Checklist for Cohabiting Couples

cohabiting couplesYou’ve been friends. You’ve dated. Now, you’re ready to—gulp—move in together. Cohabiting is a big step. It might not seem like it since you’ve probably spent the majority of your time at one or the other person’s home. But, joining your living arrangements can create some stressful situations you might not be aware of if you haven’t lived with a significant other before.

It always helps to be prepared, so here are some things you might want to do before moving in with your sweetie.

Inventory your goods. You probably think that your relationship is never going to end. And why would you? Moving in together signifies that your relationship is doing better than ever. However, according to one study, 27 percent of people who lived together before matrimony broke up. Snap pictures or write down items as you are putting them in boxes. Even if you don’t need the list to identify what belongs to you, it’s handy to have for insurance purposes.

Talk about routines. Sure, you’ve spent several days a week at your honey’s home. You may have even gotten ready for work over there a few times. But, when you live with someone, things can change. Maybe you want to do your afternoon cleaning, but your sweetie usually takes a nap on the couch at that time. These situations can turn into ugly battles if you don’t talk about them in advance.

Set boundaries. Do you have a regular poker night or book club that you host? Make sure your significant other knows about your commitments ahead of time in case they need to leave the house or retreat to another room to give you space. A shared wall or electronic calendar and open communication should take care of any issues these events may cause.

Discuss the finances. Will you divide the rent or mortgage down the middle? What about groceries? Utilities? Cable? Your sweetie may not mind paying the extra money for the movie channels, but you might. Sit down with your partner before you move in and talk about the finances. This is an awkward conversation to have for many people, but if you deal with it head on, you will avoid a lot of potential fights when the bills roll in.

Make a chores list. Avoid the annoying “I’m not your mother” conversation by discussing chores. Who is going to clean the bathroom? Who mows the lawn? What about the laundry and dishes? These are all important questions to discuss prior to moving in with your love.

Make room for your stuff. If you’re moving into your sweetie’s home, they may have everything exactly how they like it. There might not be room for your favorite recliner or your wall art. Make sure your sweetie makes room for you in their home. You should feel like the place is just as much your own as it is theirs.

Moving in together is a very exciting time in any relationship. Hopefully this checklist for cohabiting couples will help the process go smoothly.

Do you live with your significant other? What tips do you have for first-time cohabiting couples?