Moving in together is beyond exciting, but it can also be super stressful if you don’t plan ahead. From deciding exactly where you want to live and hiring the best moving company, to decorating and figuring out monthly chores, it can feel like A LOT…especially if you’re doing all of this while also planning for your wedding!
To help make the process as easy as possible we went right to the source to find out the biggest Do’s and Don’ts before, during, and after the big move. Below, read the best advice from real brides who are happily cohabiting…despite a few socks left on the floor here and there. 🙂
Do: Make Sure That You Move Into a Place That Works For the BOTH of You
Deciding to move in with one another is a big decision, but deciding WHERE you want to live can feel just as profound. Are the both of you always staying over at your place, or is your partner’s home more your style? Maybe you’re both looking for a new place nearby, or eyeing a new city or state altogether and making a cross-country move. If a new location is in your future, be sure to think about not only the number of bedrooms, square footage, parking availability, and budget you’ll need, but the location of the home as well. Is it super convenient to your workplace but not your partner’s? Or maybe it’s too far to plan weekly dinners with friends? Come up with a priorities checklist together and decide what you’re BOTH willing to compromise on, and what you’re not.
“If looking for a place together, really think about what you need in your shared space (how big of a bathroom, space in the kitchen, etc.)”-Kristen
“DO be open-minded to your significant others thoughts or ideas, remember that they live there too. Involve them in purchasing decisions for the house (such as decor), and DO make sure you both have a space to go to so you can enjoy personal space or alone time.”-Reina
Don’t: Throw Out That Wagon Wheel Coffee Table
If you’ve seen When Harry Met Sally, you know what we’re talking about. A couple is unpacking after just moving in with one another, and a fight ensues about whether or not they’re going to keep the boyfriend’s wagon wheel coffee table (Spoiler Alert: They don’t). While it’s tempting to get rid of ALL of your partner’s cheesy memorabilia or bachelor-style furniture, remember that living together means not only merging your lives, but all the furniture and everything else that comes with them. Neither of you should feel like you’re having to completely change your taste. Instead, take the time to go through each room and eliminate the items that neither of you really love OR use. It might sound corny but think about Marie Kondo and ask yourself, “Does this item spark joy?”If it doesn’t, you can start the process of either selling it locally using an app like LetGo or Facebook Marketplace, or donating your clothes or furniture to Goodwill or The Salvation Army.
“I think the biggest hurdles are realizing your way isn’t the only or “right” way, and you need to pick your battles.”-Emily
“Get lots and lots of baskets for his stuff!!!” 🙂 -Genevieve
Do: Hire Professional Movers
Speaking of romantic comedies, we’re here to tell you that moving is not as easy as the movies make it out to be. Moving in together can be stressful, not only physically but mentally, especially when it comes to your relationship. DIY’ing your move is kind of like putting together a piece of Ikea furniture…without instructions! Do yourself a favor and hire professionals to do the job. We recently completed a move with The Wheaton Group (which has a network of moving companies across the country including Wheaton World Wide Moving, Bekins Van Lines, Stevens Worldwide Van Lines, Arpin Van Lines, and Clark & Reid, all of which help you move safely and professionally no matter where you are in the country) and it was the best decision we ever made. From carefully packing our belongings (they bring all the boxes and materials to you so you don’t have to worry about a thing) to loading our furniture (even our car) and delivering it safely to our new address, it made the process SO.MUCH.EASIER. Bottom line? I would never move without the help of professional movers again. Moving into a new place can be nerve-wracking enough. Why add to the stress if you don’t have to?
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Don’t: Do It All Yourself
Before you even settle into your new place you’ll want to have a conversation about everything from expenses to who does what when it comes chores. For example, do you love to cook but hate to do dishes? Or maybe your partner admits they’re terrible at doing laundry but can can clean a mean bathroom. Talk about those dreaded chores or daily duties (like cooking dinner) and how you might split the responsibilities so one of you doesn’t feel like it’s all falling on them. The same goes for splitting expenses. One option could be that your partner pays the rent while you pay for the groceries and other household bills. Or you could both set up a joint account and pay all shared bills from it (so you’re not having to tally everything up each month). Whichever way you decide, make sure that it’s all out in the open so everybody is on the same page.
