The idea of wrapping your dishes in newspaper and watching your living room drown in a sea of bubble wrap has never been more exciting. You and your man finally took the plunge, signed on the dotted line, and picked up two sets of keys. After ages of trying to squeeze your entire wardrobe into one tiny drawer at his pad, the time has come to merge your most prized possessions into a new place. While it's doubtful your grandmother's china will coordinate with his college beer mug collection, here are five tips to get through the adjustment period and make it "home sweet home".
1) Moving in with Your Boyfriend? Start from Scratch
To maintain a healthy relationship and avoid a turf war, move into a place that's new to both of you. This way you can start fresh as happy homemakers, instead of forcing him to throw out his old CD collection to make room for your shoes. Obviously Manolos trump Metallica, but he will beg to differ.
2) Talk About Your Finances and Make a Plan
While you're confident he won't take your money and run like someone more fit for an episode of Jerry Springer, if you're not married, it's smart to keep your finances separate. Determine how you will be paying for rent, groceries, gas and cable early on. If you both make similar salaries, you could split bills 50/50. But if one of you makes significantly more, you may want to adjust your bill payments accordingly.
3) Know His Bad Habits (and Still Decide to Share a Bathroom)
While he may cook you delicious pancakes on Sunday mornings and find vacuuming oddly therapeutic, even Mr. Perfect has secret bad behaviors you'll be front and center for in your new digs. You never know what to expect when moving in with your boyfriend until you witness the good, the bad and the ugly firsthand. He thinks piling mountains of clothes on a chair is more effective than using a closet, gets toothpaste all over the entire counter with every brushing, leaves tiny hair trimmings on the sink when he shaves, and allows leftovers to rot in the fridge until they grow legs and walk themselves out. No matter what he does that irks you; help him work on fixing those habits you could surely live without. Yelling at him will only remind him why he's glad he doesn't live with his parents anymore.
And don't act so surprised! Before moving in with your boyfriend, you had your fair share of sleepovers at his place, and a real glimpse into what his bathroom looked like, on a bad day. His penchant for leaving the toilet seat up should be old news.
4) Learn to Share the Remote...and Other Things
Meeting in the middle is the key to domestic bliss! Although he's certainly your new favorite roomie, you won't always agree on the evening's TV lineup, what's for dinner, or whose turn it is to take out the trash. While you think Sunday afternoon football is a total snooze fest, he's convinced he loses brain cells just being in the same room when you watch The Hills. So, agree to disagree and alternate who gets the "good tv" and who's banished to the bedroom when you want to watch different shows. When in doubt? DVR.
On the flip side, you may discover that you both find sheer happiness in a perfectly organized dishwasher and cuddling on the couch to watch Glee. From cleaning to cooking, in a healthy relationship, both parties need to give and take to reach a happy medium.
5) Talk it Out
Sharing space (and the television) with your sweetie is only half the battle. If he does something that's really bothering you (like being incapable of changing a toilet paper roll), communicate before it escalates. There's nothing worse than stewing for days and then unleashing the fury on your usually clueless cohabiter.
And remember, living with you may not always be a walk in the park for him either. He's not used to lip gloss spilling out of every drawer or twenty different bottles of shampoo (that he's not allowed to use) taking over the shower. But at least he finally believes you that drying your hair really does take that long.
Bad bathroom habits and battles for the remote aside, you two decided to cohabitate for a reason. You're compatible, have a strong, healthy relationship, and both want to take it to the next level. And maybe one day you'll move into something bigger where he can have his own bathroom, right?
Any tips on what to expect when moving in with your boyfriend? Let us know!