Moving in with your boyfriend is an exciting step in a relationship. But for all the excitement, moving is a huge to-do. And as many times as you spent the night at his place (or he slept at yours), there are a lot of things you will never know about a partner until you officially move in together.
Maybe you share the same taste in movies. Great! You don’t need to trash or sell your movie posters. Or maybe you went to the same college, and he thinks it’s cute when you rock the university duds. There will always be some elements that depend on the couple.
That said, there are some pretty good rules of thumb to take note of. Even if you think your guy is cool with you bringing certain things into his daily world, you might discover later that he was just trying to be nice.
Let’s start with the practical things you should get rid of before moving in.
- The number one thing to talk about with your guy is what duplicate household stuff you can choose between. Obviously, you don’t need to keep both your mattresses unless you plan on sleeping in separate beds. And someone is bound to have better frying pans, or a better TV stand. Start with having a conversation about “his” and “hers.”
With all the downsizing, if you put yourself to it you can make some money selling off the extra stuff. Make it a team effort, and the whole process of moving in together will be all that much more ceremonious. Maybe some of the sale money can christen your place with something new.
- Speaking of downsizing…there are some things that your guy may not have, but have to go. Moving is always an opportunity to sift through your clothes, shoes and the rest to pick out what needs to go. This step may not be a money-maker, or at least not one worth your time, so think about giving items to friends—or just donating it.
Non-essential books are heavy, so think long and hard about what you really want to keep. The thing is, if you have filled your place and he’s filled his, moving in together will get a little crowded if you aren’t practical.
Okay, that practical stuff makes sense. But what about the touchy stuff to be left behind?
- Any pictures you have with your ex are an obvious thing to toss. Even if you have old pictures on your phone, think about all that downtime you will spend with your new guy at home – do you really want him seeing pictures with men from your past as you scroll through your phone Sunday morning in bed?
Jewelry or clothes you don’t use that were given to you by an ex are another thing to go. Even though you wouldn’t right out say “The other guy gave this to me” when you string on that necklace, it will be really weird for your guy if he finds out where it came from. If you were him, wouldn’t you ask, “Why’d you keep it?” Anything that seems too sentimental about the “other guy” is an easy trap to avoid once you are ready to move in with your new man.
- Toys…right. We’re not talking about stuffed bears or Barbies. If you have any sex toys that aren’t already a part of your routine with your boyfriend, ask yourself if you really need them.
You might have a guy who thinks it’s cool, but moving in is such a big deal in your relationship that this might be a chance to send an affirming message. Even a guy who’s cool with you “doing your own thing” sometimes will probably like it if you say he’s all you need.
- Most of us have them: the gnarly, nasty PJs we love so much that we don’t even see their holes and stains. The elastic cookie pants. The old, lacy bra you only wear to sleep in because of the fray. Any lounging clothes you use at home should be assessed before moving in with your guy, because there’s probably something overdue to get tossed.
Obviously, your boyfriend should love you no matter what you wear, and everyone has comfy clothes that only serve to be lounged in. But if you have to downsize anyway, start with the gnarly!
Another important thing to do when preparing to move is be candid about what you have, and what’s important to you. See if you can get him to assess his stuff, too. Ultimately you want to both feel at home.
Moving is a pain, so you can feel good that this time it’s for a great reason. Don’t let the stress of too much stuff—or the unpleasant surprise of your underwear-drawer toy collection—get in the way of something so special.