You’ve tied the knot, enjoyed a honeymoon to remember, and now it’s time to think about building your nest together. Whether you’re in rented accommodation or looking to join the 2.1 million people who picked up keys to their new home in the past couple of years, this is the natural next step in married life. Of course, in this day and age, you may both have your own properties, in which case the first decision will be choosing which one is to become your joint home. Hopefully this will be something you have already explored as part of your pre-marriage preparations and discussions. What comes next is the practical bit; figuring out how to set up your new joint home together.
Sharing is caring
It may not sound romantic, but one of the best things you can do for your new marriage is to agree upfront how you will share the workload of home ownership. Recent data suggests that households spend an average 5 hours per day on house and garden chores, plus food preparation and admin. Agree to play to each other’s strengths, and divide the tasks based on available time, aptitude and enjoyment. Don’t forget to split the less fun jobs fairly; for example, if one of you is responsible for cleaning sweaty running shoes and gym gear, the other can take on cleaning down the bikes or bathing the dog. With good communication and early sharing of the workload, you can keep on top of the jobs, and avoid some of the most common causes of arguments between couples.
One of the joys of modern home ownership is the multitude of apps that exist to help you keep track. From garment care to family chore trackers, you can use technology to help you stay organised fairly and efficiently. It will also save those awkward moments when you both arrive home from work and can’t remember who was supposed to have picked up the groceries. Shared online calendars are also brilliant for helping to plan work and social events without dreaded diary clashes.
You’ve just vowed to grow old together, but putting that into practice can sometimes feel daunting. One of the most important things you can do as you set up your new home is to accept that it will evolve with you, just as you will adapt and grow together. Your home may see you through different stages of life, so be patient, and keep talking openly and honestly. Don’t expect everything to be perfect right away. Life will change, so will you.
Setting up a shared home together is an exciting time, but it can also make couples feel a little apprehensive. Remember you should still bring your individual personalities and experiences to your new home, but you are also embarking on a new joint adventure. Agree upfront how you will share the responsibilities, use technology to make life easier, and above all, remember to be patient and keep talking. Your new home will soon feel like an old friend.