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The Best Move-in Checklist for Couples

Congratulations! You’ve made a significant life decision, but once the afterglow fades, many couples find themselves asking questions about what comes next. That’s perfectly understandable.

Fortunately, we’ve put together a free checklist you can print and reference to remember everything you need to do before making the big move.

While there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to relationships, it’s important to be realistic with your partner and yourself when approaching the decision to move in with one another. Obviously, only you and your partner know if now is the best time to move in together. And if you’re here on this blog, then you’re likely looking for information and tips to make the transition seamless. Now that you’ve made the decision to move in with each other, you also need to develop a plan to make the move easier.

Keep reading to learn what you and your partner should consider before moving in together. Start by taking a look at our free checklist

a pdf checklist for couples moving in together

1. Discuss Your Finances

When developing a plan for moving in together, couples should first take time to discuss their individual finances. It’s very common for couples to have uneven incomes. This can be a challenge when trying to decide on what is an affordable way to live.

At this stage, you need to make sure you are both on the same page about what is affordable and what expenses each person is responsible for. At the very least, you need to discuss if you’ll be splitting all bills or splitting expenses in proportion to your individual earnings.

It’s important that couples work out their finances before moving in with each other to promote a healthier relationship. There will be implications whether you decide to pro-rate or split evenly. Splitting expenses evenly is a decision many couples find themselves making (it also requires less math). However, several professional sources, also find there are advantages to splitting expenses based on individual income.

2. Decide Where to Live

After you and your significant other discuss your finances, the next step is to decide where you will live. At first, you might find it a good idea to simply extend the lease on one of the apartments you occupied previously. However, there are a few reasons why you might want to look past this idea.

First, living together in a residence once meant for just one of you will likely come with some space limitations. Second, the space may not feel like “home” for both individuals. If you do decide to go this route, you both will also need to discuss your stuff (more on this next) and refresh the place with décor and furniture that fits each of your individual styles.

A many carries labeled boxes and a woman carries a plant as they are moving in together. Photo by Blue Bird
When moving in together, deciding where to live is an important discussion to have. Photo by Blue Bird

If you decide to rent a new apartment or house together, it’s important to reference your conversation about finances. What is your budget for rent? How much can you each afford while still saving and placing money away for retirement?

Unless you and your partner have been together for several years and have a very strong and dedicated relationship, it’s never a good idea to buy a house together when living together for the first time.

3. Pare Down Your Stuff

Next, after deciding where you will live, you’ll need to decide what possessions and furniture you’ll be taking with you to your next residence. You likely won’t need two sets of everything and may need to rent a storage unit to help you store possessions while you figure out what exactly you need in your new place.

a couple wraps a chair in bubble wrap in preparation for storage
A couple wraps a chair in bubble wrap in preparation for storage. Photo by Blue Bird

If you do decide to rent a storage unit temporarily, it’s also a good idea to have a conversation about the nuances of this decision. How will this next expense affect your monthly budget? How long will you need storage?

4. Discuss Household Responsibilities

When it comes to discussing household responsibilities, couples should create a plan for managing cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping and general house/apartment maintenance. It takes quite a bit of work to keep a residence in order and the larger your house or apartment, the more work will be required.

A good strategy here is to lay out a schedule for when tasks need to be completed. You and your partner can create a schedule that highlights daily, weekly and monthly tasks. Make sure when creating a schedule, you and your partner both feel confident and committed to the timeline you’re creating. After creating the schedule, make sure to follow it and make regular updates when necessary.

5. Discuss Individual Needs

Finally, you and your partner should also discuss your individual needs. What goals are you both trying to accomplish and what do you need to make them happen? Do you need to adhere to a certain schedule after work?  When will you eat dinner every night?

Laying out and discussing your needs with each other is not only a great way to create a healthy home but it will also strengthen your relationship. By truly knowing where your partner’s energy is focused, you can be a better resource to help them achieve their goals. In turn, this will also motivate your partner to be a positive force while you strive for your own goals and aspirations.

a couple consults a moving checklist. Photo by Ketut Subiyanto
When moving in together, a checklist helps keep everyone on the same page. Photo by Ketut Subiyanto


Moving in together can be an exciting and sometimes confusing proposition. It’s natural that you may have a few questions. This doesn’t mean that it’s not the right time to make the leap, you just need more information to help you make an informed decision.

Down below we tackled some of the most common questions couples have when considering moving in together.

Q: How soon is too soon to move in together?

A: There is no exact timeline that will work for all couples. Some resources may tell you that you should wait a year before moving in together. Other resources may say two years or longer. In reality, no one knows how soon is too soon, because they don’t know the ins and outs of your relationship. When considering moving in together, it’s very important you and your partner discuss your motivations for doing so and create a plan to make the transition smooth. Neither of you should rush into a decision.

Q: What are tips for couples moving in together?

A: Communication. Communication. Communication. Couples who communicate and work through all aspects of major decisions will have a healthier relationship. Couples should also be sure to create a financial budget, figure out what to do with their stuff, and discuss how moving in together will affect their daily routine and future goals.

Q: What should couples do before moving in together?

A: First, couples should have a conversation about their motivations for moving in with each other. Next, they should discuss their finances and where they want to live. Then, couples should give notice to end their current leases, cancel utilities, pack and decide if they need storage. Finally, once you both are about to move in together you should develop daily, weekly and monthly plans to handle chores and tasks like cooking and cleaning.

Checklist for Moving in Together

After you follow the steps listed above and create a plan with your partner, you’ll also need to cancel your previous lease, complete a change of address and handle a series of other extraneous tasks.

There are a lot of things to remember to do!

Luckily for you, our free checklist maps out all these tasks and gives you a place to record your progress.

Also, if you find yourself in need of storage once you and your partner move in together, make sure to use our storage location finder to locate the Store Space facility closest to you!

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