Moving in with significant other

How to Prepare your Home for Moving in with a Significant Other

Moving in with your significant other is a huge milestone in your relationship. While sharing your living space might seem like a simple decision, there are many small details about changing your home to fit another person that many people might not consider. Some unexpected questions that may arise include whether you need to share a closet, if you’ll have your own hobby space, or how to blend each other’s decorative aesthetic.

These questions can be overwhelming but like any aspect of a relationship, communication is key. To help answer some of these questions, we reached out to dating experts from New York, NY to Washington, DC to share their expert insight into how to navigate moving in with your significant other for the first time. Here’s what they had to say.

Differentiate moving out versus moving in

Understand the difference between moving out (both of you move into a new place) and moving in (one person moves into their partner’s already existing home) together; in the latter case, many times it’s the person moving in that has to downsize and get rid of a lot of their stuff. It’s important to recognize the existing home now has to shift to being balanced between both of you. The energy of the apartment also changes so be sure to maximize storage space, for example under the bed, and give away items to second-hand stores. – Nancy Ruth Deen, Hello Breakup

When moving in with your significant other, don’t expect your partner to change their habits right away

One tip for moving in with your significant other is that habits should not keep you from taking the leap and moving in together.  If a sink full of dishes keeps you up at night, or you can’t enjoy your evening until you know the laundry is done, you should take care of those things as you did when you lived alone – you don’t need your partner to do any of it. You’re moving into a new home with your person as they are – they’re not necessarily going to change just because your living situation is changing. – Rachel Coll Coaching

Create spaces to be alone and spaces to be together

Your home is a reflection of your style and when you’re moving in with your significant other, remember that your person is more important than your things. Of course, home decor and organization can play a significant role in a relationship, but all you need in your “new home” is a little personal space to be just yourself. Create one comfort zone for each person to call your own, and the rest of your house should reflect both of your tastes.  – Click Date

Your emotional needs are what you need to feel loved and your functional needs are what you need for a relationship to work for you. So, for example, if gaming is what your significant other does for relaxing and your idea of winding down involves quietly reclining with a mystery novel, make sure there’s space in your home for you to comfortably read in peace and for your significant other to game his heart out! – Melissa the Love Coach

Make sure your personal space lights you up

Moving in with your significant other is a wonderful step in a relationship, but it’s important to maintain your own sense of self – in fact, it’s crucial for your future happiness as a couple. Create a little area of your new home that is all yours, like a reading corner, a yoga space, a desk area, or surround your bath in candles and light them just for you. – Jenny Ella Coaching 

If space is limited, try a smaller hobby area

Because you’re living together, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have (or don’t need) your own space. Some couples have separate hobby rooms – others separate bedrooms. If your budget doesn’t allow for this, try creating a zone in your home which can be all your own. This could be a cool workspace, a vertical garden, or a daybed that you can claim as your own. – Hayley Quinn

Create an altar devoted to love

Create an altar devoted to the two of you. This is a beautiful thing to do before your partner moves in –  a space that is dedicated to the love you have for each other. It can be full of photos from holidays you have been on, trinkets from your first few dates, or a vision board for the two of you. – David Chambers, Authentic Dating Series

Or hang up a special art piece

Select a piece of art together that is meaningful to both of you and representative of your relationship such as a significant place, memory, song, or poem. – Dave for Dating 

Prepare by getting each other their own storage space

Even if you are single, you should already make space in your home for the partner you want to have. They should have their own drawer, some closet space, even a toothbrush holder. You should be ready for the partner you want. –  EZ Dating Coach

Develop two sitting rooms or purchase two TV’s

The best relationship idea for moving in with your significant other is two sitting rooms – a man’s den and a woman’s sitting room. If this is not possible, two TVs are the answer in one sitting room with two sets of long lead headphone cables. The two TVs could be spaced apart or near each other, whichever you prefer, so the couple could sit holding hands on a coach or apart in individual chairs. Yet they could enjoy watching TV together separately. – Frances Kelleher Coaching

Consider the way your bathroom is laid out

Bathroom layouts are crucial to long-term success when moving in with your significant other. If you have one bathroom you share, make sure to have two sinks and cabinet space for both of your things under “your” designated sink. In addition, it’s good to have a spare bathroom for those times you need to have some private time without stinking up the place. – Kristi D. Price, Success Mindset Coach

Invest in laundry baskets

Make your life easy and invest in laundry baskets that are easy to transport and easy to actually use. Don’t get into a situation where one of you leaves clothing strewn everywhere. Have an accessible place to put your dirty clothing. As a bonus, consider having separate hampers for different washing needs. – Friend of a Friend Matchmaking

Minimize duplicates in the kitchen

The main idea you should consider for a kitchen space if you both enjoy cooking is making sure the kitchen is functional enough that you both can move and work around each other, but also examine ways where you don’t necessarily have to have double of everything such as utensils and appliances. Keep these things in the same area, sort of like a “general use” space for everyone. – Maria Romano, True Love Knots

Make sure the bedroom is comfortable for everyone

Make sure your bedroom is at the right temperature. One of you may need to sleep close to the window or you each have your own comforter. Make your bedroom sufficiently dark if one partner needs to sleep in a room that is pitch black. Invest in a mattress that is supportive and suited for both your needs. When it comes to relationship happiness, partner sleep is extremely beneficial and makes the bond between the two of you even stronger.  – Ana Ruiz

The bedroom should contain tasteful decorations

The bedroom should be designed for rest and romantic moments – banning the TV is a must; better a nice aquarium or a screen with a fireplace. Or other images of your liking; do not be shy, furnish the bedroom with soft and adjustable lights, antique furniture, and suggestive pictures or images, and an attractive visual barrier. – Cristian Cairo

Author Ryan Castillo
Originally published on Redfin.com