The other day I received an email from someone who was about to move in with her significant other. She asked if I’d written any blog posts about this because she wanted to do so in an organized fashion. As I thought through past posts, I realized I hadn’t. I’ve written about moving and I’ve written about living with someone, but never moving in with someone.
So guess what today’s topic is???
How to move in with someone in an organized way!
Overall, the steps aren’t much different than if you were just moving to another location. However, once in the new home there is always the doubled up items to contend with so that definitely needs to be addressed. Note: these tips will work whether you’re moving into a roommate or romantic situation.
1.) You and the person you will be living with need to set the goal for the new home.
How do you want this space to look? How do you want to feel in the new space? What is each other’s clutter threshold so that you can come to an agreement on the level that you’ll both be comfortable with.
When I was in undergrad, I moved into a 4 bedroom, 2 bath home with 3 other ladies. We each had our own bedroom, paired off for the shared bathrooms, and then had the living room, dining room, and kitchen as our common areas. When moving in the 4 of us agreed that the common areas would be regularly picked up. Then each pair of us that shared a bathroom decided how we wanted to keep it. The lady I shared my bathroom with was also extremely tidy so our bathroom was very neat. The ladies that shared the other bathroom were less tidy, so their bathroom was less neat. Then in our personal bedrooms we could do whatever the hell we wanted. The four of us had VERY different clutter thresholds. Setting these goals up front when we first moved in prevented what I’m sure would have been many fights.
Get together with your person(s) and decide how you want your new space to look and feel. This is important because it sets the stage for the next (and subsequent) steps.
2.) When packing, only keep what fits into the goal for the new home.
Packing and moving is a pain in the ass. Help relieve a little bit of this by only taking what you need, use, love, and fits in with the goals for the new space. Once upon a time I was asked if it’s better to weed out before or after a move. Before is ALWAYS the answer. If you don’t love something, then there’s no need to bring that item with you. If you’re unsure, then it’s probably a “no” because maybes suck.
3.) Once moved in, go through the regular moving-in and organizing process with your new house-mate.
- Pick an area and only work one area/room at a time until it’s finished. I recommend starting in the kitchen. It’s one of the easiest rooms to organize and this is an area where you’ll probably have many duplicates. Once the kitchen is finished, move on to the next area, then the next. Remember, don’t move on to a new location until the chosen location is finished.
- Sort like with like. Here’s where you’ll see exactly what duplicates you have. Chose which one you like the best and let the other go (by donation, trash, or sell.) If this is a roommate situation then you may not want to dump all the duplicates. If you’re going to hold on to a duplicate, make sure that it’s in good use and something you love. Then get creative with storage to make it all work. If this is a romantic situation, let go of unnecessary duplicates. Trust that the relationship is going to work, otherwise why the hell are you moving in together? If it ends up not working out, you may want a fresh slate and have bought new anyway. Operate in the now.
- Think about how you and your new living partner want to operate in the space. Organize items accordingly. As always, the more often an item is used, the more easy access it should be. Also remember you have to put everything back so make that easy too. The less often you use something, the more tucked away it can be.
Side note on storage units: When moving in with a significant other, the lure of tossing everything into a storage unit can be very strong. In this moment, it feels easier and the “smarter” decision to make. However, most likely you will end up in one of two situations: the relationship works out over the long run and you have to make the decisions and deal with the things to clear out the unit. OR…the relationship doesn’t work out and now you’re cleaning out a storage unit while also dealing with all the emotional jumble of the failed relationship. In both situations you’ve spent a lot of money on a storage unit and no matter what you’ll still have to make decisions on the things. Suck it up, Buttercup, and do it now.
Moving can be very stressful. However, moving in with someone new – whether friendly or romantic – can be very exciting. Remember to focus on how you want the new space to feel in this new chapter of your life. If the items you have don’t fit in, leave them behind in that last chapter.
Have you recently moved in with someone? What helped you the most?
Frustrated, overwhelmed and don’t know where to start? Or maybe you keep starting over and over again without finishing? Buy “Fabulous Foothold to Organization: A guide for getting started when you don’t know where to start” today.
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