Ultimate Guide to Moving in With Your Significant Other

9 practical steps for couples taking the leap in their relationship.

Team LemonadeTeam Lemonade

You took a leap of faith and decided to shack up with your other half, congrats! 

Moving in with your boyfriend, girlfriend, or significant other can be equal parts exciting and terrifying. But with the right preparation and teamwork, you can make a smooth—and hopefully not too stressful—transition to cohabitation with your hunny.

Here are 9 practical steps to help build a strong foundation for your new home together, plus how renters insurance could help alleviate some of the financial risk of taking your relationship to the next level: 

1. Have “the talk”

Open communication before, during, and after moving in together is crucial. 

Maybe you hadn’t thought about when and how you need alone time before, or what’s the best way of communicating it to your partner without hurting their feelings. Or maybe you each have different ideas of how often you should incorporate a date night into your busy schedules.

If you haven’t already sat down together and hashed out some major questions—and even little things that could potentially become bigger issues later on—the time to do that is now. Get cozy, light some candles, and talk through these 8 important questions to ask before moving in together.   

And make sure the conversation doesn’t stop there. Check in with each other regularly to make sure you’re still on the same page.

2. Find the perfect place to call your home

Find the perfect place to call your home

Taking that exciting step to move in with your boo means finding a place that feels just right for both of you. Look for a shared space that reflects both of your needs, tastes, and budgets. 

Make a list of essential factors—like: 

  • Cost of rent and utilities
  • Ideal commute distance
  • Nearby amenities
  • The kind of living space that will make you both feel comfortable
  • Parking options
  • Pet-friendly policies, if you have or plan to have pets

Remember, moving in together means creating a new chapter in both of your lives. Take the time to find a place that not only ticks the boxes but also feels like a true home. For more guidance, check out these 16 apartment hunting tips for finding your dream rental.

3. Protect your stuff with renters insurance

As you embark on this new journey with your boyfriend, girlfriend, or significant other, securing your belongings in your shared space is crucial. 

Lemonade renters insurance can help you ease into your new life with your hunny knowing your personal property is protected against things like theft and damage. 

You can get customized coverage in as little as 90 seconds, all on the Lemonade app. Plus, our AI technology empowers us to handle claims super fast, ensuring that both you and your significant other can focus on building your life together, without worrying about the ‘what ifs.’ 

The best time to get a new renters insurance policy for your new apartment together is before you move in (and make sure to set your move-in date as your policy effective date).

Keep in mind: Your policy will not cover your significant other by default if you aren’t married. But no worries—you can easily add them as an “additional insured” on your policy for a small cost. If you decide to share a policy, make sure that your personal property coverage limit is enough to cover all of both of your belongings. If you go down this route, just keep in mind that it may be cheaper (and easier) for each of you to get your own renters insurance policy.

Learn more about what renters insurance covers here

get your quote

4. Pack up your stuff

Pack up your stuff

Check out our tips and tricks to pack for a move like a pro—like protecting your breakable items with towels and sheets, and labeling all of your boxes. 

Keep in mind that for couples moving in together, the packing process isn’t just about boxing up individual belongings. It’s also about merging two households into one cohesive unit. 

Take stock of what each of you brings to the table—but not in a competitive way. Inventory your stuff and identify duplicates. Do you really need two coffee makers or two dining sets? Decide which items are essential, which can be donated, or which you’re emotionally attached to. 

This is also a great opportunity to declutter and downsize, so you can make your new shared space feel truly like “our home”.

5. Make the move

When two homes merge into one, there’s a lot of moving logistics to decide together.

DIY or hire a mover?

First you need to decide—move your things independently with your own vehicle or a rented moving vehicle, or hire a professional moving company. 

Independent moving is generally more cost-effective and gives you complete control over the process, which could be ideal for smaller, simpler moves. If you’re packing and loading your own stuff en route to your next apartment, your renters insurance policy could cover a range of damages.

In contrast, professional movers, though potentially costlier, bring efficiency and ease, especially for larger or long-distance relocations, as you leave handling the complexities and stress of the move to the professionals. However, your personal renters insurance policy generally won’t extend to those third-party movers.

One mover or two?

If you opt for a professional mover, consider getting one mover to handle both locations. Then the mover can stop at each of your current homes to pick up your belongings before transporting everything to the new place. This approach is efficient, and often more cost-effective.

But if the logistics or timing don’t work out for a combined move, each person can hire a separate mover. This might be necessary if you’re coming from far apart, or have scheduling issues.

Simultaneous or staggered?

Coordinating your move on the same day can be efficient, and help ensure that all of your stuff arrives at the new place at the same time, so you can start organizing and settling in together right away.

Alternatively, moving on different days allows one partner to help the other, which could make the process less overwhelming. This can be particularly helpful if one person has significantly more items to move.

No matter which moving route you choose, don’t forget to check out our comprehensive apartment moving checklist, or click below for a mobile-friendly checklist of general steps to follow in the months and days leading up to your move.

download moving checklist

Also, consider getting third party moving insurance for a little extra peace of mind (especially if you opt for professional movers). 

6. Set up your new space

Set up your new space

As your belongings fill the new space, it’s crucial to find a happy balance between your individual styles and needs to create a shared home that feels comfortable for both of you. Keep an open dialogue about your functional needs and aesthetic preferences. 

