Finances, Decor, and Compromise, Oh My!
(my new roomies)
Today we’re getting personal! Honestly, what’s new? Recently, my boyfriend moved to Texas all the way from San Francisco, California. That’s almost 2,000 miles but who’s counting. If you know anything about long distance, or moving, or flights, or current gas prices…you know that it is NOT cheap! Being the financially responsible adults we are (LOL), we decided to take another leap and move in together.
I’ve lived with 36 girls at one time in my sorority days, 4 girls in another apartment, and had the same roommate for 5 years through all of that. Needless to say, this is uncharted territory. 30+ loud girls in one house? No problem. One man who may or may not have showered today? Not as easy.
ANYWAYS! This post is all about how to live with your boyfriend (or girlfriend or husband or whatever) and not kill each other over home decor.
1 Pick Your Battles/Talk It Out: This is numero uno because it is not worth it to argue over bedside tables, speaking from experience. Some things are worth standing your ground over, like the freaking throw pillows that you NEED, but if it’s not going to make a huge difference one way or the other, compromise. To all my type A sisters, you know my pain when the bed isn’t made and the dog’s toys aren’t in their basket. Again, breathe in and out and let it go like Elsa from Frozen. At the same time, make your partner aware of your living habits. I have to have a clean and organized home, and I literally can’t go to bed if my house is messy. Ryan needed his own space to work and read and just be alone sometimes. We both voiced these things and it makes it SO much easier. He doesn’t care if the dishes don’t get put up until tomorrow, but knows that 10 minute chore makes me 10x times happier. I could be around him and Ranger 24/7 and two feet away, but I understand that sometimes he needs 30 minutes to read his book without his very loud and needy girlfriend, and hey I get it. Talk these things out!
2 De-Clutter: I’m very lucky to have already had a two bedroom apartment with lots of storage space, but you may not be. I went through all my clothes and shoes, and donated everything I haven’t worn in the last 6 months. It made a world of difference! It also freed up tons of space that I didn’t even think I had. Go through your wardrobe, your junk drawers, even your kitchen, and make room for your SO’s things. It’s necessary to purge things for both parties, and I strongly recommend doing it before you live together. This saves a lot of time once you’re together, and a lot of hurt feelings (“Oh…You’re keeping that shirt? Okay…”)
3 Make Big Decisions Together: When choosing the coffee table, entertainment center, and other larger purchases, I would send Ryan an email with about 10 pieces I liked, and let him pick from those. It worked out great for us because we both were happy and felt like we had a say. For smaller things like lamps and such, I pretty much just grabbed what I wanted from around town and if Ryan hated it (he hardly even notices that kind of stuff), put it in the guest room. Which brings me to a great point…the guest room is a place to get creative! Paint the wall a crazy color, do that gallery wall!
4 Discuss Finances: I am, ahem, not the best at saving. Where I’d rather spend my money at Target, Ryan would rather put it all in savings for our future. Now that I’m writing this I see which one of us is ridiculous. Moving in together means that financial decisions are inclusive of both parties, and while it may be a little uncomfortable to divulge things like salaries and bills, it’s also necessary. It makes it so much easier to talk about who pays for what bill and what you can afford before an issue arises.
5 Mix, Match, & Make It Work: I’ve always said to invest in your home. I frequent my favorite home good stores and never leave empty handed. I like my apartment to be like my sanctuary, full of pretty things that make me happy. We soon found out that my boyfriend’s taste is the complete opposite of mine. It was important that our home felt like OUR home, not MY apartment that he moved into, so we mixed our tastes and rearranged our things and now we have a cohesive and one of a kind place we both love!
At the end of the day, what really matters is that you get to come home to your best friend every single day. The rest is extra.