Post # 1
I live in a small one bedroom apartment and Fiance lives with his family (long story, he’s staying there until the end of the year to save a crapton of money). We’ve decided that we’re moving in together at the end of the year after over 4 years together!
Er, we’ve also agreed that it makes no sense to have me move out and that he’d move in with me so that he can help with the bills. My apartment is small, but I’m not there half the time so I can deal with it. With him there, I fear we might drive each other nuts.
We’re probably going to be living there for two years (one after the wedding so we can really save for a home). I’ve been living on my own for 4 years now. I am so used to my quiet time, not having to worry about cleaning up immediately…Fiance hates dishes piling up and he’s used to dealing with his family.
Any tips for moving in together? Staying sane while living in a small space together? Anything? Thanks!
Post # 3
I think living together before marriage is great for this very reason. Work out the kinks. Living together takes compromise, a lot of comromise. You may need to start doing the dishes more often and he may need to let you have some alone time. Just be patient with each other because it won’t be easy at first. Make sure you both talk about what you expect from each other and talk about how you can make it work.
It’s a lot better to talk about things early on then to wait until they come up. You will both have to make some sacrifices.
Post # 4
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
When we first moved in together we lived in a rented room and by room I mean a bedroom, and we shared the rest of the house with roommates. It was a bit crazy because he or I would like alone time on occasion and there was really nowhere for us to escape each other and the roommates in the house. I won’t lie, we fought a lot during that time but we learned how to respect each other’s space and schedule and we learned how to fight fair so that we both got our points across without hitting below the belt and damaging each other’s trust and respect. (We also learned how to split chores because the roommates were lazy and we didn’t like living in a messy house.)
Now we live in a two bedroom apartment and things are great. Really, we would be fine in a one bedroom because we pretty much spend time either in the living room or master bedroom. We use the second bedroom as an office for him and a guest room. When we need our alone time, we separate with one of us in the living room and one of us in the bedroom.
Post # 5
@sealevels: Definitely go through all your stuff and get rid of things you don’t use! We had to do that once we got married. Darling Husband just kept things FOREVER. We had a big garage sale with everything we didn’t need.
Our apartment right now is super small, so organization is essential. We didn’t have enough kitchen storage space, so Darling Husband built two extra shelving units for my tons of kitchen appliances (I use them all).
Floating shelves are awesome. We added several in the bathroom above the toilet. We put a bunch in the bedroom for DH’s collectables, and we have a few in the living room above my sewing area. There is a ton of space on the walls that can be utilized for storage. Just be creative!
Post # 6
I lived in a 1-bedroom apartment with my Fiance, and it’s totally doable if you plan ahead. It’s good to start consolidating your stuff early. Now is the time to drop off old clothes and items you don’t use anymore to Goodwill (same with your FI). Start thinking about how your FI’s things will fit in and whether you will need new furniture or organizers to accomodate it. If your Fiance lives with his family, he likely doesn’t have a lot of kitchen/household items, which is helpful. My Fiance and I had a huge problem with too much kitchen stuff…things like having 2 blenders, 2 styles of plates, etc.
Post # 7
I moved into my SO’s tiny one bedroom apartment with my cat in July 2012 and have been able to survive with very minimal kinks. Here are some tips that I go by:
1. Choose your battles. I was basically moving into a bachelor pad – seriously, my dude has movie posters on his walls (Hot Tub Time Machine, Old School, etc.) and lots of tacky sports and beer memoriabilia. His stove and sink however, didn’t work as he barely did dishes and never cooked on the stove. What did I focus on? Getting the stove and sink fixed b/c I cook and can’t function without those two things working. Who cares about the posters – this is not our forever place. I can look at Hot Tub Time Machine posters to save 40% on rent.
2. Have a code word for when you need peace/alone time. My code word is “Ten minutes!” I love my guy, but sometimes he’ll be a little bit overbearing and I need my independence. So I just say, “Ten minutes!” and he knows to give me alone time.
3. Do a serious inventory of your stuff together. Bringing stuff from another apartment to a small apartment is going to make things tight. It took us a few months to get some organizers and stuff to re-organize everything to make room for all my shoes and make-up as well as his high-tech stuff/DVDs/CDs, etc.. Also, consider getting a storage unit. My furniture from my previous apartment is being stored at his parents’ until we move to a bigger place.
4. Make sure to continue hanging out with friends/doing your own thing. Time apart is vital. It will make you miss your SO and really cherish your time together. Also, don’t commute together if you don’t have to!
5. Help each other out – if you both work, housework should be roughly 50/50. I love doing dishes but dread laundry. The SO always bitches about dishes but never about laundry. Guess who does what chore? 🙂
Any other questions – let me know!
Post # 8
Silly little suggestion: get a gym membership! Both of you!
Different types of classs or activities!
My Fiance is considering a rock climbing gym, I love group class type gyms.
I am still hunting for a new gym (old one closed UGH it was such a dream come true) but that helped me TONS when we first moved in together… got out all my aggression at the gym and felt pretty good (and accomplished) when I got home.
Didn’t feel as cooped up in the apartment as I do now, since my gym closed suddenly.
