Moving in Together: A Newlywed’s Guide

You’ll never forget your wedding day. But oftentimes, what is easy to forget during all the emotion, excitement, parties, planning, registries, and the big day itself, is what comes for some couples after their honeymoon plane lands back in their hometown: the move-in. 

Some couples decide to wait until marriage to move in together. And although any couple’s move-in is a significant step, there’s something notably momentous about newlyweds starting a life together. And it’s a lot of change all at once. 

Good news though! In this guide, we’ll walk through three components that affect newlyweds during the move-in. You’ll find lots of practical tips on the logistics-side of the move. But we’ve also slipped in some bigger-issue suggestions that will give you a great foundation for the many years to come!

Need some assistance with the moving part? We can provide a free estimate.

#1 The Prep: Get on the same page before moving in together

First things first! Get in sync with your partner. As a team, talk about your preferences, needs, boundaries, and expectations for your marriage relationship. Figure out what works for both of you, working together as a unit, compromising when appropriate, and supporting each other equally.

Contradicting opinions about money, intimacy, kids, time apart, household responsibilities, friends, and family are the topics that typically get couples into trouble. So getting on the same page right from the start will drastically help you avoid many conflicts in the months and years to come. Go grab a coffee together and openly share your thoughts on all of these subjects.

Other seemingly innocent topics can and often do cause conflict with newlyweds. These include the thermostat temperature, closet space, screen time, sharing food, how many times an alarm can be snoozed, and how the dishwasher should be loaded.

You’ll probably find that you’ve already discussed some, if not most, of these topics. But oftentimes we can underplay our preferences or not consider them fully before we’ve moved in with our loved one. 

When discussing these topics, focus on enjoying the conversation. Don’t feel like you need to come to a hard and fast agreement on every issue during your coffee date or even before you’re married. But agree to compromise with each other, and make your needs, preferences, boundaries, and expectations clearly known. This is a loving, honest, and helpful thing to do. 

These conversations can be complicated or feel awkward and uncomfortable. But it’s important to talk about your opinions before they become full-fledged issues. As time goes on, your opinions might change. So keep the conversation open. Bounce ideas off of your spouse. And remember to be kind to yourself and your partner as you learn how to work together as a team. 

Couple Unpacking and Moving In Together

#2 The Action: Make the move

Once you’re on the same page with your partner, you’re ready to take action. Newly married couples often have twice the amount of property and stress to manage since they’ll be combining both people’s possessions. With this in mind, we’ve come up with a few tips that will make the move much easier.

Figure out your housing situation.

Your place, their place, or a new place? Most couples decide to move into one of their current properties. But you might decide to move somewhere new to achieve a shared sense of ownership and start a new chapter in your relationship.

Talk it over with your partner and determine early on where you’ll be living. Figure out which housing situation works best for your relationship, budget, future goals, and plans. Consider what size you’ll need if you hope to host friends often, adopt new pets, work from home, or have kids right away.

Take an inventory of all your joint possessions.

Next, compile an accurate list of everything you own. Don’t get too crazy during this step though, you don’t have to list every spoon and paper clip. But get a good idea of what you have together, and don’t forget to count your wedding gifts!

Decide together what you will keep, sell, donate, and toss.

Look over your list with your partner. Get rid of duplicates, figure out what can fit in your new living space, decide what you’ll keep, get rid of, or save for later. If you’re downsizing, don’t feel like it has to happen all at once. Give yourself time to get used to living together. You might end up reaching for that larger set of plates after all.

It’s possible that you and your new spouse don’t share the same style when it comes to household decor. Instead of battling it out over every piece of furniture, consider coming up with an entirely new style that can work for both of you. Donate your stuff, and start over from scratch! 

Countdown calendar to moving day

Follow a calendar countdown.

If you are starting early, a step-by-step timeline for packing and moving is incredibly helpful and a time-saver. While there are plenty of templates online, we’ve found it most effective to create a personalized moving countdown with the following steps: 

  1. Packing: Using a calendar, figure out how many weeks you have left, pencil in when you plan to pack up (we suggest tackling one room at a time), and schedule when you’re going to transfer your things to your new apartment or house. Make sure to separate items you’ll need for your honeymoon and in the first week you’ll be back. 
  2. Updated Address: A few weeks out, you’ll want to send your updated address to the following entities: post office, pharmacy, social security, insurance companies, credit card companies, employers, car registrations, online subscriptions, department of motor vehicles, bank accounts, magazines, friends, and relatives.
  3. Utilities: If you’re moving to a new place, discontinue current utilities and schedule the start-up of new utilities. Many apartment complexes have instruction and information about which utility companies you’ll need to contact, but these are typically just water, gas, internet, and electricity.
  4. Documents: Collect important documents if you’re moving to a new city. Ask to be sent your medical and veterinary records, select a new primary care provider and send your medical records to their office in case of any future need. 
  5. Post-Move: And once you’ve moved, don’t forget that you have only a matter of a few weeks before you’re required to get a new driver’s license and register your car. You can also, oftentimes, update your voter registration at the same time. 

