Making an event out of moving in together

September 30 |

Elizabeth could use ideas!

New Home © by A.K. Photography, used under Creative Commons license.
After a year of dating, the girl of my dreams and I are moving in together. This will be our first time living with someone we are dating, and I was wondering if the Empire had any suggestions on ways we can make our apartment feel a little more special in the first few days?

Does anyone have any little rituals or traditions for the opening of a new door with a new key, or the first time you sleep in a new place? She's not very mushy like that, but I am and she usually appreciates it when I think of a way to make a mundane seeming thing special.

What have you got, guys?

  1. Other than "christening" all the rooms I'm drawing a blank, but I think it's an adorable idea! Good luck!

    13 agree
  2. How exciting! When I move into a new place, the first thing I do is make the bed. It just helps it feel like home right away. So maybe you could celebrate by making the bed together with some new sheets or a special quilt?

    Otherwise, pack a bottle of champagne, a candle, and a yummy dessert someplace where you can unpack it easily. Celebrate your first evening together with a candlelit dinner or snack on the floor (dim lighting will help you ignore all those unpacked boxes). That's the kind of thing that helps me feel like we're in it together, even when it's hard work and everything around us is messy and imperfect.

    Trade backrubs or run her a hot bath to relax after all of the hard work. Again, candles and wine will make it feel special.

    Young House Love did some cute artwork with keys: http://www.younghouselove.com/2008/02/the-frame-game/

    8 agree
  3. I took a small stack of post-its and wrote reasons I loved him on each one. Then I numbered them and hid them all over the house for him to find our first morning. The first one was right in the middle of the bathroom mirror where he was sure to find it. He said he loved waking up to a scavenger hunt the first morning there.

    5 agree
    • This is amazing! My husband did a similar thing with candy hearts for Valentine's Day and I was still finding them months later. If you hide some really well they'll keep suprising her for a long time.

      1 agrees
  4. I've always done the "order a pizza, eat it on a table made out of cardboard boxes" celebration.

    25 agree
    • There IS something kind of special about that first "meal" in a new place, isn't it?

      3 agree
  5. Just being in your first home together for the first night can be pretty romantic. Get take out, sit amongst the boxes and say "Wow, we live together now!"

    6 agree
  6. When my boyfriend and I moved in together this past January, he made me a cute patterned house key with a keychain of my initial and gave it to me as a present. that was super cute. I went to paperwink.com and got a stamp made of our address with both of our names on it and had it sent to the house before we moved in. (I was moving from 500 miles away, so he had access to the new place before I did.) He also put our bed together before I arrived.

    I also subscribed to a few magazines with both of our first names (Gary & Logan) so as they came in the mail it was a nice reminder of us as a team.

    6 agree
    • Thanks for mentioning Paperwink. I just ordered our stamp and can't wait to give it to my fiance the day we move in. She's going to love it! I also got us a home cleansing kit and I'm planning to pack a kit of all our favorite snacks to indulge on.

      0 agree
  7. One of you can carry the other over the thresh hold (why should you wait until you buy?!)! My husband carried me into our new house, and then he put me down and we kicked (literally) off our shoes and ran around yelling – simply because we could.

    Breakfast in bed is always nice, or picnics in the living room. Maybe write her love notes, but have them be from your home? "Dear X, I'm so glad you picked me to live in with your lover! xoxo 1234 Pretty Street"

    2 agree
  8. Sadly, my husband and I didn't do a whole lot to celebrate his moving in because his oldest ferret got very ill and had to be rushed to the vet and put to sleep during the move. Needless to say that kinda killed the mood. I did get up early on the one week anniversary to make him breakfast before he had to leave for work (blueberry pancakes with fancy cherry butter – cherry version of lemon or orange butter – with sausages).

    One thing that did help make it feel special was to put up some art. We're both artists and I'd avoided putting anything on the walls since I was waiting for him to move in. So putting up art together really made it feel more like our place.

    2 agree
  9. Well, when I first moved in with my guy, he was already living with two other dudes. The place was tiny. There was very little privacy.

    So the first night in our new place (without roommates for the first time ever) we ran around naked, being silly, enjoying all the extra space and freedom.

    And then, you know… Well, you can imagine what happened next.

    But I have to second that you can't beat the first take-out picnic meal on the floor.

    4 agree
  10. If you're still stumped, think about less classy ideas. When my husband and I moved into our house last year, we celebrated with a box of wine. It was really fun.

    Our Houseiversary was this week, and we upgraded to two okay bottles.

    2 agree
  11. If you are into it, pagan-lore says that pouring a ring of salt around the house (or in front of windows and entryways if it's an apartment) will protect it from evil. It might be fun. You might look crazy to your new neighbors though.

    8 agree
  12. When we moved to our current place, we had a team of people helping us. As a thank you, we ordered dinner for everyone, and turned it into a little impromptu dinner party. Paper plates, plastic cups, sitting on the floor, enjoying our friends.

