Congratulations—you’ve made it to the next level! You’re married, and now you’re moving in together. It can be a daunting task, but with a little preparation, it can be a breeze. Here are some tips to get you started.
1. Discuss Finances and Budgeting
Before you start packing up your things, there is one important topic that every newlywed couple should discuss: finances and budgeting. It’s a difficult but necessary conversation that will set you up for success as a married couple. It’s also important to establish how (and how much) you’ll each contribute financially toward shared expenses and savings. Talking about money can feel awkward, but if you do it openly and with mutual respect, it will lay the foundation for a strong financial future together.
2. Set Rules and Expectations
One important thing to do before officially merging households is to set some ground rules and expectations. Remember—communication is key! Check in with each other throughout the process to make sure things are going smoothly and address any potential issues before they become larger problems. It may seem like extra work, but establishing these guidelines will help prevent unnecessary stress and arguments later. Plus, it’ll give you both the chance to make sure your living arrangement is the best fit for both of you.
3. Establish Household Chores
Will you divide responsibilities equally or play to each other’s strengths? Will you switch off weekly or have different designated tasks? Take the time to sit down and discuss these questions and any potential conflicts that may arise before making any decisions about chores. It’s also important to have regular check-ins to make sure the division of labor feels fair and equitable. While establishing a household chore system may not be the most romantic topic, addressing it early on can prevent miscommunication and frustration in the long run.
4. Divide Up Space and Furniture
Take some time to discuss and divide up the space and furniture in your home. Consider which rooms you’ll use for which purposes and designate personal space for each of you if necessary. For example, if one or both of you work from home, you should decide which rooms will be your offices. And don’t forget about storage! It’s easy for clutter to build up quickly when two households merge, so make sure you have specific spots for things like seasonal décor or extra linens.
5. Figure Out Who Will Do the Grocery Shopping and Cooking
Before you move in together, sit down and discuss how you want to approach mealtime responsibilities. Will one person handle all the shopping and cooking, or will you split those tasks? Will you cook separately or work together in the kitchen? And what about deciding on weekly menus and creating grocery lists? Figuring out these logistics in advance can save you from heated arguments over who forgot to buy milk.
6. Make a Plan for Dealing With Disagreements
Planning how you’ll handle arguments before you have any can alleviate stress and prevent blowups in the future. Establish ground rules such as giving each other space when necessary, finding a neutral location for discussions, and taking turns speaking without interruption. Also, make sure you agree on how to apologize and forgive one another when necessary.
7. Create a System for Shared Documents, Bills, Etc.
Sit down with your partner and make a plan for organizing important papers, such as financial statements or insurance documents. Decide on how you want to handle bills, whether it’s splitting them evenly or assigning different expenses to each person. And if one of you tends to be more organized than the other, let them primarily manage these types of tasks—it’ll bring some balance to your partnership.
8. Come Up With a Way To Celebrate Special Occasions
It’s important to come up with new ways to celebrate holidays, anniversaries, and birthdays that are meaningful for both of you. This could mean dedicating a few days to a mini vacation or doing something special at home, like cooking a fancy dinner together. The key is communication and compromise. Discuss how you each want to spend the occasion and come up with a plan that incorporates both of your desires. Keeping the celebration fresh and personal will make it more memorable for years to come.
Moving in together is a big step in any relationship, but it can be especially tricky for newlyweds. By discussing finances and budgeting, setting rules and expectations, dividing up space and furniture, and figuring out who will do the grocery shopping and cooking, you can make the transition much smoother. If disagreements do arise, have a plan in place for how to deal with them. And finally, don’t forget to celebrate special occasions together!