Moving in with your partner can be both an exciting time and a difficult adjustment. Whether you’re in the early stages of dating or in a long-term relationship, here’s a list of important topics and tips for couples to consider before moving in together.

Decide When You’ll Move In Together

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The ideal move-in timeline varies from couple to couple. Some couples might be ready after a few months of dating, while others might wait until they’ve been together for several years. Those gearing up for a wedding might find it advantageous to cohabitate before marriage, while other engaged couples may prefer to wait until after exchanging vows. Ultimately, the right time to move in together hinges on what feels most natural and comfortable for both partners! Just be sure you’re making an active choice as a couple, rather than moving in together out of convenience. You may also want to do a trial run at either your partner’s place or yours to see how your routines mesh and ensure you’re both ready to take this step forward.

Discuss Future Goals

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Discussing your goals gives you and your partner a chance to establish more accurate expectations of your future together. Hopefully this relationship conversation has already happened in some form, but there are a few specific questions to ask before you move in together to ensure you’re both on the same page regarding future responsibilities and lifestyle choices—like whether you’re planning to have any kids. This conversation will be especially helpful for deciding how much space you need in your shared apartment or house. Other things to discuss include current and future pets, career aspirations, marriage goals, homeownership, and any plans for extensive travel or eventual relocation.

Discuss Moving In to Your Place, Theirs, or Somewhere New

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Another important question to ask before moving in together is “Where should we live?” There are many factors to consider when answering this question, including the current living situations of each partner, lease agreements, location preferences, and more. While moving into your partner’s home or having them move into yours may seem easiest, a fresh start in a new apartment or house may be the best option, since it allows you to create your space together. Either way, be sure that you and your partner both sign the lease for equal accountability.

Determine Your Budget

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Before moving in together, it’s essential to have an open conversation about finances and then create a budget plan together. This allows you both to build transparency and trust within the relationship. Whether you decide to split costs of rent, utilities, and groceries, open a joint bank account to keep track of expenses, or another budgeting option couples often do—having a shared agreement beforehand will make the transition of moving in with your partner a smoother process and help prevent future conflicts.

Set Ground Rules with Household Chores

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In addition to discussing finances, it’s important to set expectations about splitting household chores and responsibilities when moving in with your partner. Try creating a chore rotation chart that includes tasks like cleaning the house, cooking, taking out the trash, and grocery shopping. This is an easy way to split tasks between the two of you so one person isn’t doing everything or constantly getting stuck with a task they don’t like. This tip for living together can also help keep things fair between both partners and prevent fights or resentment.

Decorate the Space Together

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As your move-in date approaches, take a look through all of your personal belongings and decide what you want to bring into your new apartment or home. Make collaborative decisions about the style, decor, furniture, cookware, and other items that you’d like to have in your shared space. In addition to combining items from each of your current homes, you may also want to buy some new items together so it feels like you’ve created the space as a couple. If you have extra belongings that don’t fit in your new home, decide what you’d like to sell, donate, or store for the future.

Be Intentional About Spending Time Together

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When living together, it can be easy to fall into a routine and skip out on spending quality time as a couple. Make it a priority to schedule intentional time with one another, or have spontaneous date nights every now and then to help keep the romance alive. By putting in extra time and effort, couples moving in together for the first time can continue to have a fulfilling relationship and avoid becoming mere “roommates.” Some fun date ideas to consider include learning new recipes together, going hiking, trying new restaurants, and more!

Create Time & Space for Yourself

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While you may be tempted to spend all of your time with your significant other while living together, one tip for couples moving in for the first time is to ensure that you each schedule some alone time to recharge and continue growing as individuals. If possible, make sure you and your partner each have an area in your home where you can be alone—whether it’s a cozy reading nook, a hobby room, or simply a designated area for relaxation. You can also pick up a new hobby or spend time with friends on your own, which has the added benefit of giving you and your partner interesting conversation topics when you’re together!

Have a Contingency Plan

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Talking about breakups when you’re in the middle of an exciting relationship milestone like moving in together is never fun. However, having these conversations with your partner before you cohabitate can help make things less complicated in case you decide to split down the road. Discuss what belongings each individual would be keeping, who would stay in the home and who would move out, how you’d manage expenses, and more. You may even want to create a cohabitation agreement so that you’re both legally protected. While this kind of conversation may be challenging, having a contingency plan in place can help prevent stress, keep both partners accountable, and give you more freedom to enjoy your life together without worrying about the future.

Remember, Communication Is Key

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Having direct communication is crucial for couples that are planning to move in together. Being open and honest with your significant other helps set expectations and boundaries from the start. One tip for moving in with your partner is to plan weekly relationship check-ins. During these check-ins, it’s a good idea to address any issues you’re having rather than letting things build up over time. All relationships will have bumps in the road, but learning how to manage expectations and not point fingers will ensure that each individual is being heard and respected, and allow you to handle conflicts in a healthy way.


Living with your partner for the first time? If you’re running out of space or need a secure spot to keep excess belongings, find a Life Storage unit near you today!

This post was originally published 10/24/2022, and last revised on 05/15/2024 with updated information.

About the Authors

Emily Malkowski

Emily Malkowski is a writer and SEO strategist with over 5 years experience, in Buffalo, New York. Having graduated from University at Buffalo with a Bachelor's degree in Communications, her work has appeared in outlets like The American Prospect, Roadtrippers Magazine, Step Out Buffalo, and more.

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