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You like your gun metal couch with the pop of colour from your grandmother’s green scatter pillows. You admit that you’re emotionally attached to the framed photographs of every dog you’ve ever owned that line the passage of the wall. But now that your other half is moving in, it may be time to move things around a bit.
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Handle with care
Moving in together is a big step in any relationship and can be a source of conflict if not handled carefully. You’re both used to living in a certain way, you both like your own things and you both have your own unique sense of style (well, hopefully at least one of you does). The best advice we can give you is to talk this one through. Discuss what you both expect and would like each step of the way. Go easy on each other’s sentimental items (one person’s glass ashtray is another’s great grandmother’s wedding gift from her fourth husband), but be willing to chuck out the mess and clutter that neither of you need – life-sized figurines, contraband and porn are fair game when it comes to the garbage pile.
This is the perfect opportunity for a makeover or spruce-up. Why not mix things up and level the playing field? Consider rearranging the furniture and combining your furniture and décor items to make a beautiful space that reflects both your styles and interests. It’s likely that one of you has couches that have seen better days and the other has just bought two vintage tan sofas on sale – now that’s win! Why not sell the older fridge/washing machine/bed and use it to buy a new rug for the lounge that you both love This type of compromise and approach will also go a long way in determining how you deal with future conflict as a couple.
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Give each other space
Nothing says ‘you’re kinda in my way’ like being given a bar stool to hang your clothes. Yes, we’ve seen it happen. It’s important that the partner moving in has adequate space for clothes and personal items. Divvy up the cupboard space equally or get creative with cool storage ideas, from funky shelving to old school cabinets.
Think before you pee
Yup, this is a metaphor (mostly). When you and your partner move in together, you can’t suddenly turn into a territorial Pitbull or the bratty kid who never shared. Living together means sharing everything –think time in the bathroom (#showerhour), who sits on the comfier couch and when (#shotgun) and, of course, who decides on the evening’s entertainment (#remotewars). Whether you work out a schedule, alternate each night or a flip a coin is up to you – as long as you make a plan and stick to it. On the topic of real peeing, however … always leave the bathroom the way you found it to avoid an unnecessary argument.
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Carly has a decade of wild, weird and wonderful experience in the media industry. After graduating from Rhodes University with an honours degree in journalism and politics, she tried to change the world as a journalist. She helped launch the country’s first integrated newsroom at Times Media (then called Avusa). After getting bored of politics and news, she joined forces with a brand activations and event company before joining a global PR agency – WE Worldwide as a Senior Account manager. This is her dream job but she still loves to be fancy with words and interview cool people so she writes for Hello Joburg.