Living in an apartment with your friends can be difficult. But apartment living with your significant other is on a whole other level. Don’t let squabbles over drawer space or kitchen clean-up threaten your relationship. Follow these five tips and you’ll be glad you took that step — even if your partner forgets to take out the trash.  

Text by Martha Kendall Custard

Neatly organized closet.

Everything Must Have A Place

Your mom was right: if everything has a place, you can stop mess before it happens in the first place. This rule pretty much applies to staying organized in general. However, it’s especially important when you’re living with someone you love. Pay attention to the things you and your partner do every day. Then, develop a strategy to stay organized based on what you noticed. Does your S.O. leave dirty clothes on the bathroom floor? Then put a laundry hamper in the bathroom. Maybe your partner hates the way you peel your socks off as soon as you step through the door. Put a tiny sock bin at the entrance to your apartment.

Sad woman laying on bed after fight.

Make Sure There’s Enough Space in the First Place

You might be used spending the weekend together in your cozy studio. But when it comes to living together, that studio may seem more like a shoebox. Consider all of your belongings plus all of their belongings. Now, think of how you feel on days when you really just want to be alone. The clutter combined with your partner’s presence might seem overwhelming. Make sure you have enough space to spread out when necessary. Consider a one-bedroom apartment — or, if your budgets allow it, possibly even a two bedroom.

Young couple making budget.

Split It Up Before You Split Up

Speaking of budgets: be sure to tackle the money issue early on. In fact, it’s best to create a system outlining who pays for what before you even move in together. We recommend you split everything evenly. That way, there’s no room for argument. Just be sure to be open and honest about your financial situations. Maintaining a relationship while living with your partner is difficult enough without financial stress.

Girl annoyed at boyfriend's video game.

Respect Boundaries

No matter how much you love your S.O., there will still be days when you each need your space. Respect these boundaries. If your partner likes to play PUBG without interruption, let them have this alone time, no matter how annoying it gets. If you respect their boundaries, they should respect yours. This is key to keeping the peace.

Laughing couple washes dishes.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

An important part of apartment living with your significant other is choosing your battles. If you get mad every time your S.O. leaves a dish in the sink, you’ll be living in a constant fight. Choose your battles. Speak up gently if something becomes a problem, as this helps ease communication.