Ready to take your relationship to the next level? Since the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic, more and more couples have decided to move in together, rather than potentially experiencing lockdown apart.
For many, moving in with a partner is a fantastic way to spend more time with each other and start to build a life together. However, cohabitation can also create unique stressors in a relationship, beginning with the moving in process.
In addition to clear communication, a shared set of expectations and other hallmarks of a successful relationship, having a preset moving plan can go a long way to avoiding issues. From finding a new home to coordinating removalists to settling in, moving in together is an extremely involved process.
For a peaceful transition to your new shared space, be sure to consider each of the following:
1. House hunting
The first step to moving in with your partner is figuring out where, exactly, you are going to live. For some couples, the home that one person already lives in may suffice. However, more likely than not, you’ll need a new place with more space.
As you begin your search, you should consider several factors. These can include the attributes in a home you both value, whether this means a modern kitchen, a large master bedroom or outdoor space.
You should also look at your housing budget and make sure that you are both on the same page about how much you are willing to spend. Set a time aside as well to discuss in advance how you will split the costs of your new place — an especially important issue if you and your partner have very different income levels. What’s financially attainable for one of you might not be for the other.
Once you’re both on the same page about what you’re looking for, it’s time to go out there and find it.
Keep in mind that the COVID-19 pandemic may have an unexpected impact on the renting or buying process, depending on where you live. Tours may be virtual or limited in group size and duration. The housing market in your desired area may also be different than you might have expected, especially in places that people who are leaving cities might be moving to.
2. Deciding how to unite two homes as one
Now that you have gotten past the excitement of finding a new home, you must both face the logistics of actually making the move.
One of the first projects that you will have to tackle is deciding what to do with each of your individual possessions. If you and your significant other have spent a large amount of time living apart, you’ve probably each acquired many of the essentials of modern living, including furniture, appliances, kitchen equipment and other furnishings that don’t require a duplicate. You and your partner should work together to determine whose microwave or bed frame is the one to keep.
Moving in together can also be a great opportunity to do a larger audit of each of your respective things. A new, shared home may not have the space to include both of your full wardrobes or book collections. Therefore, taking the time to declutter and tidy out your belongings can help make a small place feel larger and make your new life together more peaceful.
Once you’ve determined what’s not making the move, it’s time to establish where it’s all going. While items that are in good condition can be sold or given away to friends, family or charitable organisations, other items may need to be disposed of.
In some cases, renting a storage unit might also be necessary as a temporary storage space can help you adjust during the transition period. Alternatively, a long-term storage solution means you can keep that second set of living room furniture for a time in the future when you move to an even larger space with additional rooms to furnish.
3. Adjusting to the ‘new normal’
Like everything else, the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic must be considered when making a move.
For example, if you and your partner are both working remotely during the pandemic, then you’ll want to ensure that your new place has enough room for both of you to establish home offices. While not necessarily a guarantee for every couple, many people like to have workspaces separate from where they eat, sleep and relax.
A work-from-home situation while living together may also mean that you and your significant other will see far more of each other throughout the day — something that can take time to adjust to. Ultimately, it’s important to be able to communicate and set boundaries between “me” and “we” time, perhaps now more than ever.
4. Creating ground rules
In addition to some of the stressors created by the COVID-19 pandemic, couples new to cohabitation also need to find a way to overcome some of the more mundane challenges of building a home together.
Even if you and your partner have off-the-charts chemistry, you may still be surprised to see how different their living style is from yours. Potential points of conflict may include sleeping schedules and overall tidiness. To establish harmonious living from the very beginning, setting some ground rules and expectations may go a long way.
Don’t want to hear your partner playing music early in the morning or noticing that the dishes haven’t been done? Talk about it! For the most part, addressing these issues early, rather than letting them simmer for a long time, will help you both figure out how to best live together.
Moving in with a significant other can be challenging, but also rewarding. If you and your partner feel ready to create a home together, a professional moving service like Allied can be part of the solution to make the reduce some of the associated stress involved. Request a free moving quote today or contact our team on 0800 255 433 to find out how to make this exciting new chapter a hassle-free process that brings you and your partner closer together.