. When it comes to living together, though, many responsibilities can crop up every single day, like dishes, laundry, vacuuming, dusting, and general housekeeping. Having another person around can help offload some of these chores you’d otherwise have to do alone. But when one of you continues to get stuck with the chore list, you can expect some burnout pretty quickly!
Remedy this by having an upfront conversation about household responsibilities. Try splitting up the chores fifty-fifty. Or if one person enjoys dishes while the other loves laundry, make a fair trade to have that be your designated chore. Just remember that you’re in this situation because you care for each other. So, let responsibilities ebb and flow between the two of you depending on how the other person’s life and work are going outside of the home.
6. Figure out the grocery situation.
Moving in together is a big deal. But so is food. Up to this point, you’ve probably just been grocery shopping for yourself and buying what you like. And while you might enjoy a fridge stocked full of various condiments and 37 Fruit on the Bottom yogurts, your partner might enjoy a more well-rounded experience when opening the fridge. Get to know each other’s likes and dislikes, especially if one of you enjoys grocery shopping more than the other. That way, they can make sure to grab your favorites before hitting the checkout lane.
If you both love grocery shopping, then make each trip a fun outing where you can bond over those BOGO deals. However, if neither of you enjoys grocery shopping, try doing grocery pickup or delivery. It might even spare you from the temptation of buying junk food.
7. Learn each other’s morning routine.
There’s nothing worse than needing a shower when there’s no hot water. It’s even worse when the person whom you have devoted your love to is the one that took all that hot water. Avoid starting your day in a feud by learning each other’s morning routine. If you both are morning shower people, make sure you leave enough hot water for the other one. If one of you is a bathroom hog and you only have one bathroom, try alternating days where one sleeps in while the other wakes up earlier to get ready.
8. Learn each other’s sleeping habits.
Sleep is one of the most important things you do in your life, apart from breathing. So, if your partner is a loud snorer, fidgety sleeper, or even a sleepwalker — you should know that going in and discuss how to best live and sleep together.
If this will be the first time sharing a bed with your partner, learn what kind of mattress they prefer, what sheets they like to sleep with, and if they like the fan on or off. You might not be totally on board with how they prefer to sleep, but at least you can understand each other and meet in the middle.
9. Discuss your finances.
Financial responsibility is an unfortunate side effect of adulthood, and most adults will have to deal with it at some point in their lives. Even if you don’t have a joint bank account, you will probably still inherit some of each other’s financial responsibilities when you move in together. Whether it’s monthly bills, rent or mortgage payments, personal debts, or sticking a crisp twenty in your friend’s birthday card, you are both in this together.
If one of you is a better number cruncher than the other, consider having them keep up with the bills and making sure everything is paid on time. Otherwise, split your bills up so that you are each responsible for certain ones each month.
10. Talk about alone time.
So, you totally care about each other. But even if it feels like you’re living with your best friend, living with your partner can get tough if you never get alone time! Before you permanently pack your overnight bag, talk to each other about alone time. Learn what your significant other values most during their personal time and tell them what you enjoy most about yours. Understand that sometimes, you both will need a little space. Be prepared to give it to each other.
On the flip side, if either of you feels anxious about giving up your personal space and freedom by moving in together, then moving in together might be a bad idea at the present time. Make sure you’ve talked through everything thoroughly before you sign a lease together. After all, communication is one of the keys to success!
Find an apartment you both love.
Are you and your partner ready to move in together, but you need a bigger space? Then find an apartment that’s big enough for the both of you from ApartmentSearch. Search by price, amenities, and even neighborhood so you can both make sure your next home is the right one for both of you.