Advice on moving in

My sister and her boyfriend are moving in together for the first time next semester.  After talking to some different people and hearing horror stories about couples that move into together and then break up, they asked me for my advice on moving in together. Here’s what I came up with (in no particular order):

  • Make sure you have quality time.  Whether it’s a date night, cooking dinner together, or watching a show once a week, make sure you spend quality time together.  It’s easy to be together but not really be present with one another.
  • Make sure you have alone time.  While it’s important to do things together, it’s also important to do your own thing.
  • Figure out how you’ll pay the bills, both where the money will come from and how the bill will logistically be paid (online, check, who will do it). When I lived with roommates in college, we’d leave the bill in the return envelope with a stamp in front of the door with a post-it of how much each person owed and the due date.  Last person to put their check in dropped it in the mail.
  • Pick your battles. Most likely there will be a bunch of habits that randomly irk you when you move in with someone new.  Whether they leave dishes in the sink, leave the bath mat soaking wet, or leave their dirty socks wherever they take them off, figure out which one drives you the most crazy and choose that one. Then communicate that preference to your partner in a polite way.
  • Be patient. It takes time to merge living experiences. Heck, we’ve been living together for 3+ years and we’re still working things out.

I’d love to know (and so would my sister):

What advice would give to a couple moving in together?

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