If you’re moving in with your partner, the move itself can be challenging. A recent survey finds that nearly 50 percent of millennials have their worst arguments while they move in with a significant other. It isn’t uncommon to even find people who see moving in together as a bigger practical challenge than planning a wedding.

If you’re moving in together as a couple, what follows are tips on making the process as pain-free as possible.

Couple moving holding lamps with boxes in the background

Have a detailed talk before the move

If you need to raise money for a down payment fast, going on a radical spending diet is one way to do it. You may not like giving up cable for a year or living on beans and rice, but the fact that it is temporary can make that extreme spending reduction easier to take.

Depending on your monthly budget, this radical expense reduction strategy could allow you to finance your down payment very quickly. Once you have the cash in hand, you can slowly increase your spending, but the discipline you have learned might allow you to make some of those cuts permanent.

Make sure to do the math

When two people who have always lived separately decide to move in together in a new home, the number one mistake that they usually make is to pack everything they have in their own homes to take to the new shared home. It is only once they get to the new home with all their stuff that they begin to realize that they can’t fit all of their furniture in the rooms they have, or all their belongings on the shelves.

It’s important to perform a space audit before you begin packing, to determine where things will go in the new home. Measuring your closets is a good way to start. If you have 12 feet of closet space in your current home, but you will only have 6 feet in the shared home, you will obviously need to find a way to get rid of half your clothes. Making up your mind about what you will keep before you make the move is likely to make for a smoother experience.

Stacks of money

Don’t underestimate how much time it takes to pack

When you plan to move in together, it can seem like giving yourself two weeks to pack should be plenty. In general, however, people tend to need to get rid of 60 percent of their belongings in order to successfully move in with a partner. When you need to spend time thinking about what to donate, what to toss, what to put into storage and what to move to your new home, giving yourself about two months is a better idea. In the end, you’ll need to pay the movers far less if you only move half your stuff.

Pack by the home you’re moving into, not the home you’re leaving

When you pack, you need to keep in mind the ease with which you will be able to unpack when you get to your new address. Rather than pack everything by the rooms in the home you’re leaving, it would make sense to think ahead about the closets and drawers that your belongings will go into in your new home, and organize the contents of your boxes in such a way that you will have an easy time matching them to the spaces they will go into.

Stacks of money

Label your boxes in a meaningful way

It might seem logical to label your boxes by their contents because such labels will help you see where you need to go when you need to unpack. The movers won’t find it meaningful when you simply label boxes by their contents, however – they won’t know which room in the new home boxes marked clothes, framed pictures, or toys are to go into. It’s a good idea, then, to assign a number to each room of your new home, label those rooms with those numbers, and put the numbers on the boxes, so that the movers know what room to put each box in.

Moving in together with someone you love should be a happy experience. Anticipating the problems that are likely to turn up, and preparing for them ahead of time, can help.

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