The ultimate couples’ checklist for moving in together

a couple who has followed a checklist for moving in together

So you’ve now got to the stage in your relationship where you are finally ready to make that big step and move in with your partner. This is an exciting time for a couple; however, it can be a daunting thought too. Not only are there the stresses of the actual move, but you may have worries about how you will be together when you live with one another. These worries are normal and not something to be concerned about many of us overthink, it’s important to remember “what will be, will be”. Before you do jump into your new move here is the ultimate couples’ checklist for moving in together to get you started!

1.     Discuss why you want to move in together

The financial benefits of moving in with someone are a common factor that comes into play when discussing why to move in with someone. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a huge factor as you will be splitting bills and other expenses so it will save you money.

However, just because it makes sense from a financial point of view doesn’t necessarily mean it is the correct decision. Whilst breaking up with your partner is not as difficult and complicated as a divorce, it’s still a tough emotional experience and is not made easy when you are living together.

Before you make the decision think about whether it is the right thing for your relationship and if you are both ready to move in together. Whatever you decide you know you’ve thought about it and not just jumped into it with no thought.

2. Understand your partner’s expectations

Often partners think they know what their other halves’ expectations are, but when they begin to live together, they find out that there were a lot of things that they didn’t consider. One thing not to do is to assume your partner’s expectations are the same as yours.

The best way to deal with this is to talk to your partner, so you can understand where each other is coming from and set clear and realistic expectations. Ensure to make this a casual conversation, so you can both feel comfortable in expressing your feelings and hopes for this exciting transition.

The kind of expectations we are talking about are those small ones which can affect everyday life. Such as will you be expecting them to cook, to clean, to do the washing? How will your work days align? Will your partner want you home earlier than previously, this could affect things like going to the gym after work. You may have to change routines, potentially go in the morning some days as they will want to spend time at home with you.  All these kinds of things need to be understood by one another so you start off on the right foot.

3. Finances

Next up on the checklist for moving in together are your finances. It’s not nice finding out your other half has gotten into financial difficulty. However, it is something you definitely need to be aware of before moving in with someone. Discuss both of your financial situations such as credit scores, outstanding debts, incomes, expenses and what you can afford when moving in together.

Work out what percentage of your income(s) will be going on the house. If you are making critical financial decisions together then draft and create a legal agreement. This will give each of you protection if you break up or one of you passes away. This can be an awkward conversation to have with a partner and sometimes offence can be taken. Particularly if you are much better off financially than your partner, just remember to reassure your partner it’s only for your protection and nothing more than that. Paying for expenses proportionally is also far more equitable.

4. Decide how you are going to split the expenses

Decide who is going to pay the bills, it can be a mixture of both of you or one person entirely. You could split in a way that one of you pays for water and gas and the other pays for electricity and council tax. You can find out roughly how much it will cost you annually for all your bills and use that to decide who pays what or you could pay the funds via a shared bank account.

It’s good practice to create a spreadsheet or if you don’t have access to a computer write out all your annual expenses. This means bills, shopping, pets, kids, holidays, everything! Then allocate these expenses to one another or percentages if you are sharing the cost. Tech-savvy couples might even want to try out an app.

a couple viewing houses together

5. Location

Usually, once a couple has decided they are moving in together, they then decide where they want to move together. This can be a super big issue if one of you doesn’t want to live where the other one is eyeing up. You may need to compromise and live somewhere between your preferences, with jobs, friends and families also playing a factor in choosing a location.

Decide early on which locations are best for both of you and what will work for your needs as well as theirs. You will need to ensure the location you choose is affordable for you both too, so don’t neglect the research.

6. It won’t always be sunshine and rainbows!

There is good and bad to moving in with your partner. It might be very helpful for you to have your partner around all the time to help with daily chores. On the other hand, they may snore really loudly, or leave dishes unwashed in the sink. Some of these things you might not notice until you move in with them.

With any little niggles that may frustrate you, let them know in a polite manner and they’ll likely change their ways. It may take more than one time for you to tell them but eventually, they’ll begin to change bad habits. Unless it’s something like snoring of course! You may just have to buy some earplugs!

