Moving in Together: Ten Terrific Tips

Moving in together is an exciting and important step in a blossoming relationship. It's the point at which you hope the love you've nurtured stands up to the stresses and strains of everyday life and keeps getting stronger. It's not without its challenges, though, so here are 10 terrific tips to help smooth the process.

1. Declutter your lives

Many people tend to hold on to various belongings long after they has served their useful purpose. Take the opportunity to declutter your lives before the other person moves in. If you don't, you might suddenly double the amount of junk that gets shoved into all available corners of the house.

2. Enlist help with the moving operation

Moving all of your possessions from one property to another is stressful. Ask friends or family to help, or hire professional movers to tackle the job. A few extra hands can ease the stress and help ensure that you both enjoy your first day living together.

3. Agree who is going to pay which expenses

Living together isn't just about the cuddles and the kisses. It's also about dividing and agreeing on some of the less enjoyable parts of life. Paying bills certainly falls into this category. Before you make the move, determine whether you will split the expenses (from utilities to groceries) evenly or come to another arrangement that works for both of you.

4. Divide the household chores

Set mutual expectations early on about the levels of cleanliness and tidiness you expect to maintain. This will help avoid arguments later. Make sure you agree on an equitable division of labor for the household chores.

5. Allow "me time"

It can be difficult to get used to having another person around all the time, especially if one or both of you has previously lived alone. Despite the affection you feel for each other, close quarters can turn claustrophobic unless you both agree to allow the other "me time." This could mean anything from going out separately to be with friends to one of you spending time on the computer while the other one reads.

6. Redecorate for your shared tastes

When one person moves into someone else's living space, it can be a struggle to feel truly at home. Work together to foster an emotional attachment to the shared home by redecorating the house, or parts of it, so it feels like it belongs to both of you.

7. Create breathing room in your home

Set up your living space so that both of you can do different things without annoying the other. This could mean arranging your furniture in a way that allows some privacy when needed or setting aside a room or rooms in the home so each of you can have your own personal oasis.

8. Continue doing the things that give your relationship vitality

The early dating phase of a relationship is incredibly exciting and usually involves many outings, whether to the movies, restaurants or theater. Make sure you keep going on dates after you move in together so that it doesn't feel as if you've suddenly shifted down the romantic gears.

9. Communicate openly and honestly

Good communication is the key to all relationships, so keep talking to each other about what's working well and what could be improved.

10. Stay in touch with friends

A mistake that some couples make is to retreat into their own little world once they have moved in together. It's important to maintain your mutual and individual friendships and not to become all consumed by your relationship.

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