It’s not easy to live with others. When we’re little we have our siblings to make it rough and our parent’s rules to follow compelling us want to get our own place as soon as possible. Just because you love someone, doesn’t mean living with them won’t make you want to kill them. In fact, sometimes it is worse. But there are things you can do in preparation to make it easier.
Financial Planning – Once the decision has been made to move in together, the first step should be to plan the division of money and bills. Money is the number one reason couples fight, so stop the fight before it begins. Are you going to share a bank account, or keep finances separate? Will you split all the bills 50/50 or is one person paying the electric and the other paying the gas? Planning this out in advance will keep things calm and organized.
Decorating – Make sure both you and your partner feel comfortable in all areas designated as community space. There’s nothing more important than feeling at ease in your own home. Make room for sentimental and special treasures. Asking what your partner likes and wants is the most important part of this task. Even if nothing changes, it is vital for your partner to feel welcome and invited.
Purge – Take inventory of what you each possess. If there are duplicates, figure out which one will be kept and used. The duplicate item can be thrown out, given away or donated. There’s no reason to clutter up a shared space with multiple items. Holding on to duplicate items can show a lack of confidence in the move, as you have a fall back plan if things don’t work out. Just because one person was there first doesn’t mean they can’t purge some of their duplicates as well.
Chores – You may get lucky and find someone who loves doing laundry or the dishes. For the rest of us, no one wants to do the chores so be sure to plan them out ahead of time. Make sure it’s an even split so no one feels resentment. You may find that one chore takes more time, energy or is just generally hated. Feel free to offer up 2 easier chores to balance the bad one. Sometimes an even share isn’t apples for apples. Figure out what works for both of you.
Communicate – People have habits that others hate. Regardless of it being socks being left on the floor or leaving the toilet seat up, you are going to find irritations with each other. Take a moment to calm down and speak calmly and rationally to your partner. Listen to what your partner has to say, remember you are going to have habits he/she hates as well. Work together on a solution, but also remember that habits are hard to break. Don’t ruin a great thing by getting hung up on the little stuff.
Private Areas – Most people need areas to be alone. An office or even the corner of a room will do. Just make sure you have an area of ownership. This is your spot. You don’t necessarily need to be alone, but having control of your little part can give you comfort. Just remember that your partner will need a space as well.
Most importantly the best advice anyone can give you, is enjoy it! There’s no hard and fast rule that will work across the board, so enjoy the extra time together and figuring out how to make it work. Keep a sense of humor in this process and patience is key.
Ready to find the perfect place to move in together? Call Helen today at 847.967.0022 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.