So you’re moving in together. First, congratulations! It’s extra helpful to have an in-house companion to share laughs, and bills with. Whatever your journey together to get to this point– whether you’re partners, friends, or a couple of background-checked strangers who met on an app like Roomi — cohabitation is a serious step full of logistics to be considered and executed. So we’ve got some solid tips from some pretty experienced co-inhabitants that will help make your move, super smooth.
Your place, their place, or a new place?
This is the million-dollar question. If you’re answering an ad for a move-in ready place just waiting for a new roommate– the answer is easy. Most of your stuff can’t come. In this case, your parent’s basement, or a storage unit, maybe the best option for holding onto your things if you’re not ready to let them go. You and your new live-in human decide to abandon your separate spaces for some new, mutually beneficial digs? We’ve got you covered…
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Take inventory of your stuff.
Both you and your new roomie likely have a sofa, a kitchen table, and every other manner of basic household necessity. Obviously, unless you’re really into toast — there will be no need for duplicate toasters– or duplicate anything else, really. Sit down with one another and decide what stays, what gets donated, and what meets its fate at the dump.
Deciding what makes it and what doesn’t can be easier than you think. Before beginning the process of looking at apartments, get a realistic idea of how much space you’ll need by gauging how much stuff you have and measuring it. There’s a big difference in space requirement between a two-person kitchen table set up and a six-person dining ensemble. Being sentimental about your belongings is understandable– but when you’re about to share space with a roommate– being reasonable is better!
Procrastinating about getting rid of iffy furniture or stuff in those “maybe” boxes, will only cost you money and time. If these things are still around on moving day, you’ll either be paying a mover to clutter your new space, or sweating it out to clutter it, yourself. Either way, why go through all of that, only to decide that you don’t need the stuff, after all?!
Have the money talk.
While moving in together, even for couples, certainly doesn’t mean combining finances– in most cases, it does mean that your credit will be associated with your co-applicant. Who will assume responsibility for the energy bill? The 5g? It’s simple enough, in theory, to split the bills– but keep in mind that utility accounts are generally opened after a credit check. Meaning– you have to trust your roommate. If the bill is associated with your credit, and they don’t pay their half– you are still responsible for paying it in its entirety. This is why it’s essential to have a transparent discussion about finances with your roomie. Can they afford the house and the utilities? Can you?! Get those credit scores, bank statements, pay stubs, and references ready– because any reputable rental company will want to see all four.
Finally… what is the move?
Containers? Movers? Self-move? This seems like a simple enough choice– only it’s not. Especially if you and your roommate have separate styles of relocation organization and/or experiences with moving. You may have moved many times and have a system down– you know– what friends to call, where to get a reliable truck, etc. This rinse and repeat style is excellent for local moves. Still, it may not always be the best solution for more complicated or long distance moves– so it’s best to consider factors like distance, accessibility, and time of year. For instance, summertime is a big season for moving, so remember to factor in travel times around vacation traffic and the back to college crowd (even if you are the back to college crowd!)
So before you decide to shack-up with a friend, a partner, or a roommate app match– keep in mind– the steps leading to your cohabitation, are half the battle!
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