It can be tough to share space with other people. It takes time to get to know one another’s rhythms (and quirks) and to find your flow together. If you’ve built up a good rapport with roommates and now it’s time to move, you’ll want to be careful.
Moving is often a stressful time for everyone. When there are multiple people involved, it can create friction. The last thing you want to do is strain your relationship with your beloved roomies by letting moving chaos get between you.
We’ve put together some tips for moving with your roommates to help you keep the peace, and arrive in your new home just as close as you were in the old one.
Give Yourself Enough Time
Tensions run high when you’re down to the wire. Scrambling to get everything done can put a strain on anyone’s nervous system, and communication often suffers. We’ll let you in on a little secret: moving inevitably takes more time and effort than you realize before you get started.
Make sure you consider packing, cleaning, moving, repairing, and extra time for hiccups along the way. The more time you allow for the process, the more you can take care and move methodically. If possible, try to give some space for overlap between your leases so you can handle the cleaning and closing of your current home without added stress.
Separate Your Stuff
This tip is relevant whether you’re moving together or finding separate homes. Either way, moving is a great time to understand who owns what. Chances are, you’ve collected some things that have had shared ownership over time. Get clear about who has claims on kitchenware, housewares, furniture, and other items. Coming to a mutual understanding means you’ll be able to start in your new home with peace of mind.
Now is also a good time, to be honest with yourself about what you need. You’ll have an easier move if you downsize, so be discerning when going through your closet or storage spaces.
Have Frequent Check-ins
Moving may feel like it takes over your life, but it’s not your whole life. The same goes for your roommates.
Having regular check-ins will help ensure you’re all on the same page, and that you’re not leaving anything to assumptions. If you’re not checking in, you may both assume someone else is taking care of certain bits and pieces, and guess what? There’s a chance that no one is.
If you’re on different work and life schedules, you may need to handle it via phone or text, and that’s okay. Just make sure you’re doing it.
Make Lists and Schedules
To keep everything flowing, take the time to make lists. To-do lists will help make sure you (and everyone else) know what needs to be done leading up to the big day. Assign tasks so it’s clear who is taking care of what. A schedule and due dates will help ensure you’re on track and will keep everything flowing in the household.
Have easy things you’re sure you won’t forget, or that you have agreed on verbally? Add them to the list anyway. You’ll either get to cross them off right away, or you’ll be grateful for the reminder.
Agree On the Budget
The little things can add up when it comes to moving. It’s best to discuss and agree on a budget before you get started. If you’re splitting the costs, make sure you’re all on the same page and avoid any disagreements down the line.
A popular strategy is to create a communal fund and keep an eye on it as expenses come up. It’s a great way to ensure one person doesn’t get stuck footing the bill, and that no one has to chase anyone up for repayment.
Share the Load
Hopefully, you divided tasks even when you were making lists and schedules. It’s not fair for anyone to carry the load overall, and there is certainly plenty to do. If you’re renting, you’ll need to get some cleaning done to ensure you get your deposit back. Dividing up the cleaning tasks will ensure it all gets done in a shorter timeframe.
Try dividing up common rooms amongst the housemates so that everyone shares the load.