Challenges We Face Merging Spaces
Congratulations! You’re moving in with you partner for the first time—you should be excited about the step that you are about to take. With this step, there will be a lot of decisions that you will have to make together. This will be a time of growth for your relationship, but before you dive into building your life together, you should begin with a conversation about some of the challenges you might face in the process.
Deciding on the Space
The first decision that you’ll have to make with your significant other is where you will be moving. Whether it’s an apartment, a house, or a condo—it’s true that any space is better with them in it, but you should both be on board with the type of space that you want. It’s also important to have an honest conversation about what characteristics are most important to you. For example, maybe you want a place close to your job, but your partner wants an in-house washer and dryer. Your place has to fit both of your needs, so be open minded about the most important characteristics to your partner when picking out a place. Be honest about what you can afford and consider what your expenses may be. After you visit each option, log your costs into the spreadsheet alongside your budget. Being conscious and understanding about what the other person is able to afford will be important for your success in the new space. You want to enjoy your place together instead of stressing about about money, so be intentional about signing onto a lease you feel comfortable with.
You’ll have to keep track of what have, what you should get rid of and what you need. Excel spreadsheets will be your new best friend, and can be a great tool for keeping track of your belongings and needs. If you have both been living on your own or with other roommates, you may find that there are many items that you have double of and some necessary items that you don’t have at all. This is another opportunity where you will have to be open with your partner about items that are important to you and the items that you have room for. You may not have room for both a keurig and a coffee machine, so you’ll have to have an honest conversation about what items make sense to keep. When it comes to furniture, you should start out with what you can afford, which might be used and hand-me-downs at first. You can find some great used on items on Facebook buy-and-sell pages as well as apps like letgo, which connects you with people in your community who are selling their items, as well as giving you a platform to sell your own! When you are moving into your first place together, it can be tempting to buy brand new furniture. Remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day—it’s OK to start out with some used items and save up for a new sofa or a more custom dining table to purchase later on. Don’t feel rushed to fill up your space right away, just get what you need and replace as you go!
Mix-up your Decor Themes
When two personalities come together, there might be some conflict surrounding what themes and colors you’ll want to bring into your home. This is true in any roommate situation, but it can be especially true when it comes to you and your partner’s space. You want your space to be a reflection of the both of you coming together, and the cohesion may not come so easily at first. The great thing about your new space is that it is unique for your relationship, so you can be creative and unique when it comes to your interior design. Maybe your boyfriend likes industrial, but you are more interested in scandinavian design. There are no rules saying you can’t mix and match styles to create a one-of-a-kind look that is special for the both of you. You can pick out some specific decor pieces like artwork and lighting that reflect the experiences you’ve had. You should also fill your space with photos of your memories with friends and family to add a real personal touch to the new space. Surrounding yourself with happy memories will help you feel grounded and remind why you took this step together, if you hit a couple bumps in the road.