Living with someone is never an easy thing to do. If you have siblings, you know how stressful it can be to share your everyday life with another person. Now add to that the differences in values and culture. It doesn’t look pretty. But, lucky, people have for a long time now lived with other people who are not their relatives. We have experimented and found ways in which you can combine two households, without ripping each other’s heads off. Here is how to approach it.
Talk about your new situation
As every psychotherapist that was on TV has told us, communication is the key. Living with someone is combining your daily habits and obligations. In order to do that, you need to be able to talk with your roommates about their values, intentions, and expectations. Coming to terms with moving is much easier if you don’t have to argue with your roommate.
Talking about expectations
The first thing to make clear is what the communal life will be like. If neither of you has lived with someone, outside of your family, before you should talk with someone with more experience. Talk openly about what your daily schedules will be like and what habits you have. These include cleaning, cooking, morning routines etc. Being introspective and honest is the best way to do this. But, it is arguably hard for people to be introspective and honest. Most of the arguments that are going to pop up are going to be about things that you are not yet aware of. Therefore, after you talk about your expectations it is smart to lay down some ground rules.
Making ground rules
In order for any rules to work, you need to agree on what they are and understand why are they there. Who cleans what? When are things supposed to get cleaned? How do deal with the bills and rent? All of these things need to be discussed as they will have an impact on your life. Do not take for granted anything that you do that you consider “normal”. We are creatures that are influenced by our surroundings and culture. Whatever you consider being “normal” may not be so for someone from a different household. If you want to combine two households you need to work out what is best and compromise. There is 0% chance that your way is completely right and theirs completely wrong. And vice versa.
Agree on how to disagree
Once you combine two households there will be arguments. There is no way that you will agree with someone, about everything all the time. At some point, you will realize that they are doing something that you don’t like and they will realize that you are doing something they don’t like. You need to have a plan for such a situation. How someone deals with home problems differs from household to household. The best thing to do is have a certain way of talking that a person will not feel threatened. This can be achieved by discussing arguments before they happen. If someone is telling you something you don’t like you are going to feel threatened. But, if you want to improve you will have to calm yourself and listen. Constructive criticism can be a great thing if you are patient enough to listen to it.
What to do before you combine two households
Before you start living with someone, there are things you can to in order to make your transition easier.
Sort your possessions
Living with someone means sharing space. Now, if you are moving into a bigger room, good for you. But that is often not the case. Usually, you will have to get rid of some things in order to avoid making your future home cluttered. So, before you combine two households, you need to sort your possessions. Get rid of everything that is not essential. In time you can easily introduce other items, but you need to figure out your priorities. You are most likely starting a new life, and you don’t need clutter from your past to weigh you down. Do this before you start packing. Whatever you want to move you will have to pay for. Therefore, the fewer things you have the less your move is going to cost. Even if you hire the best movers in Manhattan NY, you don’t want to overpay them needlessly.
Plan your household
Having a clear plan of your household will make all of the future negotiations much easier. Figure out how big your house is. Who gets what room. You will also need to talk about home appliances, as you want to avoid having duplicates. If you are left with plenty of residual home appliances, you can easily rent storage facilities in Manhattan and save them for a later time.
Make sure to split the apartment as much as you can. It may seem like a good idea to share everything right away. Being a well-spirited roommate and everything. But that is just inexperience talking. Start off with a clear division. Then gradually increase what you share. Getting confused and frustrated is easy if you don’t have a clear idea on ownership. This goes both for chores and things. Start off split, and give yourself and your roommates time to get accustomed to living together.
Understanding and compromise. You will need them both when you try to combine two households. It will take time for all the little things to pop up, and it will take patience and openness to solve them. Seeing things from other person’s perspective will give you a better idea on how to approach resolving issues. Understand that no matter how close you were before, you simply have different backgrounds, and that is going to cause issues. But, if you all work together on having a fair and well-organized home, you just might do it. Yes, it does take a lot of time and work, but it is certainly not impossible.