When it comes to functionality, discuss how each area of the apartment will be used. Maybe one of you needs a quiet corner for remote work, while the other needs a vibrant space for hobbies.

Designate areas in the apartment to meet these needs, ensuring that both of you feel your activities and comforts are equally valued.

Expressing personal style in your home might also be important to one or both of you. (And you might not even realize how important it is to you until you start making decisions about how you’ll set up the space.) Let’s say one of you is all about creating coziness through Cottagecore, but the other prefers a sleek Mid-Century Modern feel. Find compromise—like styling an Eames-esque lounge chair and ottoman with a hand-crocheted floral throw blanket. 

Disagreements are natural in this process, but they can be mostly managed with patience and compromise. When you encounter a conflict—like picking a wall color, or deciding whether to put a TV in the bedroom or not—try to understand your partner’s perspective and express your own clearly. Look for solutions that satisfy both parties, even if it means each person makes some compromise. 

Want to make sure your new digs is set up with the essentials—especially if you’re a new-ish renter? Check out this first apartment checklist that’s also packed with expert tips from financial educators on budgeting, prioritization, and dividing expenses. Or if you want to head straight to a mobile friendly shopping list, click below.

Download Shopping List

7. Divide household chores and responsibilities

Establishing a fair and efficient division of household chores is key to maintaining harmony in your new shared space. Sit down together and have an open discussion about your preferences and expectations regarding household tasks. Be honest about which chores you don’t mind doing and which ones you’d rather avoid. 

Play to each other’s strengths and preferences—like if one of you enjoys cooking, they might take on more of the meal preparation, while the other handles the dishes or grocery shopping.

Another useful approach is to create a chores schedule to make sure tasks are divided fairly, and that you’re both contributing to the upkeep of the home. But don’t forget to stay flexible and willing to adjust this schedule as needed, especially as you settle into your new routine together. Regular check-ins can be beneficial to discuss what’s working and what might need some tweaking. 

The goal is to support each other and work as a team, not to keep score, or create a rigid system.

8. Consider becoming pet parents

Consider becoming pet parents

Thinking about bringing a pet into the equation once you move in together? Make sure to discuss this commitment thoroughly—whether you’re considering adopting a rescue dog together, or one of you already has a furry friend that’s moving into your new place. 

Talk about each of your experience and comfort level with pets, and consider the demands of your lifestyles—like work schedules, and travel plans—to ensure you can provide a stable, loving environment for a pet. 

It’s also important to agree on the level of responsibility each of you is willing to take on, including feeding, walks, training, and vet visits.

Consider the type of pet that would best fit your combined lifestyle and living space. Maybe you’re both new to pet parenthood and need a dog breed that’s compatible for first-time dog owners. Or you’re tight on space and prefer a dog that can thrive in an apartment. 

Factor in potential challenges—like allergies, or future changes like possible moves or family planning, that could impact your pet. Remember, a pet is a long-term commitment and should be a joint decision made with care and consideration. 

If you decide to bring home a fur baby, consider protecting them—and your wallet—from unexpected vet bills with pet insurance. Did you know that when you bundle a Lemonade renters insurance policy with a Lemonade pet insurance policy, you could be eligible for a discount on both policies?

It’s also arguably a good idea for pet parents to get renters insurance. If your dog bites another dog or human, for example, your personal liability coverage could help cover the medical expenses of the dog bite. Plus, Lemonade renters insurance now offers a tenant pet damage add-on coverage, depending on your state, that could help cover the costs to repair damage your pet causes to the structure of your rental unit—including things like damage to carpets and wood from peeing or chewing.

9. Make a contingency plan in case of a breakup

While no one enters a relationship expecting it to end, having a contingency plan can help alleviate potential stress and confusion should things not work out. 

This plan should include sensitive and empathetic discussions about things like: 

  • The lease
  • How shared belongings would be divided
  • How living arrangements and expenses would be managed during the transition period
  • Arrangements for any pets

We hope you never need to use your contingency plan, but if you’re looking for more detailed guidance on navigating the process of a breakup when living together, check out these practical steps on how to break up with someone you live with

Before we go… 

Moving in with your significant other comes with a lot of responsibility and planning, but getting renters insurance to cover your joint stuff might end up being one of the easiest—and most affordable—tasks to check off your to-do list. 

Click below to start your free quote.

get your quote

A few quick words, because we <3 our lawyers: This post is general in nature, and any statement in it doesn’t alter the terms, conditions, exclusions, or limitations of policies issued by Lemonade, which differ according to your state of residence. You’re encouraged to discuss your specific circumstances with your own professional advisors. The purpose of this post is merely to provide you with info and insights you can use to make such discussions more productive! Naturally, all comments by, or references to, third parties represent their own views, and Lemonade assumes no responsibility for them. Coverage and discounts may not be available in all states.

Share

Please note: Lemonade articles and other editorial content are meant for educational purposes only, and should not be relied upon instead of professional legal, insurance or financial advice. The content of these educational articles does not alter the terms, conditions, exclusions, or limitations of policies issued by Lemonade, which differ according to your state of residence. While we regularly review previously published content to ensure it is accurate and up-to-date, there may be instances in which legal conditions or policy details have changed since publication. Any hypothetical examples used in Lemonade editorial content are purely expositional. Hypothetical examples do not alter or bind Lemonade to any application of your insurance policy to the particular facts and circumstances of any actual claim.