Listen up: Here are 7 top tips for moving in with your partner

From someone that has *actually* done it

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(Image credit: Future)

I know, I know. Being an adult is hard. But it can be a lot of fun too! It means you can eat Twizzlers at midnight, watch your fave movie on repeat… and do exciting things like moving into your first apartment with your partner, when the time is right.

If you're reading this and about to make the big step, you might be feeling nervous. I completely get you. It’s a big stage in your relationship, and a big life change, too. I moved in with my boyfriend a couple of years ago, and it was the first time either of us had lived with a partner. We both came from different living sitches too, so we had a lot of differences. While we have the best time now and I have no regrets at all (love you, babe!), there are a few things that I wish I’d known beforehand.

I’ve put together a range of tips, from things that are useful to have ironed out before move-in day, to things that are worth having at the back of your mind as you continue living together. These will def make the process more chilled, and may even stop some arguments in the long run.

Want to be fully prepared? Read on for everything you need to know (and everything I wish I'd known, too).

Moving in with your bae? These top tips are all useful AF

1. Agree on how things will be paid for

Unless you have another agreement, you’re going to be living in a place you and your partner will both be contributing towards financially. As well as paying rent and mortgage payments, you’ll also be spending on bills, groceries, and household products. Make sure that you have conversations about how you’ll both cover the cost — whether that means splitting things equally or having a particular person cover a particular thing. This way, you won’t have anyone holding grudges (e.g. if they think they're spending more), and you’ll be able to budget effectively, too.

2. Communicate what furniture you’re buying/bringing

I’m NGL — the first two things I bought for our rental were a chaise longue and a bar cart. These both sound very random, but they were bargains, I promise! That being said, even though I did pay for them, my boyfriend did say that he wished he’d been consulted. From then on, I always made sure that we had conversations about what furniture and decor we were bringing into the house. This is important to do, as you both have to feel comfortable living there. Plus, this also means you won’t end up bringing duplicates, which will save space and cash.

(Side note: I do still override him on the occasional decor piece, but I am the expert, right guys?).

3. Establish what tasks you’re both happy doing 

Look, you’re not living at your ‘rents place. You can decide among yourselves who does what — and it’s a good idea to do this before you move in. If you’re both happy scrubbing, create a cleaning schedule and stick to it, Or, if one of you prefers cleaning and one of you prefers cooking, you could always split out these tasks. I actually had a conversation with my boyfriend where I half-jokingly said, “But you love doing the washing up!” after he mentioned how often I didn’t do it. Turns out he doesn’t actually love it, and so now I’ll regularly wear gloves and chip in. Be willing to compromise, and don’t be afraid to call your partner out if you think they’re slacking.

4. Set a regular time to grocery shop

Before I lived in my rental, I lived in a house share where I’d do all of my own cooking. This meant I’d generally choose what I wanted to eat on the day, and didn’t call for a grocery list. When there are two of you living in a space who need to eat, it’s a much better idea to plan your meals ahead of time. This will save you dollar when shopping and also makes cooking throughout the week so much easier.

To make planning even simpler. you could grab a magnetic whiteboard for your fridge, like this Yes4quality one that’s Amazon’s Choice. With this, you could write down what you’re running low on and what you’re planning to eat that week. 

5. Have regular convos about living together 

I’m sure you and your boo have great communication anyway (I mean, you are moving in together!), but when you’re living together it’s especially important to keep talking through your feelings. I’m not saying that you have to send your partner a calendar invite, but do try and make time every month or so to check in on how you’re both feeling about living together. You don’t even have to do this in your house — you could go to a cafe or a bar. If either of you have any concerns, this is a good way to talk things through in a relaxed way.

6. Don't forget to make time for dates

One of the main perks of living with your partner is that you get to see them, like, every day. I moved into my rental with my partner post-lockdown, so it was (and is!) the total dream being able to hang out with him all the time. But don't forget to continue dating! Even though we live together, we still go on walks, go out to restaurants, and do fun activities like mini-golfing and seeing movies, which I really love. I think this is so essential, as it just keeps things fresh and fun — keep the romance alive, people!

7. Remember to do things separately

I hate to sound like a clingy girlie, but I relate so hard to Fleetwood Mac’s Everywhere. It is obviously good to have space from your partner though, as you don’t want to rely on having them around all the time. I always say that relationships should be the dessert, not the main! Keep in touch with your friends and family members, and make sure to still hang out with them and see them without your partner. Enjoying things separately is so important for having a healthy relationship — and it means you can appreciate each other’s company even more when you’re back.

Now you’ve got a good idea of important things to remember when moving in with your partner, you can totally chill. There’s a reason you’ve made this decision, and it will hopefully make your relationship even better and stronger. Just remember to communicate and compromise, and you’ll be absolutely fine. You’ve got this, bestie.

Up next: How to pack clothes for your apartment or dorm move-in, according to the experts

Eve Smallman
Staff Writer

Hi there! I’m a staff writer at Real Homes. I've been a lifestyle journalist for over five years, previously working as an editor across regional magazines. Before this, I graduated from Nottingham Trent University a degree in journalism, along with an NCTJ gold diploma. I love running, decorating my rented Victorian home, and discovering new cheeses.