Sharing space is a rite of passage for many couples. Is it a lifestyle change? Moving in together is actually more of a life event. A couple decides that sharing space makes them more together. It has all sorts of practical benefits as well since you no longer need to jump back and forth between locations. All the plus-sides aside – moving in together also comes with a few challenges that can put a couple to a test. In this post, we explore how moving in together is a change in lifestyle. The Goodista gives you tips, hints, and resources to get through some of the hurdles, and enjoy all the positives that come with a shared space.
Sharing Space: A Life Event
Moving in together can be a decision that is emotional, practical or a combination of both. It can feel like a big step or a logical consequence of your continued life together.
The ohs! and ahs! of the initial infatuation will most probably have faded by the time you decide that you want to share an address. Your relationship has become deeper, and sharing a space is a confirmation of a new level of togetherness.
You decide to join the many, many who successfully move in together. What are some of the things you should discuss beforehand, and how will moving day become easier and what other tips and resources can be useful? Keep on reading to find out.
Commitment and Cohabitation
In some countries, cohabitation means a legal commitment. If you are in a domestic partnership is, in essence, the same as marriage with few differences – at least if you don’t have children. This fact can be a bit scary to realize as the commitment and cohabitation become real.
Let’s assume you don’t get stricken by commitment angst but go ahead.
Suddenly you have to learn about your partners quirks, habits, needs and wants. And s/he will discover the same about you.
For the purpose of this post, let’s say that you’ve found that space that you can call yours. And now moving day is here. Or? Maybe the planning before you actually move would make a lot of difference to your shared space?
Sharing Space: Before The Move
It has been said that: Failing to plan is planning to fail… Now – it doesn’t have to mean that the relationship is doomed, but talking through a few things before you move in together does make sense. It will really help you before you organize the practical sides of actually moving (check out below for tips on logistics).
Pre-Moving In Mapping
Here is a list of a few topics that can map a few things out before you ‘discover’ them. Clearly tabling your likes, preferences and irk-worthy issues can be both fun and helpful later. You will ask why the money-talk is not included here – but keep on reading and you will see…
Do you keep the same hours, or does one partner have a rolling schedule (many in aviation do for instance)? What does this mean for your joint space? Is open plan really the way to go, if one partner needs to sleep during the day to work at night? Knowing how to respect each other in life and to succeed at work is an essential part of a relationship. Being smart about which space you need to eat, sleep, exercise and ‘think’ will guide you towards making a combined floor plan that works – or direct you towards furniture choices that can ease a low budget housing option.
As much as you may know about your partners sleeping patterns the actual reality won’t dawn upon you until you move into a routine. Do you like to sleep in, or are you a lark? Does your partner prefer a morning jog, or is breakfast in bed the preferred option? Do you tend to have the TV on from the moment you wake up, and your partner prefer classical much on very low? Leaning to compromise and giving each other leeway becomes a necessary learning curve for many.
Choosing how to combine your furniture and tastes is worth talking through. Does s/he love the antique chair, and how can that birdcage fit in? Will your tastes go towards the same choices or do your cultural differences have to partner too? With smart planning, you can find a way to fit both the set of drawers and that birdcage in – and then find furniture stores that you lead you the right way so two really can become one in an eclectic mix.
Are you moving in with a chef, or does s/he not know how to cook? And what about the allergies, intolerances, and food habits in general. Coming together in the kitchen can be a great rediscovery and journey into new foods and shared tastes.
Do you veer towards functional Scandinavian and s/he patterned, velvet curtains and angelic ornaments? Combining backgrounds, tastes, and styles can be a hilarious discovery. You had a better talk this one through or you might be in for one or two surprises. Chances are that your teenage room ninja turtle statue won’t make the cut and s/he might have to give up the dream catcher.
Knowing when to say ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ is just as important as not giving in to every items s/he proposes when you combine existing decoration. One way forward can be to choose decor together and slowly bring back your own most treasured items. Figuring out storage space can save a lot of sadness. With time you will find how your tastes will merge. Your joint experiences will also bring in new decor, memorabilia, and things that become part of your new shared space.
Sharing Space: Moving Day
If you had that pre-moving in talk chances are that you have a clearer picture of what to bring, what to buy and the actual space you need to make a workable place to live in.
Sharing Space: Moving In D-Day Plan
Moving in together is so much more than cooking, watching TV and being cozy. Its also the necessary and often overlooked obvious things that can lead to tension. As much as the pre-moving talk is necessary so is the action plan for actual D-Day. Here are some common Do’s and Don’ts.
