Moving in with a Significant Other for the First Time

In modern relationships, moving in together is often a precursor to marriage – or, it may just be a way of blending your lives without the formality of getting married. Either way, it’s a big step to take.

The good news is that it can also be a lot of fun to live with someone you love. Here are some tips to help you make a smooth transition – and build the life you want together.

Planning Your Move

Once you’ve decided to move in together, we recommend having a conversation about what that means. Will one of you be moving into the other person’s place? Will you both give up your current apartments and find a new one together?

Whichever scenario applies to you, you should plan on talking about how you’ll blend your belongings. You probably both have basics like dishes, cutlery, cookware, towels, and sheets. You’ll also likely have duplicates of furniture – and if you don’t have room for two sofas or beds, you’ll need to decide which you keep.

For some couples, the watchword is quality. If one person has an antique bedroom set while the other has been making do with stuff from Ikea or Target, the natural decision might be to keep the antique and sell the other set.

It’s also a good idea to label items that will be blended. It’s inevitable that your books, DVDs, and other items will commingle in your new space. You might consider investing in some nice bookplates to keep track of which items are yours.

What to Do with Extra Items

Having duplicate items means that you’ll need to figure out what to do with them. One option is to rent a storage space for items you want to keep. We recommend storage if you think you might be moving from an apartment to a house in the future or if you just aren’t sure what to do with items that won’t be moving to your shared space.

Here are some other options to consider:

  •   Consigning items is a good way to get some cash for them without having to deal with the hassle of selling them yourself. Doing a Google search for consignment and second-hand stores in your area is a good place to start.
  •   Selling items online may also be helpful. Places like eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and Craig’s List all allow you to list your items. You should be prepared to take photographs, write a clear description of what you’re selling, and follow up with prospective buyers.
  •   Finally, you may want to consider hiring a junk removal company to get rid of items you don’t want and can’t sell. Many such companies will remove everything from trash to electronics, and they’ll even donate items in good condition to charity.

Moving in together is a perfect opportunity to focus on keeping the things you really love and doing a spring cleaning of your belongings.

Tips for a Smooth Cohabitation

Of course, furniture and belongings aren’t the only things that will be affected by your decision to move in with your significant others. Here are some practical tips to help you with the rest of it:

  •   Talk about money and how you’ll handle rent, utilities, groceries, and other shared financial responsibilities.
  •   Do the same for household chores – if you love doing dishes but hate vacuuming, maybe you and your SO can offer to trade to avoid the chores you really dislike.
  •   Make sure you make time for yourself. Moving in together will mean a lot of time spent in each other’s company, but it’s important to do things separately, too.
  •   Be prepared to be surprised. Even if you’ve been together for a while, you may discover new things about your partner – including weird habits and things they do when they’re alone.

Most of all, make sure to check in with one another regularly. It’s important not to let bad feelings fester. You’ll be better off if you’re honest about issues that concern you.


Moving in with a significant other is an adjustment, but it can also deepen and strengthen your relationship.

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Posted in Moving, Packing Tips.