Once you move in you’ll definitely want to come up with a strategy for unpacking! If you’ve hired a professional moving company like Wheaton, you can choose to have them pack and unpack everything for you, or opt to have them only pack your most sensitive items (like a flat-screen tv or computers). Labeling each box before you move is key, so you’ll know the contents of each and where it goes once you arrive where you’re going. PRO TIP: Wheaton recommends designating one box as your moving in/moving out box, which ideally includes the items you’ll need right up until moving day, and the ones you’ll want as soon as you move in. Since it’s the last box packed and the first one opened, you’ll have everything you need as soon as you need it.
Have a shared bank account for rent and other household expenses and communicate about how to spend those funds. Especially if you aren’t married yet, this is good practice for joining finances down the road.-Kelly
“Put a plan in place for day-to-day details (like where the mail goes and when bills get paid). Even if you’re splitting the cost of those bills, it helps keep both people on the same page so nothing gets lost or double paid”-Kat
“When it comes to chores—something we both dislike—we either try to do them together (for example, grocery shopping) so it’s more fun and bearable, or we split things (I cook, he does dishes). When both people work full time, teamwork is essential.”-Isabel
Do: Align Your Schedules
Chances are before moving in together you scheduled time to see one another. Now that you’re under the same roof you don’t want to take each other for granted (or your best friends/family!). Create a shared calendar where you can keep each other updated on your daily comings and goings, as well as any upcoming trips or dinners you might have planned. This is also a great time to talk about the things you used to do before the move that you want to make time for, such as nights out with your besties or that monthly mani/pedi with your mom. And most importantly, be sure to schedule date nights! Especially if you’re in the middle of planning a wedding, you’ll want to always make sure you’re making time for each other.
“We’ve been printing out cute monthly calendars and sitting down together before the month starts and writing out our commitments. We have also been writing in movie dates, gym days together, and time with friends to make sure we make these things a priority. At the top of the calendar, we also write out our monthly wedding planning goals. It helps us level set and make sure we stay on track but also don’t go crazy trying to get ahead!”-Marney
Don’t: Forget to Communicate
When you first move in with somebody it can be easy to overlook things that, well, annoy you. For instance, my husband is overall a pretty neat person, but he has a tendency to leave clothes EVERYWHERE. I call it the “Invisible Hamper Syndrome.” He’ll take off his socks and instead of putting them in the dirty laundry hamper, he’ll just leave them on the floor of the living room. Like, is there a hamper there? No! LOL. Instead of letting it drive me crazy I remind him from time to time that this annoys me, and he’s generally pretty good after that. And he lets me know when I’m doing something that bothers him as well! Communication is key in any relationship, especially when you live 24-7 with another person!
“[After moving in together], the hardest thing for me was communicating things that bothered me. I wouldn’t express what bothered me because I thought it was common sense. For example: My husband leaves cups all around the house. This bothered me so much, but I never said anything because it was a common sense thing to me that he should know not to leave his cups everywhere. So, communicate what bothers you to your partner, as things happen (so you don’t get angry over dumb things like I did at the beginning. LOL).”-Amber
“Moving in together has brought my fiancé and I closer together! Both of us work 12+ hour days, and can be under a lot of stress. We find it so helpful to vent to each other about work or personal issues with family, friends or each other. If we have a disagreement, we are always very vocal about our feelings and find a solution quickly. My advice is to be open and honest, and don’t bottle everything up and explode later! Despite our crazy schedules, we always have date night every week at a favorite restaurant or bar, and try our best to make our friends and family a priority too.”-Julie
Moving in together is one of the biggest (and best!) decisions you can make, and the more organized, open, and honest you can be throughout the process, the better your experience will be. So whether you’re moving into their place (or yours) or cross town or country, just remember you’re in this together.
*Applies to interstate moves only. Valid Sept. 2019 through April 2020, and Sept. 2020 through April 2021.