One of the most difficult aspects of making the big step to move in together is merging two living spaces into one. Each person is bringing their own baggage, literally, and there may not be space for everything. It’s especially difficult when one is moving into the other’s space because the other person is already used to it being furnished a certain way and the other will surely want to make a few changes. But whether you’re both moving in to a new space or one is moving into the other’s, there are a few pieces of advice that can help you make this transition as smoothly as possible.
Consult an interior designer
You don’t have to pay a fortune to have an interior designer manage the entire project from beginning to end, but it is a good idea to consult with one, if only for an hour. Bringing in a neutral third party for help can give you both some ideas you may not have thought of and it can resolve some arguments before they start.
Designate a space for mail, keys, and other little odds and ends
We don’t have the exact numbers on this but a good percentage of divorces/breakups result from not having a designated space for all the odds and ends that get dropped off when you first come through the door. So decide right off the bat where mail, keys, and other little items will be placed.
Embrace the quirkiness of your partner and his/her belongings
They say birds of a feather flock together but there’s also truth to the saying, opposites attract. Your partner will undoubtedly have little quirks that seem strange to you and he/she will likewise have artwork or other furnishings that isn’t really your style. Learn to embrace these things. Occasionally there may be real deal-breakers where you’ll put your foot down but you’ll be more likely to get your way in such disagreements if you’re willing to compromise on other things so choose your battles carefully and learn to embrace your partner’s interior design tastes.
Make the most of your outdoor space
A nice outdoor space can be an extension of your living space and can be a great place to relax. No matter how great your relationship, it’s great to have a space where you can be away for a little bit to meditate and just be alone.
Unless you’re moving into a significantly larger space, chances are you’ll have too much stuff for the space, especially if you’re both fairly well established before moving in together. If each of you have a sofa and there’s only room for one, you may have to settle it via rock-paper-scissors. Be willing to part with things you simply don’t have space for and things will go much more smoothly. If you must, you can spring for a storage unit until you can move into an even bigger space later on.