Moving in with a close friend is fun and exciting, but it also can be tricky if and when conflicts arise. Before moving in together you need to have some open and honest conversations about your expectations, rules, and hopes about your living situation. If you’re not sure where to start, here are seven things we recommend discussing.
1. Decide if You’re Compatible
Our first piece of moving advice is to really consider whether you’re compatible roommates. You know that you love each other as friends, but there’s more to living with each other than getting along. Think about your personalities and if they’ll mesh in close quarters. For example, do you need your alone time to unwind and your friend likes to be around people constantly? Do you have the same taste in music and TV, or is it going to be a constant battle over noise control? Really think through your everyday life and if it will be cohesive with your friend in the picture.
2. Figure out a Budget
Now that you’ve decided to live together, you need to find a place to live. Although it may be a bit awkward, you should both be open about your budgets and what you can afford. Take a look at our post on how to create a budget to make sure you don’t forget about any expenses. Talk through how you will split costs for rent, utilities, groceries, internet and other bills. And be sure your roommate is committed to paying their fair share.
3. Discuss What’s Communal
Sharing can be a big source of tension among roommates. Before you move in you should have a conversation about how you want to deal with communal spaces and the expenses that go with them. Some of the most obvious items are your groceries. Do you want to go grocery shopping together and split the cost, or do you want to keep your food separate? The same thing goes for cleaning supplies, bathroom items like toilet paper, and laundry supplies. You also should come to an agreement on whether or not it’s OK to borrow each other’s clothes, accessories, or other personal items. The last thing you want is a petty argument about who ate the last yogurt or why they’re wearing your favorite shirt without your knowledge.
4. Divide up Chores
The cleanliness test is a good way to see if you’re compatible roommates. Not only do you need to divide up chores like vacuuming and cleaning the bathroom, but you also need to determine if your version of clean matches theirs. If you don’t mind a few dirty dishes in the sink but they want them done right away, you need to make sure you can compromise. The same thing goes for clutter, trash, and communal spaces.
5. Agree on Guests
If you’re a social butterfly or have a significant other, make sure your roommate is fine with other people coming over. You may want to set limits on how often you each can have guests and any rules you want followed. Also be sure to discuss whether it’s OK for guests to stay over and for how long. Remember, it’s their home too and everyone should be comfortable.
6. Address any Tension
You’re bound to have disagreements — and that’s OK. If you set up some rules and boundaries before you move in, it will be easier to prevent arguments and solve them respectfully when they do happen. You should be open and honest about anything that’s bothering you before it turns into a larger issue. And your friend should be able to do the same with you.
7. Have Fun Making it Your Own
Our last piece of moving advice is to have fun! You don’t want your friendship to turn into only obligations and chores because you’re living together. Go shopping together for furniture and decorations for your apartment. Hang up pictures and figure out the best places for your knickknacks. If you’re feeling really ambitious, take on one of the DIY projects from this post. Put on your favorite music and remember to have fun together.
Moving in with someone is a big step, even if you’ve been friends for years. As long as you’re honest with each other and remember why you’re friends in the first place, you’ll have a great experience.