As some of you know, I recently “officially” moved in with my boyfriend of over a year and a half (I count it as two, but apparently I don’t get “retro credit” whatever that means) in any case, we now share an apartment with a mutual friend and cat, aptly renamed-Lucifer, as her alter ego is a demonic lion with a taste for human flesh. These are some issues we ran into through our still not complete moving process.
A brief intro:
Before we signed the lease agreement, I had been spending every night at HIS apartment, in HIS room, with HIS stuff, where HE paid rent. It was great. We went through the day-to-day things couples do and mostly kept to his room as the rest of the house was a disaster. I had my little corner of the closet for my things and a drawer in the bathroom. Perfect. I kept my mouth shut at all of the things that bothered me (shocking right?). I was in his space; he paid rent and had the right to do whatever he wanted with his things. I just tried to keep my stuff where it belonged. Though loose flip -flops and hair ties could be found everywhere.
When we decided to move in together I was pumped, my own HALF of the closet, girly decorations, everything clean and organized (my boyfriend isn’t dirty, but he tends to leave things around unless I ask him to move it) and a kitchen you could eat off the floor from. Well, things didn’t go quite as smoothly as anticipated.
We signed the lease about 3 weeks ago, giving plenty of time to move things over gradually. Here were some of the problems….
Mistake #1 nesting, apparently, women do not only “nest” when they are about to birth a child. I started nesting the moment my credit was cleared for the apt. I was on Craigslist, Amazon, Etsy, you name the site I was there looking for new furniture, home décor and anything else I could use to make that apartment “Ours”.
I threw photos at Kevin, asked his opinion on what color scheme he liked, if this set of bar stools was too expensive etc. He took it well but I could see the color in his face drain as the questions kept coming in. He was more concerned with how to get his bed, bookcase, dresser etc. out of his house and into the new one. He saw the dollar signs flashing in front of his face at the cost of some things I sent his way, the practical stuff was what he was concerned about.
- Décor- does the other person care what the color scheme looks like? Do you have the same taste? Make sure if they say, “I don’t care”, they really don’t and aren’t trying to get you away from them because they are sick of your incessant interrogation on candle scent. Go on your own for these trips if it really isn’t important to him or her.
- Budget. Remember ladies, you have to pay a deposit and first months rent (don’t forget pet deposits) when you move in so stick to a budget with your purchases and don’t expect your significant other to pay half on things he doesn’t want or need, even though you think it is the most important thing in the world, like these wine charms I found at Storables.
Mistake #2 making your problem his, he doesn’t care that the flour doesn’t have the perfect Oxo container and probably doesn’t feel compelled to go to Storables with you at 8:00PM to find “the one”. Or the 4 section huge couch you fell in love with that is located in Redwood City that is 13′ by 9′ that you expect him and his coworkers to pick up? Give him some notice.
- Be independent enough to make small choices on your own and go shopping alone, you do want some things in the apartment to have your flair, but keep in mind your significant other will have theirs as well (especially if you are a Red Sox fan and he is a Yankee fan, I have heard of a couple this happened to, just saying. Be aware that you may have Yankee memorabilia over your TV forever!)
- For things you need his help with, make sure he has notice and time to arrange to get it picked up, and once he is there- let him be the decision maker as to whether or not it is in good condition and will fit in the house, trust! Or go with him, help him carry it and don’t complain about it. PS, I love my huge couch that fits perfectly in our living room that he negotiated the already amazing price down by $50 bucks.
Mistake #3 making his problem yours-Making one daily trip in my tiny Mazda Protégé to pick up one random article of clothing or “CoAx(?)” cable does not sound fun to me. If we are going to make a trip, lets DO IT RIGHT, I want to be efficient and get everything there to figure out where it will live in our house, I don’t just want to make sure we have cable, and why cant you go alone?
- Decide when you want to move and do it all at once so you have everything together, the gentleman only have to find the right transportation once, and the ladies will have everything they need to organize in the new place (slightly gendered, but you know what I mean). Or, go to Fry’s like we did and pick one up, we brought Dwight and ended up with Borderland’s as well…
Mistake #4- going with the “flow” keep in mind your hobbies, whether individual or mutual, your new place might not have enough room for all of the “flow” you have. My hobbies entail keeping a swimsuit in the closet, books on a bookshelf (thank you Mom for keeping ¾’s of them!), a snowboard and boots. If your boyfriend has a motorcycle, dirt bike gear, a mountain bike that is worth more than your car, a tool chest that weighs 500lbs, a gun safe, 3 BBQ’s, a computer literally 5xs the size of my laptop with dual monitors and a AND a snowboard, you should really evaluate your space situation. One of you will at one point say, “It’s OK, we will just go with the flow”. Be careful, don’t drown in the rapids you may have.
- Storage? Do you have enough storage space for all of your combined hobbies? Did you downsize in space from your previous apartment to your new digs? The snowboards take up more room than you think and the computer will always be ugly, plan ahead and think about getting outside storage containers from Home Depot or OSH –obviously not for the computer, but maybe the dirt bike gear.
- Decide the “non-negotiables”, what can she not live with out? What can he not live without? Remember the little table he has that he loves and you HATE, figure out where it will go first. Don’t make him throw it away; you don’t want him throwing it in your face later. Where are they going to fit? Compromise.
We still aren’t fully moved in and we have no idea where the little computer table is going to go, but the apartment is great and I have no complaints as we get closer to the end, except that dinner wasn’t cooked and finished right when I got home last night, but we’re hanging in there! He gets the little table, the bike in the house and I get the Michigan doormat…and everything else. Hmmmm, maybe more compromise on my end? 🙂 When we have come to our conclusions and final organizations, I will post some pictures of the final layout!