A budget for before, during and after the move is helpful. As much as your finances will not become fully joint – costs will need to be agreed upon and shared. Who pays for what? What should be agreed upon as shared? Rent, mortgage, electricity, water, food items, toilet paper, gym memberships, and shoes – everything has a price. Just as much as it can be boring to be overly zealous it is also very important to agree to principals. The actual cost of moving is an important first item to decide upon.
Make a list of what to keep, sell, buy new, and throw away. Don’t go crazy in the throwing away but consider storing items that you may not want in this minute (antique chair?) as you may well move to a bigger place in the future.
Organize Keep-Me Items
Label moving boxes and organize so you know where your things are when you arrive in the new place. This also helps to unpack systematically and shortens the ‘living in chaos’ timeline a lot. If you store things label clearly as well and organize the storage space so you can retrieve things easily. Nothing is more irritating than not finding your Christmas or Divali ornaments, right?
How far are you moving? If it’s reasonably local asking friends and family to help can be both fun, and save a lot of money. If you are going further afield choosing the right moving company will come into the picture. If you in for an international move making sure what the company covers insurance wise, customs documentation and proper packing/unpacking etc will save you a lot of headaches.
One thing I wish I could tell parents that see their hatchlings setting up a new nest: do not interfere. As much as you may wish to give them your old velvet curtains (that you discarded) please resist. Your baby bird may happily accept but this may create unnecessary discussions and can even lead to an early un-coupling. And – giving advise is well meant, but can equally lead to tension. My memory bank is full of parental ‘helpful’ hints – and to this day (some 20 years later) some subjects are still a no-go area. Luckily we decided to develop our own taste, buy new furniture together and our travels have brought many items that we treasure in our home.
Moving In Wish List
As much as friends and family need to respect the new couples need to mark their new territory there is a way you can help. Ask the happy duo to register a ‘moving in together’ list at a known furniture store/web online. Did you know that many online stores have sharable ‘wishlists’? The good old wedding list has as a purpose to aid a newly married couple to establish themselves in a new home. In today’s world marriage is hardly the prerequisite for moving in together and hence asking a couple to register a sharable wishlist can help them a great deal.
Sharing Space: Lifestyle Moving In Together Tips
Sharing a space is such a romantic notion when you talk about it is dreamy terms beforehand. In the real world, it can become stressful, and not so easy. Being practical, and understanding that you will share a life together also means giving each other space. Lifestyle change is as much getting used to a different rhythm in your routine as it is to create new habits. This time it will be not just about me-time but finding meaning in true we-time.
Moving In Together Tips
You will successfully tailor your new status of cohabitant if you respect it as a joint lifestyle that you can enjoy, compromise and grow into. Here are some things you can look forward to:
- Going shopping together for new furniture and decor. Make room for new items that are you choose together. You can mix them with the old favorites that you have agreed on from your former spaces – and create a new style for the two of you.
- Plan what meals they have together. As much as you need to respect work and life schedules, bring fun into cooking and plan meals together.
- Have a shared calendar to be able to have together time, family gatherings and also evenings out when you’re not together. Make a point of respecting the other persons need to have ‘boys and girls’ nights out. Living together means including everything that is a life which also means that you will have social events that are just for you. The same goes for karate class and pilates.
- Create places in your new joint home to work in, leave mail, bills and messages. Keeping a place for every part of life and work is smart and creates space in itself,
- Combining closet space, and storage can be daunting and the more organized you can be the easier it will be. To stay organized will become much easier if you start in the right way. You can get some great tips in this book by Mari Kundo.
- Get fitter together. Embark on a healthier way of life and find wellness together.
- Check out your new neighborhood, explore where the shops are, do walks, find the nearest farmers markets etc.
Sharing a Space: Setting Up a Home
The formation of an idea and the actual execution can go hand in hand, but can also become fraught with tension. Many of the hurdles that you encounter are not new, but the way you handle them is a good sign of why you two are meant to be – and live – together. Moving is stressful at any time, but making the most of it is also how you create a memory for life.
Overall, the sharing of a space is a life event. You are a significant other to a special person and the space you spend time in is yours – to enjoy, socialize in, share and cherish.
If you like articles about how to feel, be and do good every day and working (far) away feel free to join our mailing list. Thanks for reading The GOODista and welcome back anytime!
Recommended and Related:
- How To Move In Together Without Ruining Everything – GQ
- Things You Learn When You Move In Together – thelist.com
- On-Line Furniture Store – arhaus.com
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