5 Tips For Moving In Together
it’s kind of crazy to be saying this, but it’s coming up on the 10 year anniversary of me and my husband Brett living together. if I’m being real, we met about this time ten years ago and moved into a tiny apartment together three months later (!). though I’m well aware that’s a pretty fast track move compared to how most people do it, it’s been awesome and we wouldn’t have done it any differently.
looking back on the past decade and given that these pics were taken as we were moving in to our 6th place together this summer, I wanted to share some of my favorite tips for moving in together and living together in general that we’ve learned over the years. we’re definitely not experts and we’re learning every day, but read on for the advice that worked best for us when we took the moving-in-together plunge!
Don’t Freak Out If It’s Kind Of Weird At First
this is probably the number one piece of advice i would give to anyone getting ready to move in together because it’s totally essential to making sure you don’t lose your sanity or second guess the whole decision right away. moving in together is a HUGE adjustment, and it’s totally weird at first for almost everyone - even if you’re crazy about the person (which hopefully you are if you’re co-habitating with them)!
try to take it a day at a time and catch yourself anytime you feel the urge to panic because something awkward happened or everything isn’t immediately perfect. spoiler alert: it will probably never be perfect, and that’s OK!
Get To Know Your Partner’s Routines And Be Open About Yours
for the most part, when two people decide to take that next step and move in together, they’re probably both likely already at a place in their lives where they each have certain adult life routines. learning about how the other person typically goes about their day can help with the awkwardness of inevitably having different habits and schedules.
when Brett and I moved in, he was a morning person (still is) and liked to get up and go for a run every day around 5:30 AM. meanwhile, I was on a musician’s schedule and thought getting up at 8 AM was essentially rising at the crack of dawn.
it took a minute to adjust, but knowing that he had already been up for about 3 hours by the time I woke up helped me not get super annoyed when he’d start firing away with questions before I’d even had coffee. it puts things into perspective to talk over your existing schedules and habits before you officially move in.
Carve Out Alone Time And Be Direct About When You Need It
for the most part, everybody needs some alone time to recharge and do the things that help us de-stress. while hanging out together and binging Netflix can certainly be a de-stressor, it’s also essential to carve out alone time if you need it.
letting your partner know what kinds of things help you recharge and if you need that solo recharge time can help lessen the chance that their feelings will be hurt next time you need to be alone.
in our case, I like to totally immerse myself in messy creative stuff now and then because it helps me clear my mind - whether that’s painting, journaling, or making a collage out of magazines like i’m 13 years old. when i’m in this zone, I need to be able to make a huge mess and I can’t have random TV or conversations going on in the background.
when we first moved in, I didn’t want to hurt Brett’s feelings by telling him I couldn’t concentrate with a basketball game or the news on in the background, so I didn’t say anything. the truth is, I ended up getting super annoyed and probably starting a fight because I didn’t do a good job of just being honest about the stuff I used to enjoy doing by myself before we lived together. if I could do it over, I’d just tell him directly up front about when I need time to chill.
Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff
it’s a pretty cliché phrase, but it applies more than ever when you move in together. you can almost certainly count on the fact that no matter how great each of you are and how much you love each other, you WILL do something that drives the other person insane and vice-versa.
personally, I’m really bad about leaving random drinking glasses all over the house. it has driven Brett nuts since the day we moved in. most of the time, he just rounds them all up without even saying anything because he knows that it’s probably easier than nagging me about it.
on the contrary, Brett is not a super organized person when it comes to clothes. it doesn’t really bug him if the bedroom chair has a few t-shirts on it and the dresser drawers are all open to varying degrees. this drives me absolutely crazy, but it’s usually pretty simple to just toss the shirts in the drawers and close them rather than bug him to do it every time.
i’m not saying you shouldn’t nudge each other about small stuff now and then, but for the most part what’s worked for us is to let little stuff go.
Make Your Own Rules
I can’t stress enough how important this was and still is for us. we all grow up with different ideas of who is supposed to have what role for what tasks in the household, and chances are you and your partner might not completely align on everything. the good news is it’s entirely up to you to decide what the new rules of your new household are!
for example, I have friends who are both fantastic cooks. they trade off and both regularly prepare meals for the family, but they found that when it came time to clean up it was vague and hard to know whose ‘job’ it really was. their solution? whoever cooks does the cleaning up. they made a firm rule about it and having that clarity has really helped them avoid fighting about it.
I have another friend whose husband is a tour manager for bands, and because it can be so stressful coming back home after a long tour, they have a 24 hour buffer rule - which basically treats the day after he comes back from tour as a grace period for both of them. they know that getting back into the routine of living together is always stressful, so they give each other a full day where neither is allowed to take anything personally.
in our house, things are a little bit more up in the air. since we both travel and both have entrepreneurial jobs, our schedules can get insane and it can be hard to stick to concrete rules or routines. so for us, we kind of have a go-with-the-flow type rule. anything goes, and we both try to do our best to help the other person out whenever we have a chance.
so that’s our moving in together story! still working on it every day, but it’s cool to know we’ve done it for a decade and it keeps on getting better.
what kind of strategies do you use to keep a harmonious household with your partner??
**all photos are by the amazing and crazy talented Kayla Coleman Photography - check her out, she’s a boss!