Studies show that you’re more likely to get engaged on Christmas than Valentine’s Day, but if you’re looking to move in with your significant other, you might receive a different kind of proposal on February 14th. According to a report by the CDC, 38 percent of women and 40.6 percent of men are currently unmarried and living together.
If you’re about to move in with your boyfriend or girlfriend, there is much to consider. Will you move into your partner’s place or will they move into yours? Should you get all new stuff or combine what you have? And most importantly, is this going to work?
We believe that a happy relationship takes place in an organized living space. Here are three ways to make that happen:
Rent a Storage Unit
You love your couch; your significant other loves their couch. Yet you only have one living room. Skip the argument over who has to get rid of their furniture and rent a storage unit. You can then furnish your shared home with a mix of your combined items and store the rest. This is also a great way solution for couples sharing an apartment with—gasp—only one closet. Here is a great video that shows you exactly how to choose the right size storage unit.
Down the road, you will be able to take the extra furniture out of your storage unit when the two of you buy a house together—but no pressure; seriously.
Set Expectations Before You Move In
When choosing roommates, we tend to be pretty careful about setting house rules, discussing expenses and getting a feel for each other’s schedules. So why do we skip the pre-move in chat with romantic partners?
Before you move in with your boyfriend or girlfriend, schedule a time to talk logistics. It may feel weird to do this with someone you know so well, but it will only make cohabiting better. Here are a few things to cover:
Your combined budget as it applies to rent, utilities, new furniture, groceries and anything else you might be going in on together
Your schedules. You might think you know your partner’s schedule pretty well, but you may not be aware of that 6am yoga class they like to get up extra early for or those weekly work meetings that tend to go pretty late.
Cleaning. Yes, this feels pretty roommate-ish, but it’s crucial to set expectations here. Find out who likes to do which chores and agree on how often you’ll both clean.
Have Your Own Areas
Organizing your shared home as a couple is all about combining your lives (and more literally, your stuff), but it can be very helpful for you to each have your own area. No, we’re not talking about putting a line down the center of the room like you’re kids; we’re talking something reasonable.
This might mean that one of you takes the bedroom closet and the other has a dresser for clothing storage. This may mean that one of you gets the extra bedroom as a home office. It can even be as simple as designating shelves in a closet. However you choose to do this, the end result should be that you both have separate areas which you can organize as you see fit.