Valentine’s Day is Coming! Are You Moving in Together? What Now?

Before Moving in Together, Make Sure You Have a Plan

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and that can have a lot of implications for your living situation. Are you finally going to pop the question? No, we’re not talking about a marriage proposal, but rather if you decided that you’ll be moving in together. Cohabitation before marriage is more common than ever. And if you’re going to take the plunge and look for a new place together, February is a great time to do it.

Of course, moving in together is a big step in a relationship. And, as we’ve written, it doesn’t always end well. So, to ensure domestic bliss, it’s important to avoid some common pitfalls that have doomed other relationships:

Don’t move in with your partner (or let them move in with you) just because somebody’s lease is up!

You’re in love and you can’t imagine wanting to share your life with anyone else? Congratulations! We’re here for you. But if you’re considering moving in with your new boyfriend because, well, his lease is up, and, you know, he’s gotta live somewhere, don’t do it! You’re only setting yourself (and your partner) up for failure. We all want to help our loved ones, sure. But if you’re not excited about sharing a bathroom now, or if you fight about which reruns to watch whenever you check into a hotel, you’re not ready to move in together.

Always have enough money to leave

A corollary to the first rule. While it isn’t pleasant to think about the relationship ending, it’s a grim reality that a lot things just don’t work out. So while you may be in love now, you don’t want to be stuck living with someone you don’t even like out of financial convenience.

And, anyway, do you really want to hang out with whoever your ex invites over the house once you’ve finally broken up? Do yourself a favor, and make sure that if it’s over, you have the financial capacity to keep it over.

Unless you’re actually married with a joint checking account, you don’t actually “own” anything together — not even the dog!

Know what you own and know what you don’t. You’re adults. If you’ve given her a gift, it’s hers. If you bought it, it’s yours. That’s the easy stuff. What about the new sheets your aunt and uncle bought you for Christmas? What about the bed you bought together? And what about the dog? These are difficult conversations to have, but until your signatures indicate joint ownership, and until your credit score is affecting his, you don’t own anything together. So if things go sour, you’ll want to have a system to figure out who gets what.

Moving in Together means knowing whose dog it is

Is this your dog or hers? Make sure you both have the same answer! Photo via flickr user mbtrama (Creative Commons 2.0)

Once you’re sure that you’re avoiding those common mistakes, you’re ready to call the movers. Whether you’re combining stuff from two homes into a new apartment or house you chose together, or your fiancee is moving into your current place, here are some tips to make the move as easily (and inexpensive) as possible:

Two Moves Take Two Days!

We know. You’re excited about the new apartment you and your fiancee picked out. It’s the new team’s biggest accomplishment yet. You want to get all your stuff into that new place as quickly as possible so that you can fiddle with all the interior decorating possibilities.

But if you’re consolidating two homes into a third, you really should try to do it in two separate moves. This allows you to figure out if, and how, everything is going to fit.

We recommend taking the first day to move everything from the apartment with the most stuff, or wherever the two of you spend most of your time. But just pick one apartment for that day. Once all that stuff is in the new place, take a day to think about where all the other stuff is going to go. Will it all fit like you planned? Do you need to downsize? The extra day or two before picking up the extra stuff will give you time to decide if those sweet nightstands you got from Boomerang’s might be better off being donated back to Boomerang’s.

Once you’ve settled the first apartment’s stuff into the new home, you can go grab whatever will fit from the second apartment. Is the spare bedroom going to be a guest room or an office? Are you going to have a kitchen table and a dining table? By splitting the move in two, you’ll have answered these questions before it’s too late.

Pack Properly

Packing stinks, we know. Most of our movers would rather carry someone else’s solid oak dresser up three flights of stairs than spend an entire day packing up their own books, clothes, and other knick-knacks. But, just as chewing is the first and most important step in the digestion process, packing properly will ensure your move goes smoothly.

Consolidating your items in neatly packed, tightly taped, and appropriately sized boxes reduces the number of trips of the movers will take between the truck and your home, thereby reducing the risk of injury or damage to your items. Also, fewer trips means your move will take less time. And that can shave hundreds of dollars from your final bill.

Moving in together? Make sure you pack properly

That’s a nice looking box. Add a label on it and you’re good to go! Photo by kunal (kunal.vicky) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

So remember, small boxes are for heavy items like books, records, and comics. Medium boxes are for dishes, glassware, and other fragile items. (Pack these boxes about halfway full, and then fill the remaining space with newspaper or packing peanuts to prevent the items from moving within the box. Or, to really consolidate, you can use tee-shirts or pajama pants for the same purpose.) Large boxes are for light items like clothing, pillows, and linens. Trash bags are for trash. That’s why they’re called trash bags. Don’t use them for moving.

The best approach to packing is a long one. Start packing between four to six weeks ahead of your move, beginning with the stuff you use least often. That will also give you time to go through all of your items and decide if you and you and partner really need each and every pot and pan you’ve had since college.

Ready for moving in together? Take the first step towards your new life and get a moving quote today!

Safe Responsible Movers – The Top Rated Boston Moving Company – Moving in Together

Featured Photo by Adam Jones from Kelowna, BC, Canada [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons