Your Cohabitation Survival Kit
This is a must-read before you shack up!
We love our guys and all, but aside from the 24/7 easy-access cuddle time, actually living with them can be a — how shall we put this? — challenge. Here are a few items every gal should have before she moves in with her man.
He's adorable when he snores, but sometimes you just want to get some sleep — or read a book while he watches a Mets game. No shame in that! We recommend E-A-R classic foam earplugs. They're cheap and sold in bulk, so if you lose one, it's no biggie.
2. Your own desk
Even if he's neatnik Felix and you're sloppy Oscar in your odd-couple relationship, you need a space that's your very own, uncluttered with his boy stuff. That way, if you've had a stressful day, you can unwind by sinking into Your Chair at Your Desk and playing Scrabble on Your Laptop — and then feel recharged (and pleasantly even-tempered) enough to have a delightful dinner and convo with your man.
Make sure to read: 10 Unbreakable rules for moving in together >>
The age-old TV tug of war between what he wants to watch (Entourage, Deadliest Catch) and what you want to watch (Mad Men, The Bachelor) can be neutralized with a little device called DVR. Now all you need is a comfy couch, some popcorn, and a contented, couple-y smile.
4. A "happy place" outside your home
When you feel stifled, you need a safe place to escape to so you can regain your sanity. One of our friends told us that her happy place of choice is Target, where she can wander the aisles uninterrupted. Other suggestions: the closest Starbucks, a gardening store, or, heck, the gourmet cheeses section at Whole Foods if you love to cook.
Don't miss: 8 decorating tips for moving in together >>
5. An emergency fund
In an ideal world this will totally work out (and hopefully will!), but if things go sour, make sure you have a cash reserve that will tide you over. Experts recommend six to eight months' worth of cash savings, but at the very least, make sure you have first and last month's rent. Or enough to pay for a hotel room for several days just in case.
6. A framed photo of the two of you
Things might get tough, and you might miss your single-girl apartment (RIP!), but make sure you have a pic of the two of you in a prominent place in your home — preferably a snapshot of a time when you were first dating and feeling ecstatic about each other. That way you'll never forget why you moved in with him in the first place: Because you loved him more than words can express.
Also check out: How to live together financially >>