Post # 9
@sealevels: Well, it’s weird and hard and different! You just have to figure out a routine that you can both live with. You will fight but it will work out.
As for chores and things, you’ll figure out what you can do and what he can do. It may not look equal on paper, but it’s equal for you guys. For us, I hate dishes. Hate them with a passion but Darling Husband hates dirty dishes in our sink. So, he does 80% of the dishes and I do something he hates (bills, appointments, schedules, birthdays, etc.). Doesn’t really look good on paper, but he’s so forgetful and gets worried about missing due dates that he appreciates that I get stuff paid on time and make vet appointments or remind him to call his dad on his birthday. I don’t mind doing laundry so makes sure to take the dogs out and feed them when he’s home.
As for quiet time, you’ll find it where you can. I don’t like a lot of the shows Darling Husband watches so I love to lay in our bed and read while he enjoys his shows. The dogs usually lay with me and I get an hour or so to just relax quietly and be by myself. Oddly enough, TJ Maxx relaxes me and I can spend 30 minutes just browsing and use it as my personal time. Darling Husband loves to cook/bbq so that’s when I’ll watch my shows and he can cook in the kitchen and be happy.
Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about your life/chores/living together though. Yes, I heard so many women say something about the fact that I hate cleaning and Darling Husband does the dishes and cooks but it works for us. He’s no less man and I’m no less women because of it. DH is happy I do other things for him and now that we’ve been able to work together, we’re so much happier as a couple. I don’t always have to play the sterotypcial wife and he doesn’t always have to play the sterotypical husband.
Post # 10
Oh my goodness, thank you Bees! (hugs)
I just wanted to say that for the most part, he’s just bringing his clothing. No major furniture, dishes, pots, or pans. I’ve got all of that. I do also have almost 100 plants (most of which are outside half of the year), so I’m going to have to do something about that.
I think the biggest issue will be space. It’s a one bedroom but it’s not spacious. You’re either on the bed or on the couch or in the bathroom. I was reading a book and Fiance was watching TV and he asked, ‘Are you okay?’ WHAT. I’m reading a book! I said, “I am FINE.” But for whatever reason, that annoyed me. I love reading books and he doesn’t want to feel like he is ignoring me. Fire up the PS or Wii and go play a game – I’m fine, really!
Post # 11
@sealevels: When my husband and I first moved in together, we shared 1 bedroom in our roomate’s condo. It was a great test for our relationship because it made us learn how to cope with each other during stressful times. I definitely don’t regret going through that, in fact, I think it’s why I had no feelings of “cold feet” or doubt when it came time to marry him.
Post # 12
My SO moved in with me over a year ago… into my one bedroom apartment with me and my cat. I too was used to living alone. Aside from the sharing closet space (ugh), it really wasn’t a terrible change. We also rent a storage unit off site to free up some space (he has a crap ton of stuff from his old house so we didn’t have much choice). I suggest getting the clothes storage sorted sooner rather than later. Buy an extra dresser or those IKEA closet organizers… sharing closet space sucks lol.
You get used to it, though. And we’re both homebodies… but yes, it’s important to make sure you have your own space. We’re pretty good at tuning each other out when need be (like he’ll be on his iPad and I’ll be on the laptop and we’ll do our own thing without feeling like we need to make conversation).
We’re moving to a bigger place in a few months. I need a home office and we just would like more space. Sharing the one bedroom hasn’t been a bad thing, and it certainly is doable, but I won’t lie… it can get a bit cramped. We also have a cleaning routine… Sunday mornings. And I used to leave dishes too, but I’m totally ok with my SO doing the dishes lol 😉 he does them most nights.
Post # 13
What do you consider small? I’ve seen bees on here complain about this before, only to find out that they were worried that a 1200 sq ft two bedroom apartment was small, LOL. We lived in a 620 sq ft one bedroom together for years, and it was perfect! We had a slightly staggered schedule, which really helped – gave us both “alone” time at home. I left for work a couple hours before him, and got home a couple hours earlier – he went to bed later, and so we both got space.
Post # 14
The biggest thing that will help is to create your own space and your time away from each other. I’ll be cross stitching and he’ll be off playing Minecraft. It keeps us sane. The other thing that helps is to communicate when you what some together time. So for us, it’s as simple as “hey, I know you’re having fun playing, but want to hang out with me in a bit?” That way he can wind down what he’s doing and it’s not a “pay attention to me NOW” kind of thing.
Talk about cleaning habits and responsiblities early. It’s not fun or romantic, but it prevents a lot of fights and resentment later. There’s nothing more frustrating than hearing that something has bothered the other person for months, but they just didn’t say anything because they didn’t want to cause a problem.
Don’t forget date night! It’s easy to get complacent when you live together and you see each other in sweatpants and bleary eyed in the morning on a daily basis. But make sure you take time to pretty up and go on a fun date, even if it’s takeout and a rental.
Note – we survived living in a 500sq ft. studio for a year and a half. It can be done! That being said, as soon as we were able, we moved into a 2 bedroom apartment so we can sprawl out some more 🙂
Post # 15
@crayfish: I think it’s maybe 350 sq. feet. It’s a large studio, L-shaped, but if walls went up it’d pass for a small one bedroom.