The Top 10 Tips for Moving in Together, Plus a Comprehensive To-Do List

Yes, this actually is a huge deal.
Couple hugging while moving into their new home together
Photo: Cavan Images / Getty Images
Erin Celletti
Erin Celletti
Erin Celletti
Erin Celletti
The Knot Contributor
  • Erin is a freelance contributor to The Knot and loves creating lifestyle, travel, beauty, relationships and commerce content.
  • In addition to writing for The Knot, Erin contributes to a wide range of publications including The Everygirl, The Everymom, Scary Mommy, Romper, Bustle and Brides.
  • Erin lives just outside of New York City, has a Bachelor's degree in Journalism and two Master’s degrees in Education and Administ...
Updated Apr 05, 2024

So, you're ready to move in together. Aside from this being a huge deal and major relationship milestone, your to-do list is probably a mile long which may feel kind of overwhelming. From the more obvious things like figuring out who is bringing what and all the items you'll need for a comfortable home together to the smaller but super necessary things like changing your address—here's the best advice for moving in together and a checklist to keep you organized, too. Congrats on your new home!

In this article:

10 Tips for Moving in Together

Moving in together is a big milestone. But such a big life change might feel overwhelming or even stressful, and that's totally okay. With these tips, you can look forward to a more streamlined move so you can focus your energy on what is most important.

1. Declutter & Downsize

Moving in together is an excellent time to go through all your stuff and decide what you really want and need, and what you can part with. Make donation piles that you can give to your favorite organizations or charities, and really take the time to purge. The less stuff you both bring into your new shared space, the more room you'll have to fill it with things you acquire together over time.

2. Communication is Key

Whether you're used to having a roommate or living alone, when you're moving in together with your partner for the first time certain aspects of your relationship are bound to change. This isn't a negative thing, just a practical one. Instead of texting one another "good morning" you can now say it face to face. Then again, instead of cooking whatever you want for yourself for dinner, you might need to do some advance planning since there's now two mouths to feed. From the littlest things like what to do when you run out of coffee grinds to bigger deals like where to spend the holidays, communication is key. Keep it open, keep it honest and be a good listener, too.

3. Have a Clear Plan For Finances

When it comes to money, things can get tricky, awkward or even stressful. But having a clear plan for finances and bills will get you far and have you starting out your new life together strong. From who pays what part of the rent or mortgage, to whether you merge your finances into a joint account or maintain separate ones, go through every possible scenario that is finance-related and work together on transparent roles and responsibilities.

4. Respect Each Other's Space

Some couples might not have much of an issue with this one at all, and others may need to be really conscientious of it, at least in the beginning. Actively showing respect for each other's space might look like small acts around the home like making the bed and tidying up after yourself, or bigger (and maybe even challenging things) like giving them the space they still need while maintaining your independence and individuality. A lot of this will unfold naturally and overtime, but making it a goal can help ensure it remains a priority.

5. Create House Rules

It might sound silly while you're still wrapped up in the moving in-together bliss, but establishing some general house (or apartment) rules that you both agree on will go a really, really long way as things settle in. Sit down together one night and try to have fun coming up with a productive and proactive list you both agree upon. Think of everything that comes to mind that could be a potential cause of conflict like what to do when you want to have guests over, how to manage family or visitors popping by unannounced, to whether or not you will have a television in the bedroom. Hash it all out with an open mind ahead of move-in day and you'll be in a great position for cooperative cohabitation.

6. Clearly Designate Responsibilities

Similar to creating house rules, having a plan in place for who does what around the house is super important. Just like the above, have a little working session with your partner where you sit down and think of everything that will have to be done around your new living space daily, weekly and monthly. Then, split up the chores as best you can. Roles don't have to be static and you can allow room for change and flexibility when needed (for example, one month you might be in charge of taking out the garbage and one month they are) but having designated roles and responsibilities will help keep conflict at bay and communication open. Plus, it leaves more time for the fun stuff!

