Moving in Together: What to Toss, Keep & Get as a Cohabiting Couple


When you’re ready to move in together, you just know. Because when you know, you know, right? There are all the perks, but all the fears and uncertainties come, too. But you shouldn’t let those uncertainties dissuade your decision, especially because U.S. adults see the benefits of moving in together as the number of cohabiting partners continues to rise, according to a 2017 Pew Research Center study.

Moving in together has become a norm and a natural step in the progression of a relationship — with all its perks and challenges. You’ll never be truly ready for the sacrifices and compromises that lie ahead, but you can prepare the best you can. As you plan to blend your life, check out our list of top things to ditch, hang onto and get together.

To Toss

  • “Whoa. We know it’s hard to let go, but…” The Knot, the nation’s largest source for wedding news and inspiration encourages couples to toss items from exes. Hanging onto that watch or necklace? It’s unhealthy; it’s best to enter your committed relationship with a fresh environment free of emotional clutter.
  • There’s going to be doubles of items, and it may be hard for one partner to give up theirs. Compromise on who gets rid of their coffee maker or bed. Don’t fill your space with unused items or pay for an unnecessary storage unit. If you’re concerned about keeping your belongings in case you break up, then you shouldn’t be moving in together.

To Keep

  • Hang onto heirlooms or mementos, recommends Elle Decor, especially because insisting that your partner trash those possessions can lead to resentment down the road. If you’re bringing an exorbitant amount of stuff, make a commitment to take an honest look at each item and purge what’s excess clutter.
  • You have a lot to gain by moving in with your significant other, but you also risk losing some things too: like the little things in life that make you happy. Stay true to who you are. Keep living in those baggy sweatpants after work Monday-Friday. Binge on that pint of Ben & Jerry’s while watching ESPN. You can’t hide who you truly are and what you enjoy forever.

To Get Together

  • This is an exciting time. Allow you and your partner to celebrate by investing in something new together, whether it’s practical or for pleasure. If you live in a house, this may be the right time to finally invest in a wire-free security system now that there’s someone else to protect other than yourself.
  • Now for the not-so-exciting part: finances. Sure, you may be looking forward to splitting rent/a mortgage and bills 50/50, but it still gets complicated. How will you handle grocery shopping? What if you want the full cable package, whereas your partner prefers to save with just Netflix and Hulu? Yes, have the money talk, honestly, openly and ASAP. Then create a financial contract covering every expense imaginable so you’re both on the same page.

These tips only scratch the surface of what to navigate together as your transition into cohabitation. Keep in mind, there will be irritations, frustrations and even fights. But working through these experiences create a bond and partnership between you both. The adjustment period is long, and you may never coexist 100 percent harmoniously, even as a married couple on your 50th anniversary. But you are entering new relationship territory where you will learn to love each other in new ways, discover one another and become not only a couple, but a team.