Things To Think About Getting When You Decide To Shack Up
If you're thinking about moving in with someone, you might want to go shopping first.
When you move in with someone, you assume your happiness factor will go up, and it usually does, at least at first.
But when you merge your life with someone else's, there's going to be growing pains no matter how in love you are.
When my husband and I shacked up, we quickly realized we needed a few key things to stay happy.
They were so important we saved for them even when we had no money, and they were among the best things we've ever purchased.
So while money can't buy happiness, you can invest in a few items to help make it last.
Here are some things you can buy to make your life together happier and more comfortable.
A king-sized bed.
Sure, when you first get together, you can't get close enough. You want to fall asleep in each other's arms like TV people.
But when the Dopamine and Oxitocyn wear off a bit, you might realize you actually don't sleep well when someone paws you in their sleep.
We realized early that neither of us could get a good night's sleep in the double bed my husband had when I moved in or the futon I brought with me.
Because neither of us likes to be touched when we're sleeping.
So we took some money we'd been saving and went out and bought a king-sized bed.
It was so big we had to put it in the living room of our first apartment. We lived in that bed until we bought our house.
It was huge and comfortable and made an enormous difference in the quality of sleep we got.
We could meet in the middle when we felt like it and then retreat to our respective sides to sleep.
If you don't love being touched when you sleep, this is a must.
An extra TV.
You might feel like you'll always want to do everything together, but that will wear off at some point.
You might want Netflix without the chill, and you might not even like the same shows.
Having two TVs lets you both watch what you want when you want.
These days just having a computer and a TV can be enough to satisfy the urge to split up and have some alone time, but it is still nice to have two TVs so you can both have big screens to watch what you want.
Watching your favorite show on your phone isn't quite the same.
Not having to constantly negotiate can avert entertainment-based arguments and resentments, especially if you don't share the same interests.
If you stay together long enough, you'll find lots of things to fight about, why make your entertainment one of them.
Good quality headphones.
It might seem strange, but for guys, it's a good idea.
When I moved in with my husband, he had a big TV with surround sound.
That was great when he lived alone, but what about when I was in the next room trying to sleep?
Instead of fighting about his love of loud explosions, he went out and bought a good pair of headphones.
They were an excellent idea, especially when our daughter came along, and the house needed to be quiet every night.
He got all of the explosions his ears could handle, and we got a quiet home.
Comfy seating for everyone.
It's good to have comfortable seating for everyone.
Sometimes, there's only one good spot in a living room. Everything else looks nice but isn't that comfy.
When we moved into our current home, we used the living room set we'd bought to stage our old house.
It looked nice, but only one of the seats was comfortable.
It was unfair. Whoever got the good seat was fine, but nobody else was comfortable.
One of the first things we did after we settled in was to buy a lovely big sectional with enough room for everyone.
That big couch with built-in recliners is one of the best things we've ever bought.
Now everyone can watch TV ensconced in their own little slice of heaven.
A good dishwasher.
It might not seem important, but if you don't have one and you're going to have kids or if you have a crappy one that doesn't work well, it's something to think about.
Dishes are one of those things that happen 24–7 with no end.
Unless you want to eat off paper plates, you'll spend the rest of your life doing dishes.
When you have a baby or two, the dishes pile up exponentially.
Washing them by hand will add a lot of extra work.
Housework is one of those things people fight about, and dishes can be a real sore spot.
Also, having a crappy old dishwasher can make the job harder instead of easier.
We got one with our house when we moved, it was loud and dirty, and even though we kept taking it apart to clean it, it always stunk.
There must have been old food in the lines that we couldn't reach. It was disgusting it made me angry. It also leaked.
Finally, we decided to save up for a new one.
We bought a top-of-the-line model with stainless steel inside that could be taken apart and cleaned, and it works like a dream.
It's quiet and efficient.
It's only been since getting the new one that I realized the amount of aggravation the old one caused.
An extra living space.
Of course, you're going to get what you can afford, but it's good to have extra space if you can.
If you have a house, turn the spare bedroom into a retreat. Somewhere that feels like another living room.
Maybe put a comfy chair and a TV in there instead of a bed, have a blow-up mattress on hand for guests, or a pull-out couch.
Our spare bedroom is my office.
It's my space, just for me, and I love it.
My husband has his man cave in the garage, and our daughter has a cozy bedroom that's just hers.
It's nice to have a place that feels like it's just for you.
When you merge your life with someone else, you're so focused on creating a "we" space that you forget about the "me" space.
After a while, you may find yourself craving it if you haven't got it.
Money can't buy happiness. That saying is definitely true.
But if you're thinking of living with someone, you might want to spend some money on a few things to safeguard the happiness you have.
Take another look at the things I think are essential for cohabitation and see if you can add anything to the list.
Even in a happy home, there's always room for improvement.