7. Ask for Help If Needed

Is there anyone out there who genuinely enjoys moving, even when it's for the best reasons? There's always so much to do and plan, logistics to figure out and a lot of heavy lifting involved. Wherever you can, don't be afraid to ask for help. Whether it's hiring a moving crew or enlisting the help of friends and family members for moving day—try to make it fun. For friends and family play some music, offer up some pizzas as a token of your appreciation and enjoy having the company of those you love. When it comes to moving, multiple sets of hands are always a good idea.

8. Keep the Romance Alive

Any new living situation will take some time to get used to, but you might be surprised how easily things fall into place one you're *finally* living with the one you love. Just keep an eye out for your romance meter—while things may have started hot and heavy, the more comfortable and settled in you get the more likely the romance meter might start to fade. Don't stress—this is easily fixable. Be sure to stick to set date nights and be mindful of carving out 1:1 time together that doesn't involve Netflix or scrolling on your phones before bed.

9. Compromise

The art of compromise is essential in any relationship, especially for one that's new to sharing a home. If you're gotten this far chances are you're both a-ok at meeting each other halfway when the situation warrants, but just be sure you make it a consistent priority even when emotions get high, things get frustrating, you are stressed at work, feeling exhausted, etc. Rest assured knowing that almost every conflict or situation has a solution if you can find ways to compromise.

10. Be Consistently Conscious Of Your New Set Up

If it's your first time living with someone, it can be really easy to fall back into old habits and it is only natural that you might even sometimes, innocently, forget altogether that you now have a shared space. In the early weeks and months, try to keep it top of mind that you now get to live with your love and that might mean changes to your daily routine, activities, work-from-home setup, meals, etc.

Moving in Together Checklist

Here is a comprehensive checklist to use—from the essential "firsts" to the final "to-dos" to ensure a smooth moving in together experience.

Organize Your Belongings

  • Declutter unnecessary items. Donate what you can and sell what you want—the extra cash can come in handy when moving.
  • Pack belongings into organized and labeled boxes.
  • Coordinate with your partner to decide which items to keep, donate or discard.

Create a Moving Timeline

  • Set a moving date.
  • Create a timeline for packing and begin exploring movers to hire or finding help.
  • Plan ahead, scheduling specific days for tasks such as packing different rooms or arranging utility transfers.

Schedule Movers or Helpers

  • Research moving companies or enlist the help of friends and family.
  • Book movers or schedule a moving truck well in advance.
  • Confirm all details and set aside payment methods.

Change Your Address

  • Forward your mail to your new address via USPS.
  • Update your address with your employer, banks, credit card companies, insurance providers and other important entities.
  • Notify the post office, subscriptions and any relevant institutions of your change of address.

Transfer Utilities:

  • Arrange for utilities such as electricity, water, gas, internet and cable to be transferred to your new address.
  • Schedule disconnection at your current residence and new activation at your new home.

Pack Essentials Separately:

  • Pack a separate box of essentials that you'll need immediately upon moving in, such as toiletries, bedding and kitchen essentials.
  • Keep this box easily accessible during the move and you know you'll unpack it first.

Coordinate Furniture and Appliance Placement:

  • Measure all spaces in your new home to ensure furniture, decor and appliances will fit.
  • Coordinate with your partner on the layout and placement of furniture and appliances in each room.

Set Up New Accounts and Services:

  • Set up new accounts for services such as electricity, internet and gas if necessary.
  • Research local service providers and choose the best options for your needs and finance.

Finalize Cleaning and Maintenance:

  • Schedule any necessary cleaning or maintenance tasks for both your old and new homes.
  • Ensure both properties are clean and in good condition before moving in or handing over the keys. (Even if it's just giving them back to your parents!)

Celebrate and Enjoy the Process:

  • Take time to celebrate this milestone in your relationship. You're moving in together!
  • Take things slow and enjoy the process of creating and building a new home together with your partner.
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