Just take a look at the latest US Census Bureau statistics to see that while marriage itself is starting to become a thing of the past; cohabitation does not.
More than half of the 60 million multi-occupancy households in the country are single people living in cohabitation.
The latter situation is somewhat unique in the story (at least the vast amount is), so there may be new things to consider as you plan to move in together with your significant other.
Let’s go through some helpful tips one by one, in no particular order.
1. Get ready for a big house cleaning
With this, we are not talking about the traditional impeccable exam. Since you’re starting a new life with someone else, it’s inevitable that you’ll need to throw some (or more) items.
As a result, you will likely need some time to gather in each other’s current households and compile a “sell, give, keep” list.
Give yourself plenty of time to do this to avoid rushing and last-minute sales of sentimental items.
2. Moving efficiently for two
Basically, you should strongly consider using the same moving company for both of you. Clearly, you will save time and money with this; as well as coordination issues that could arise with two separate companies.
Just make moving vans make two stops; or alternatively, have the same moving company move your things to the same location at different times.
3. Pack valuable goods separately and securely
Depending on what you own, you might want to strongly consider purchasing insurance. However, some things are irreplaceable (like family heirlooms and sentimental items), so the safest thing to do is know where they are stored at all times.
In fact, you must move them yourself; store any jewelry in a sturdy container made just for that purpose. Otherwise, it would be easy for shippers to “miss” these things.
If you have a very trusted friend or family member, you can also have them temporarily hold your valuables for you.
4. Is moving in together the right thing to do?
Frankly, many people make a hasty decision to move in together. Often, you can let feelings of love and closeness dictate change before you’ve even had a chance to really talk about expectations and desires.
It is usually also a matter of financial convenience, which can cause problems later on.
The point is, the two of you need to talk and understand the real reasons you’re living together.
Convenience eventually runs its course as leases come to an end, so there must be stronger reasons for us to stick together. A healthy dose of financial and emotional reasons tends to work best.
5. Test the waters first
If that’s feasible, try living together before making the commitment. That is, one of you should make your space for the other for a few weeks or months while maintaining your own place – it’s not about saving money; it’s about ensuring compatibility.
That way, you can get an idea of your partner’s inner habits. It will also assess how well you initiate and end any disagreements and whether or not a person has a tendency to run away rather than solve problems.
6. Make a business decision: get formal residency
Few couples plan separation from the start; as such, you must approach signing the contract logically. The reason they both want to establish formal residency is so that no one is at the other’s mercy (financially) in the event of the dissolution of the partnership.
There are many cases of separation where one person is holding the bag. This starts with ensuring that both names are in the lease; better yet, have a monthly rent instead of an annual one – even if the first one is just between the two of you.
7. Talk about cleaning duties
We know how this happens traditionally; but we are no longer living in traditional times. It’s always best to talk about task allocation in advance so there are no immediate surprises and problems with dishes being left out.
Since the two of you probably work, it’s only fair to split the housekeeping chores.
Communication is the only way to make this process go smoothly; there may be certain tasks that you or your partner prefer, and it’s best to distribute them that way.
8. The Release Process
While you have a lot of hands busy cleaning up your own space, there are few ways to build even stronger bonds by helping each other.
You can go to her house, for example, and help get rid of food – most moving companies, whether local or long-distance, do not transport food. Your options are to eat it, donate unopened but perishable items, or just throw it away.
If you have something good that is perishable, now is a great time to have a little party or get friends and family together to help you eat most of it.
Living together is a big deal, and I hope the tips in this article help make the process easier. Good luck in your new life together!