Moving in together was one of the best decisions my boyfriend and I have ever made. I realize that may sound obnoxious to some people, but I find it essential to feel this way prior to taking such a big step.
Starting a life together has pretty much impacted all areas of our lives for the better. It’s a decision we didn’t take lightly, and now that we’re almost a year into it, it feels fantastic to see all the positive effects. If you are in the same time in your life, read on for some of our learnings on the process of merging your lives.
This piece was especially near and dear to us as we went through the process not too long ago. I recruited my partner to weigh in from a man’s perspective, so these steps will definitely make it easier on you both.
Soul searching and conversing
Conversations concerning big life moves are never easy, but that’s how things gets done. The first step after checking in with yourself and establishing that you are ready to share space is talking to your partner. Hopefully, you feel like you can tell this person anything and everything. . . then you just do it. I’m not gonna lie to you, I may have had a glass of wine before we spoke (perhaps two). We were on the same page, so the third cup was celebratory.
Narrow down the area and price point
Dream about where you’d like to live together. Do you want a balcony to share coffee talks? Do you need a view from the bedroom? Are you looking for an apartment or house? This is the time for you both to talk about the kind of living space you’d like to share. Narrowing it down to a specific area and price point is the best strategy. Available places are in constant flux, so having a specific idea of what you want makes it easier to browse through the abundance of listings. Trust me, save yourself time and energy by being specific.
Never underestimate your determination
If your life was Mortal Combat, this is the part that ominous voice yells, “FINISH HIM!” Hunting for an apartment can kind of feel like a death match. Usually, you’re in crunch time and very close to ending your respective leases, so this can get stressful. My advice: take a chill pill, have some more wine and know that your perfect place is patiently waiting for you.
Realtors are always helpful, and I do recommend having a good one. However, never underestimate the power of you. You are a vast well of knowledge and determination. You are your biggest resource. No one will ever look as hard—and with your perfect vision in mind—as you will. So, keep that realtor on speed dial but do your homework. Ask friends, physically drive around the area you want to live in and scour sites like Craigslist (not as creepy and more useful than you think). Many landlords who own gems opt out of using a realtor or third party, so you’ve got to do your part.
When it’s “the one”, you’ll know
Remember the first time you kissed that strapping gent or lady that you’re moving in with? Seeing your dream place feels like that. Do. Not. Settle. You will more than likely see many places. Most of them will be pretty okay with a few things missing. Keep looking. When it’s “the one”, that place will have the same imperfections but your breath will still be taken away. Similar to people, a place with imperfections is not a problem. When it’s the one, you’ll gladly accept it without questioning or focusing on the negatives. We cannot stress this one enough. Your perfect place exists, so wait patiently for that feeling.
Gettin’ creative together
This is the best part. Men, you will learn most of your things are stupid. . . just kidding. Sort of.
Getting creative together was personally our favorite part. We looked like gushy teenagers every time we went to Home Goods or thrift shops. Having a partner to choose these things with definitely makes the process much more smooth. Unless you both love it, scrap it. That’s how you know you’re not just accumulating junk and buying things you’ll later throw away.
If you are shopping on a budget for big-ticket items like couches, a dining room or bedroom set, never underestimate the power of thrifting. There is an abundance of quality items available in thrifting and consignment stores! They require some more patience and hunting, but the end result could be worth the extra effort. In our case, we wanted our space to have an eclectic yet homey feel with some rustic country accents. If you’re into this particular style, thrifting definitely works best (if you want a classically decorated home, however, there is still plenty of that).
If you both have an overlap in furniture pieces, decide together which will best fit the space and both your tastes. It goes without saying, some gender neutral decisions must be made. Luckily, neither of us had anything too girly or too man cave-ish, so the transition was easy-peasey. There were some adjustments that had to be made though. For example, our bedroom furniture was really my previous set. . . from childhood. I clearly had no business owning a queen-sized bed at that age, but it paid off because with some slight re-decorating techniques, this set is now a trendy and gender neutral adult bedroom set. It also saved us a pretty penny. Yay bargains!
Co-habitate and keep learnin’ with a smile
The step after all the work is done and you’re both settled into your home is a constant one. You will continue to learn more about each other, and both of you will change with the tides of life. It is paramount to keep this in mind as you bring more love and patience to your partnership. Keeping respect and love alive, even during the tougher times, will keep you both constantly learning and growing as individuals and a team. For more tips on this step, we’ve got you covered with some loving guidance.
Did you enjoy this read? Do you have any additional tips to add? Are you moving in with your boo? Tell us in the comments below!