Moving in together is one of the most defining moments in a couple’s relationship: it’s the beginning of an exciting new chapter; a new life together you’re both looking forward to. However, either from some borderline-horror stories your friends have told you through the years, or from a past experience, you’re probably also aware it may be a journey that’s easy to start, but it’s bound to be a rocky road at times. And after all, where’s the fun if there are no challenges? Let’s see if you can at least take home décor off the list of the things you two will inevitably end up bickering about.
Set it down in black and white
First things first! You and your partner need to make everything ultra-clear before moving in together. What you should start from is, of course, the budget: how are you going to divide rent? For instance, say your partner is moving into your place: are they actually going to pay you half the rent you’d be paying for anyway, or are they just going to share the bills? Let’s be honest, talking about money is not a lot of fun, but trust us: the sooner you have the dreaded money discussion, the fewer issues are going to arise once you move in together.
Think about what you can get rid of
You and your partner have had years to collect pieces of furniture and knick-knacks; now, it’s not likely that you’ll be able to take everything with you. Knick-knacks you don’t have a special attachment to, or that are not particularly cute can be put aside in a box for safe-keeping. It does get a bit trickier than this when it comes to actual furniture. Here both of you need to be very selective: what pieces can you get rid of without thinking twice, and which ones are one and the same with you, instead? Don’t be afraid to speak your mind and say that you’d love to keep that cute bean bag chair that’s been with you since college, but remember: compromise is key.
If you need to restyle the walls and / or the floor, start off with some nice neutral shades, like white, beige, cream. This is a safe choice that will allow you to put off deciding on a more radical color: it’s a decision you can put off until you both are more aware of each other’s needs and tastes. Secondly, say that your favorite color is orange, while your partner’s is violet: neutral walls and floors will allow you to make room for both!
A good sofa for your living room is the first piece of furniture to build the rest of the room on: it doesn’t matter if it’s bright, neutral, a classic or a contemporary piece; in any case, it’s the piece that will set the tone of your living room, so, together with your partner, decide which vibe you’d like the living room to give off, and choose accordingly.
Replace the mattress
Especially if you (or other people) have been sleeping on that mattress for years, it is wise to seriously consider swapping it out for another. Remember that now you’re not anymore the only person who needs to be comfy at night! You need to find a mattress that works well for both you and your partner: an uncomfortable mattress should not be the reason why you'll be spending sleepless nights.
Organize and divide
Yes, you and your better half sometimes feel like you’re the two halves of the same person, but the reality is: you’re not. And, if anything, living together will make you see this very clearly. So, even before you make the big move, you should already decide how to divide the space; sit down and, very rationally and objectively, try to understand how much space each of you actually needs. Don’t freak out if it looks like there’s not enough room! The silver lining of lack of space is that it will force you to do some decluttering, and that’s something everyone should do, from time to time.
Buy new home décor pieces together
Start small: go shopping and start buying a vase, a tray, a lamp, a ceiling light: see where you agree and disagree; find the rough edges and smooth them out. It will happen, as long as you keep all channels of communications open and free and never play passive-aggressive mean little games.
Reveal your presence little by little
What if you are the one who’s moving? Well then, you’ll need to be patient. After all, you’re moving into somebody else's home, and it doesn’t matter if you’re paying for half the rent: you can’t really expect to make loads of changes and imprint your personality on their interior design style in one day. It’s your job to never make your partner feel like you're invading their space; rather, you should make them feel like you’re completing it and enhancing it, so start small: a set of bed linens, a new set of tableware, a rug. Let your personality emerge and shine little by little.