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5 essential tips for moving into your first couples’ home

So, you’ve decided to move in with your other half. Great! No more housemates, no more weekend-bag packing and no more bickering over ‘your place or mine’.
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Those who’ve been living with friends or lodgers will welcome the move to independent living (what joy to have only one’s own mess to deal with first thing in the morning!). And those who have been flying solo are sure to welcome another set of footsteps in the house and a familiar face to come home to at the end of the day.

Yes, it’s exciting times, moving in with a significant other – but that’s not to say it isn’t all a bit nerve-racking. And, of course, there are practical elements to consider too – lots of them – from getting a bed big enough to accommodate both of you comfortably every night, to bringing two loads of belongings together and storing them in a harmonious way. In the throws of romance and ‘big life decisions’, we’re faced with having to think logically and sensibly, and of championing compromise at all costs. Being too demanding or set in our ways (the walls MUST be the perfect shade of egg-shell blue, number 456 in the Dulux catalogue), can lead to friction before you’ve even moved in. But at the same time, it’s important to hold on to some sense of personal identity as you take the plunge into cohabiting. More than anything, it’s vital to still feel like home is home.

Consider the tips below to get you started on your journey, and enjoy the whole process for the cool life-event that it is… (relatively) argument free.

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1. The bed: It’s kind of a big deal

First things first, never under estimate the importance of getting a bed that’s big enough to spend every night in with another person. It’s one thing snuggling up in one that’s smaller than you need a couple of times a week when you’re staying at each other’s places. But when it comes to living together – aka sleeping in the same bed every single night – you’ll need to know that you can stretch out when you want to. Shop king size beds as a must-have, not a nice-to-have, and choose one that you both love. Next, move to comfy king size mattresses (which we’re almost certain have the power to save relationships), and get ready to flex your compromising skills. It’s so important for both of you to get a good night’s sleep and to be comfortable every night – so you’ll need to carefully weigh up which factors are most important to you both, and prioritise them. If one needs a firm mattress for back problems, put that at the top of your list, but that doesn’t mean you have to go for full memory foam. Find an option that works for both parties – for example, latex mattresses can offer a decent level of firmness but still have a bit of spring.

2. The stuff: Don't double up

One thing you’ll notice when you bring all your belongings together is that there’s a LOT of stuff, and a ton of it will be duplicated. And while you might have a natural inclination to hold on to everything you own, it’s best to be cut-throat and accept that it makes sense to get rid of anything you don’t actually need. That might mean doing a few charity-shop runs with doubled-up sets of knives, crockery and old furniture, or eBaying it with TVs, speakers and expensive artwork. Plus, it can be really therapeutic to run with an ‘out with the old’ attitude, as it’ll free up some room to buy stuff that’s just yours as a couple, too.

3. The décor: When two worlds collide

One of the trickiest parts of moving in with your other half can be having to deal with their idea of ‘what looks good’. How are you supposed to react when they suggest purchasing that giant, neon green leather sofa they’ve always wanted? Or declare a love for carpeted bathrooms when you’re a tile-person through and through? The key is to allow each other a reasonable amount of vetoes. That means neither of you end up with the stuff you hate, and you’re forced to come to a compromise on things you can both enjoy. You might not be able to run with your wildest, hard-to-love dreams, but neither will they. You’ll probably find that you end up with a much more tasteful, understated end-picture than if you were to let your two contrasting tastes collide, no-holds-barred.

4. The sofa: Snuggle-ability is key

Now for the fun bit. When it comes to picking out furniture for the living room (and we’re being deadly serious here), you’ll need to factor in snuggle-ability as a key selling (buying?) point. That means choosing a sofa that’s big enough to sprawl out on together without elbows-in-faces and persistent bickering over who’s got more room. You could even take things up a notch and invest in a tasteful cuddle-chair like this, for those cosy winter nights by the fire when snuggling up is simply a must.

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5. The move: How not to argue

Moving in to a new place is stressful enough, let alone when there are two of you with conflicting ideas about how to get things done. With that in mind, you’ll need to put a bit of damage control in place. Carefully plan out every element of the moving process in advance so you’re prepared for all (or at least most) eventualities. And get as much of your furniture dismantled as possible so as to avoid screaming, ‘Pivot!’ at each other for an hour-and-a-half mid-stairwell. Finally, get savvy with particularly difficult things to move. Roll-up mattresses, for example, can offer a sanity-saving solution to the conundrum of heaving a giant square object up a narrow staircase (particularly useful for upper floor flats).

Despite its stresses (usually over silly, practical matters), moving in with a partner is one of life’s little treasures. It provides an exciting step forwards in your relationship and, what’s more, is genuinely a lot of fun. A lovely place just for the two of you? Well that’s got to be worth giving up a few old crockery sets for.

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