7. “Breakup plan” (optional)

This is something a lot of couples don’t do and it’s not always the right thing to do. A lot of people would take offence to the suggestion of creating a plan for breaking up and it can also make people feel awkward and unsure about how you feel about them.

No couple wants to talk about a breakup plan as in an ideal world there would be no breakup. However, life is not always perfect and breakups are common, so it is a good idea to plan for this scenario. Read your situation though to work out if making this plan is more hassle than it’s worth as it could upset your partner. Consider their communication style and make sure both of your voices are heard – they say communication is key, but it’s true!

The reason a breakup plan is a good thing to have is because cohabiting couples do not have legal protection. However, a cohabitation agreement can outline the distribution of equity and belongings in the event of a breakup. Split items up into what you own, what they own and anything that is shared ownership then you can divide everything accordingly.

8. Deciding on household responsibilities

These are daily chores to ensure your home stays clean and tidy. It’s a good idea to set these out with one another so you know what each of you will be responsible for. Some chores you may be a 50/50 split and that’s okay, others may fall into a different natural rhythm. But a happy partnership is one where the same types of tasks are shared between you, so you can foster a sense of equality, whatever your relationship dynamic.

The reason it’s good to outline what each other’s responsibilities are is that it means you both know what to expect and you won’t feel like someone is not pulling their weight. This will only lead to arguments, and if not nipped in the bud early, people can get into bad habits, which could lead to a build-up of resentment and may well increase the number of arguments with one another. These tasks are everyday tasks so you can imagine how frustrating it could feel for someone if you feel your partner is being ‘lazy’.

a couple moving in together

The next chapter

Now you’ve gone through this checklist for moving in together and you are at the stage where you know you are compatible and ready to make the leap of fate. You then need to start thinking about planning the move itself i.e., packing and transporting items, changing addresses and all that other malarkey.

Preparing for the move day

It’s good to put together a checklist for what you are moving. However, that’s a whole different blog so we won’t go into too much detail. In a nutshell, you’ll want to consider all the items you are moving and create a list of them. You can then use this to get quotes from moving companies or decide whether hiring a van is a feasible option.

It’s important to get decided how you are going to move items and book in with companies early if you are moving house. This ensures you get the best price and that there is not a whiff of frantic panic before you move. Just imagine the worst-case scenario where you don’t have any way of moving any of your things and you have to leave the property that day. Safe to say that would be an absolute nightmare!

Packing your belongings

You’ll also need to pack all your items up properly. There are plenty of guides online (including our own!) on how to pack. It’s important to pack properly for a number of reasons. Firstly, packing correctly ensures all your things are boxed up safely and unlikely to break or be damaged during transit. Secondly, organising your things and labelling your items is important too.

You will want to label boxes by rooms, so you know where to put them when you arrive at your new home. This will save you tons of time when it comes to unpacking. Lastly, there are loads of tips and tricks to packing such as using towels to fill voids, newspaper as packing paper etc. to save money on packing materials. It would be a good idea to read up on some tips and tricks on packing fragile items as they could come in really useful.

Loading up the van

Now there is also loading the van up. Obviously, if you have decided to hire a moving company then this isn’t applicable to you. However, if you’ve decided you are up to the challenge and want to save some money then you need to load the van correctly.

It’s critical that you load any heavy items in first and that they are at the bottom; if you put heavy items on top of other things then you’re probably going to break them. You want to have equipment at hand such as straps and moving blankets. Anything with the potential to move needs to be strapped up, wrapped up and secured to stop it moving about in the back.

Furniture wants to be wrapped in moving blankets to stop it getting scuffed, scratched, damaged or dirty. Any fragile items also want to be secure, and nothing should be on top of them. Care needs to be taken whilst driving – don’t go flying over speed bumps as you might damage your stuff!

Bash through the admin

Lastly, make sure to work your way through the admin side of things. If you are changing your address, there are a lot of organisations that you need to notify of your address change. Some of these include banks, DVLA, phone providers, your workplace and many many more. If you have children, you will also need to change their address for similar things and start planning for school too.

That’s a wrap!

We hope you enjoyed this moving-in-together checklist and that moving in with your partner goes smoothly as it does for most people. There’s no need to worry too much as eventually any of the stress will be worthwhile and over with once you’re in your new home with your loved one!