Having roommates definitely has its perks. Splitting the rent, sharing utility costs, and always having someone to chat with each night… so many great things! But we all know that it can sometimes be difficult moving in with a new roomie, especially since you’re both bringing your own “baggage” to the new living situation. And when we say baggage…we mean baggage! Whether it’s a college friend, a new husband (congratulations!), or a random roommate you found on Craigslist you’ll probably need to downsize before you move together under one roof.
We’re guessing you don’t want to start off your cohabitation with petty fights about STUFF… we totally get it! But if you’re each bringing a household worth of junk to your new pad, then you’ll definitely have way too much stuff on your hands. Start off your new living situation on the right foot with a simplified home.
Here are some tips to get you started…
1. Make a List
Many organization projects start with creating a list and this one is no different. Sit down with your new roomie and make a list of all of the things you each have. Does he have a microwave? Do you also have a microwave? Write it down. Go through the long list of all of your possessions. From furniture, to kitchen appliances, to everything in between.
2. Check Items Off the List
Now that you’ve got the list of everything you both own right in front of you, it’s time to start downsizing. This may simply be a game of “whose item is nicer/in better condition?” It may be hard to be objective during this time, but do your best. Is his microwave from the past five years, while yours is from 1982? Ditch yours and be happy your roommate has such a nice one.
3. Ditch the Crossed Off Items
Before moving day arrives, be sure to donate all of those items you both agreed to ditch. That way you’re not paying to move items that you’re not going to need in the future, and there’s no way you can secretly sneak them back into your everyday life. Ditch the excess junk, and feel happier and lighter during your move. You can check out this list of donation centers if you need some guidance.
4. Compromise is Key
We all know compromise is an essential part of any relationship or friendship. The same goes for downsizing. You need to be willing to let go of some of your possessions in order to make your roommate happy. On the flip side, you need to be willing to allow your new roommate to bring his/her possessions into your new home.
Quick story time: When my husband and I moved in together, he had boxes and boxes of old trophies and sports memorabilia. We simply didn’t have the room to keep them all. So we both decided that he could keep one box of his favorites. He was happy he could keep some of his prized possessions, and I was happy that we still had room for home essentials. That’s compromise!
5. Couples – Take the Future into Account
If you are newlyweds, be sure to keep your gift registry in mind when you decide what stays and what goes – it’s common to receive gifts up to a year after your wedding. This would also be a good time to talk about new items you may want to purchase together for your home. This is when it stops being his or hers…and starts being OURS.
We hope you keep these tips in mind during your upcoming move. Next week we’ll dive into the real heart of the moving-in together drama… how to compromise when it comes to DECORATING.