Making the decision to move in with your significant other is a big, exciting step. You were once casually dating, now you’re officially cohabitating. Congratulations! Before you get the keys cut and start packing your bags, make sure you’ve covered these essential pre-move steps. They could save you a lot of stress and discomfort down the line.

  1. Do a furniture inventory check. You probably won’t want to combine all of your respective furniture into one single apartment, so it makes sense to sit down and make a list of all of the furniture you have, and what items would work best in your new home. This may involve putting some items in storage, or selling a few things to make space for the pieces you both really love. Make sure you choose items that will keep you comfortable. For example, if you both love to stretch out at night but currently have to squish together in a single bed when you have sleepovers, you may want to buy king mattress and move in together with a bed that will work for both of you.
  2. Get to know each other properly. If you’ve only just started dating but are considering moving in together for the sake of convenience or an impulsive romantic decision, give yourself the time and space to make the right choice. Living with someone is a whole new experience and very unlike casually dating them, so make sure you feel completely comfortable with them first and that you’re aware of all of their quirks and flaws. You won’t want an unpleasant surprise the day after you’ve signed a lease.
  3. Get your finances out in the open. Finances will become common ground once you’re living together, so sit down for a proper financial chat. This will help you understand exactly what you both can afford in terms of rent and bills, and will give you an opportunity to budget for your new life together. Honesty is the best policy when it comes to your financial future together, as well as the health of your relationship.
  4. Come up with a chore plan. Develop a game plan for how you’ll deal with household chores before you start the big move. This will help you skip the potential arguments about who should be doing what once you’ve moved in. Make a rota based on your schedules that evenly divides the housework and errands, or divides it based on your personal preferences and skills.
  5. Be willing to compromise. When you live with someone else, it’s inevitable that you’ll have to be flexible when it comes to certain things. You may have different tastes in décor, or opposing ideas about what to eat for breakfast, but with a little compromise you can learn to live happily alongside their point of view. Come up with fair solutions when you disagree and be prepared to pick your battles wisely if you want a happy home.
  6. Have fun. While packing and moving can be a pretty stressful transition, if you work together to enjoy the process it’s sure to be a whole lot more fun. Pack together, take frequent breaks to do things you like, and plan ahead of time so you can enjoy the move as much as possible.