Moving in together: a guide

moving in together

In a loving relationship and considering moving in together?

Keen to ensure the move goes smoothly? Following our simple guide will help you think ahead and plan for success!

However much you love your partner, combining two lives is always going to throw up the odd challenge.  The key is to be prepared for those challenges and resolve them quickly and painlessly.

Moving into a home that’s new for both of you

Moving into a home that’s new to both of you provides a slightly easier task in many ways.  The home will be a blank canvas and each of you will have equal ‘ownership’ of the property.  Your biggest challenge at the outset is likely to be choosing which piece of furniture goes where.  If you’ve both previously lived alone and are coming to the new home trying to combine two properties’ worth of possessions, there’s going to need to be a decent amount of compromise from both parties.

Moving into a home that one partner has lived in previously

If one partner is moving into the others existing property there may be a couple more challenges.  However these should be challenges that are easily overcome if handled correctly.

The established partner is likely to have formed habits and have clear ideas about where things belong.  It is important that they are open-minded about the new inhabitant’s suggestions for change. This will help them feel welcome in the home and create a feeling of belonging!

It’s important that you both make that mental shift and don’t keep referring to items as belonging to one of you or the other.  Instead of ‘my sofa’ and ‘your sofa’ be conscious about using other ways to describe items.  Refer to items as ‘the cream sofa’, or ‘the bigger dining room table’.  This will immediately neutralise any tension over who gets to keep the most items and instead help to focus you both on which items are most suitable for the property.

It can be rather intimidating to move into a home your partner has already been living in.  Moving in together should be an opportunity for a fresh start for both of you, even if it’s not a new property for both of you.  Before moving day arrives, decide on some key areas that you want to redecorate to reflect both of your style and help both partners feel like they are invested in the home you will now share.

General moving in together tips

Whether one of you is moving into your partner’s existing property, or you’re moving somewhere that’s new for both of you, there are some general tips to help you achieve a smooth transition.

Make space for each others things and compromise

You might dislike his ugly chair, but it’s important to keep focused on the big picture; you love your partner and want to make this move a success.  It’s no good winning the battle but losing the war; your relationship is probably more important than that stamp collection you haven’t looked at since you were 15!

Give each other some space

However much you love your partner, there are times when we all need a little personal space! A home office, a hobby room, or just a special chair, it’s important to create your own space from the outset.

Be prepared for some strange habits!

Holidays and staying over a few nights a week won’t necessarily have prepared you for all of their little quirks. We all have strange traits, if you expect them to accept yours you need to try to accept theirs.

Address any issues early and with humility

Bottling things up can breed resentment, which is toxic in a relationship.  Prioritise regular ‘date nights’ to give you the opportunity to discuss your relationship in a relaxed environment.  It will allow you both to bring up anything you’re finding challenging before it becomes a real issue.

Be clear about your financial arrangement from the start

Will you have individual responsibility for different areas?  Will you both pay into a joint account to cover rent/mortgage and bills?  Whatever arrangement you decide on, it’s important to be clear from the start.  This will avoid any complications or disagreements further down the line.

Use moving in together as an opportunity to declutter

Combining furniture etc is challenging enough when it comes to finding enough space, without trying to accommodate your 10 year old magazine collection as well!  Keep your eye on the big picture and try not to be too precious about possessions.

Compromise is key

If you can’t agree on whose sofa to keep, it might be easier to get rid of them both and start afresh.

Make time to do it well

Combining two lives isn’t as simple as just combining your furniture under one roof, it takes time and effort to establish a new life together.  Setting aside proper time to unpack, get sorted and settle in will help ease the practical challenges associated with moving in together and in turn make the emotional and day-to-day elements of moving in together more simple and stress-free.

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