Check out our checklist for all of our tips leading up to moving day.

Move your stuff in before you get married.

Moving your stuff into your new home before your wedding day is your sure way of having a much less-stressed honeymoon and smooth transition into married life afterward. The best way to manage this move during all your wedding planning is to hire professional movers. 

You’ll feel like an interior designer, sweeping from room to room in your slacks and sunglasses, directing your team without breaking a sweat. Just a reminder, we’re movers in a number of cities across the nation.

Make unpacking into a way to make memories — and good ones!

Instead of letting the unpacking process drag on, carve out a time block to unpack with your partner. After moving in together, put on a playlist, experiment with furniture placement, put up pictures from your wedding, hang artwork throughout your home, buy some flowers or statement pieces you both love, and get into the design aspect of unpacking together. 

We do have one important rule: don’t skip meals. Hanger will douse any sort of fun you’re having in a moment if you’re not careful. And remember to take emotional breaks if you’re getting in each other’s hair. 

#3 The Preventative Measures and Damage Control: Avoid common conflicts

While moving can be an invigorating opportunity and fresh start, it is also noted as a common and top stressor that a person can experience in their lifetime, listed right along with divorce, loss of a job, or loss of a loved one. Below, we’ve listed 5 tips that can help you and your honey avoid conflict and stress during your move and in the years to follow.

Schedule time for each other.

Schedule some date nights in the first few months you’re back, and stick to them. Getting out of the house and establishing a date night routine can make a world of a difference in your marriage. So why not start off right? 

Pencil in some “me” time.

Your spouse is not your parent or your caregiver. Make sure you’re taking care of yourself and not placing emotional and relational strain on your spouse that shouldn’t be theirs to carry. Taking good care of yourself will also make you a lot happier, which will, in turn, benefit your marriage.

Keep learning.

There are tons of great marital resources, whether you prefer podcasts, books, or blogs. For starters, personality assessments like the Enneagram and Myers Briggs can help you understand yourself and each other better. These resources can explain how you and your partner are different and help you both cultivate compassion for and a more intimate friendship with each other. 

Practice expressing your love and care for your partner.

Be intentional about showing your partner that you would pick them all over again. Take a moment each day to intentionally show your partner that they’re important to you, whether that’s with an affectionate hug and kiss or telling them why you appreciate them.

See a marriage counselor.

Unfortunately, marriage doesn’t develop like wine. You don’t just pop a cork in after the wedding vowels and let things sit. For your marriage to age beautifully, it takes involvement, cultivation, and care. And oftentimes, it can be extremely helpful (if not necessary) to receive some outside guidance.  

During all this transition—a new live-in partner, a new commitment, potentially a new city, and a new job—conflict can arise easier, stress and anxiety can increase, unmet expectations can leave you disappointed, and conversations might not go the way you planned. 

But don’t feel like you have to struggle alone. You wouldn’t climb Mount Everest without a guide. So why embark on this life-altering and life-long journey without a professional and experienced escort? Help from a counselor can be like a beacon of light that will help you navigate through your marital winter storms.

Try our tips, and give it time.

If you’ve ever driven a manual car, you’ll remember the day you first tried. As you slowly released the clutch and pressed on the gas, the gears moved toward each other, and you had high hopes that the link-up would be smooth and easy. 

But it wasn’t. Gears ground loudly. The car stalled. And there may have been some light damage to your car in the process. Moving in with your new spouse can feel like a very similar experience. Hopes are high. Intentions are good. But when you bring two moving parts that close, they’re going to grind a bit, especially as you’re getting used to this new stage of life. 

This transition is going to take practice, intention, and time. So don’t feel discouraged when you hit bumps or find yourself in a conflict that you didn’t anticipate. When you and your partner work together and move as a team, your new unit will start to glide beautifully, and you’ll be reminded how much more ground you can cover and how lovely the ride is together. 

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