Moving in with someone is a whole new experience that, for some, may seem a little frightening. The thought of sharing a space, losing alone time, having open discussions about money, and witnessing people’s otherwise unknown habits, could make anyone hesitant to start living with others. Even if your new roommates are friends, are you prepared to cross the line and get to know their daily routine and annoying quirks? It can be a challenging experience! So, whether you’re moving in with a new roommate or in with your S.O., keep these helpful ideas in mind and experience a smoother transition into your new shared living space!
Gather Vs. Purge
If you’re finding a new home together, it’s a good idea to gather all of your documentation before you begin your search. Housing can be a fast transaction and you might not get your perfect place if you’re scrambling to find what the landlord or agent needs to secure the deal. When you’re ready to start actually moving in, take inventory of what you both already have before running out to buy things. If you decide you need new items, talk about how they’ll be purchased (who gets what in the case of someone moving out) before you buy them. If you have a lot of duplicate items, consider teaming up to trash/donate/sell what you don’t need (garage sale, anyone??). Having discussions together about belongings before/while you purge is important; it signifies respect and will lead to more trust between those involved.
Moving in with someone means balancing different expectations. Having clear discussions about responsibility will result in less frustration later on. Right when you move in talk about the division of chores and maintenance. Decide on house rules for noise, guests, fridge division, key copying, what to do if something breaks, and boundaries regarding lifestyle choices (smoking, staying out late, etc). If one of you has a pet, agree on how much responsibility each person will take on to help out. Most likely discussion will happen as something comes up, but if you can remember to briefly chat when you first start living together about what everyone expects in certain situations, it could save you from major frustration later on.
It’s a good idea to be honest and open when talking about money before and after you move in. Determine how you’ll be splitting the bills – an even split, or maybe one person pays a certain percentage, plus the Internet and Netflix subscription. If you’re renting, decide if you’ll want to sign individual contracts or pay as a team. When it comes to unexpected events that affect your bank account, talk about possible solutions ASAP. Being honest about your financial situation makes it easier to discuss and agree on how expenses get split. It’ll keep things from getting awkward around due dates.
Find “Me” Time
Sharing space will increase the amount of time you spend together, and it can be a challenge to break up the “we” and “us” when living with someone else. After getting used to someone else’s quirks and habits, it will be easy to adopt parts of their schedule to fit your own. Doing things together all the time might feel right, and it’s not a horrible thing. Just don’t forget about your own friends, hobbies, and interests. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed or like it’s impossible to find solitary down time after a while. Try to find some time for yourself by maintaining your independence from roommates or your SO. Go out with your own friends, find a class/hobby to do alone after work (or on Saturdays), and take advantage of any time you have alone to do what you want without restriction.
Remember that moving in with someone is going to leave everyone involved emotionally and physically exhausted by the end of the actual moving process, and during the adjustment period afterward. In the weeks to follow you’ll learn each other’s habits and routines, compromise to resolve conflicts, and determine personal boundaries. Try to stay patient, communicate clearly, and keep an open mind when adjusting to your new living arrangement.