5 Things to do before moving in together
Moving in with your significant other is a lot of things.
The words: excited, nervous, yay and holy crap, what are we doing? may come to mind.
What I've learned is that if you do build a relationship with someone you love and you'd both like to take the next step, moving in together is a great way to get to know each other on a much deeper level.
Before we moved in together, we were dating for about 2 years when we finally decided to start looking for a place together.
I still remember the day he brought it up. It was January 1st 2018 and I had taken a nap on his couch when I woke up to him tapping me on the shoulder.
"Hey, I was thinking... I'd like to get a place together. What do you think of this apartment? They allow cats."
Half awake with eyes still closed, I said, "What the... cat's?" I like cats but I have a dog who would not be happy with that.
"No, they allow small pets so I'm sure they'd be okay with Charlie!" he said excitedly.
We laughed and over the next two months we spent every moment we could looking at apartments together.
During our lunch breaks at work, we'd facebook message each other options we thought we'd like. When it came to apartment hunting, we discussed what was most important to us.
Below are 5 things we discussed which made moving in together SO much easier.
1) Why are you both moving in together?
First off, ask yourself why this is important to yourself individually, and as a couple. Have you been dating for a while? I'd say the last thing you want to do is rush into a relationship and then rush into moving together. However, if you've been through enough of the good and bad, happy and sad, (which takes time), you get a good sense of who this person is. Rushing into making a big decision is never a choice I'd personally make but if it feels deeply aligned to you and your gut is saying YES, then listen to that voice. It knows the way.
Aside from potentially saving money by living together, why else would you want to do this?
Do you see a future with them?
Before we signed our apartment lease, we had dinner and discussed exactly what our intentions were.
By listening to each of our individual reasons, we knew it was the right move. After all, how can you know if this is the right person for you if you decide 4 weeks into it that you can't stand seeing their face first thing in the morning? Yikes. Luckily that wasn't our issue, but it was a big step and knowing we were both ready and on board make all the difference.
You're not only moving into the same space, you're also merging your lives t o g e t h e r.
2 ) What exactly are you looking for in your new home together?
Would we want a modern apartment, or would a studio work well?
Did we want to live in the heart of the city or in a more suburban residential are?
Would we need a garage?
Did we want to be close to a park so I could walk my dog?
ould living near BART be possible so he could commute to work? How much would this cost?
What would we be spending? How much could we save? Who would pay what?
Which brings me to my next point...
3) Discuss your finances, individually and together!
Being open with each other is so important. By discussing openly and honestly, you build a better partnership with each other. Asking tough questions and answering truthfully will always help in the long run.
Are you in any debt? If so, how much? What are you still making payments on? What does it really cost for each of us to live within our means? How much money do we make individually and together? If one of us lost our job, could we support the other on that income? What can we spend money on to live within our ideal means? And, what is important to splurge a little more on to ensure we're both happy?
Gym memberships, car payments, nail and hair salons, nice date nights out and even Charlie's grooming appointments all were added to the list. When you fully open up and expose your money situation to your partner, you become that much closer because you build the confidence needed to move to the next level now that you've overcome this uncomfortable step. And yes, it was uncomfortable for me. Never had I been this open with someone about my finances but looking back it was a great exercise for us in the long run!
4) Keep, toss, donate!
Having two apartments full of belongings means having two of just about everything. Once we were close to nailing down the apartment we wanted and applied, we didn't sit back and wait. We got busy.
Meaning I got busy. It's just in my nature lol
Every day after work, I'd start decluttering. Would I really need all these pots and pans? Was this bedside table nice enough to keep? Did I really need 8 sets of bedsheets? Or 14 towels? Crazy what we accumulate over the years!!
What about his stuff? Two queen beds, mattresses and couches didn't exactly all fit together so we learned to discuss what was important to us, keep what we loved and needed and part ways with what we
Things that were in amazing condition were handed to family, friends and a sweet neighbor. The rest we tossed into the chuck bucket. Bye bye!
By doing a cleanse BEFORE you move in together, you allow more space in your home for both your things to come together nicely. It also allows you to figure out what else you need to buy, together. Because it's not your place and it's not his. It's OUR place.
5) Who cleans what?!
I'll never forget the super simple advice I received from my friend Nicole when we were having annoying squabbles about who does what. Yes we argue - what couple doesn't?!
"Sit down with him and make a list of what you both enjoy doing and, do that!" she said.
Clearly I was overthinking things. It really was that simple!
I mean, I had to know what I was getting myself into given he was an Italian guy whose loving mother had never let him unnecessarily lift a finger. Mama mia!
But, I must say I had every confidence he would be a great "roommate."
Before we moved in together we each had our own place and having spent tons of time at his place, I learned that he was organized, clean, paid all his bills early and respected his apartment, belongings and was kind to his neighbors (thank you lord!). I knew I had nothing to worry about. In fact, he can be much more of a neat freak than I am.
Worries out the window! ✌🏼
So we sat down, made a "he does" and "she does" list. Voila! I do dishes, he deep cleans floors; we split the rest. At the core of it, we both do what is needed to keep our living space clean, tidy and homey. When you live in a clean environment, everything else comes easily.
The pictures I've included here are from our first apartment together. It was a one bedroom studio. It was a tiny space, but very modern, with a beautiful pool on the roof and a play and potty area for Charlie. Being dog-friendly was a MUST. It overlooked the entire city and was a block away from BART which is exactly what Vito wanted so he could easily commute to work. I was also able to secure a parking spot for my car down the street, (not an easy task) but my creativity went a long way when I began to speak up and reach out to neighborhood buildings asking if they had openings. If you never ask, the answer is always no!
Our apartment building was walking distance to a lot of fun, trendy, delicious mission street and Valencia street coffee shops, restaurants and bars. We'd spend weekends walking around and exploring new breakfast spots, running to Dolores Part, exploring the colorful Castro, eating ice cream, trying new meals and attending all the live carnivals and street performances. I'd annoyingly pull him into every cute bookstore we'd find.