    3 agree
  13. we sage smudged our apartment to cleanse it of any negative energy when we moved in…whether that actually has an effect or not, who knows! but it was nice to perform a "ritual" dedicating the space as our own, and setting our intentions for it being a positive, nurturing space where negativity gets left at the door.

    also, i TOTALLY agree with setting up your bedroom first….when the rest of your house is still in chaos you will at least have a cozy nest to retreat to when you are weary from all the heavy lifting!

    and finally….we absolutely did take out dinner, followed by the running around naked just because we could, followed by candlelit bath together, followed by collapsing in a heap in our bedroom (the only room not in total chaos)

    Best wishes in your new home!!!!!!!!!

    8 agree
  14. Are you moving into a new place or is one of you moving into the other's? If the latter, think of one notable thing that the new person can pick out and add to the home – or that you can get together. I would recommend buying a welcome mat. If you're moving into someplace together for the first time just make sure you're both involved in decor decision and it will create its own sense of unity (or conflict!).

    When we bought our new home all of our rituals were very Jewish. In Judaism there is a prayer you say the first time you do something (or the first time you do something in a season eg the first candle lighting of Channukah every year). Also, after we were all moved in and unpacked, we gathered around the door and said the prayers as we mounted our mezuzah. As (assumably) gentiles, you wouldn't have a mezuzah, but you could create a similar moment with a welcome mat or door wreath or even buying custom street number or a sign that says _____and_____'s Place.

    1 agrees
  15. The ritual I have is to take one item from my old home and put it in the car with me. Usually it's a branch that always hangs over our front door The very first thing I do when I officially move into my new home is to find the place where this item will live for it's stay. That way if nothing else gets done after a long day of hauling boxes there is the one thing I can look at and make it feel like home.

    3 agree
  16. We always run around in the nude, and somehow I've managed to make stir fry for our first real meal in the house. I have no clue how we wound up with stir fry, but meh, it works. We do take out during the move, but when the house is actually set up enough to cook I make stir fry. And it helps a lot to go shopping for your new place together and to buy something decorative. And lots of pictures of the two of you together!

    1 agrees
  17. Every time I ever moved as a child with my parents, my mom and I would put together her kitchen before anything–even the beds. So it followed when I moved apartments as an adult, I would also put together my kitchen first. It just wouldn't feel like home without the kitchen put together.

    I told my husband this once in passing before he was my husband. Once we were married and had bought our first home together (he had moved into my apartment before we got married, so it was our first place that was both of ours from the start), he SOMEHOW remembered the kitchen thing. That night, after moving heavy stuff all day, he sat on the floor of the kitchen unpacking the kitchen boxes for me and letting me choose exactly where I wanted everything.

    It doesn't sound like a huge romantic gesture, but it was to me–he was helping me do the one thing that made ME most comfortable in a new home, even though he was exhausted, even though he probably would have preferred just setting the bed up and collapsing until the next day.

    So that's my advice: think about something that would touch her heart or make her feel at home. Whether it's helping her put an important space together, or relaxation time for her, or an elaborate gesture–whatever will make her feel like she's really, truly, home. With you. :)

    9 agree
  18. My husband and I moved in together durring a christmas snow storm 4 years ago. That night we only managed to get the first load of stuff over to the new house. We had gotten stuck so many times in the crappy "we don't believe in snow plows" Oregon roads that we were starving and exhausted after our 3 hr dirve across town. We braved the snopocalypse walked to the store and bought a six pack, a frozen pizza, a pan and a knife and went back to the house where we had our "first meal together in our house". Then we woke up the next day and hung a new strand of prayer flags in the back yard and burned some incense to wish us an auspicious life together. It was very simple but very meaningful. We have lived in 3 houses since (yay renting! NOT) and we have done something similar in all of them. It is nice to put up something to symbolize the "best wishes" you have for your new life in shared space. A wishbone, a horseshoe, get creative and find something that fits for you. Here is the wikiexplaination of prayer flags. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prayer_flag

    Best of luck on the move in. May it be a very happy home.

    0 agree
  19. Again, sort of depends on if you're moving into a new apartment, or one of the two of youse's place.

    I quite firmly believe that the weirdest part of moving into a new home is the fact that it smells like other peoples' lives. That gives you a really good reason to burn things. Instead of throwing yourselves immediately into unpacking, light some incense (or candles, or sage, if you're like me and most incense gives you a crazy headache)and take a tour of the house, dwelling for a few moments in each room. It will make the house smell a bit more homey.

    And I suggest full-on cooking, if you can. There is nothing like cooking to make a house feel like home, and there is nothing like cooking and eating together for a bonding ritual. Pack a special box with everything you'll need to make a familiar meal (Pasta sauce is le easy and makes everything smell AMAZING– all you need is a pot, a spoon,a can opener, olive oil, garlic, onions, oregano, basil, and canned tomatoes, all of which pack very easily) and have a Real meal amongst your boxes with candles burning.

    I've never lived with a lover, but I'm big on home-making rituals anyhow :)

    3 agree
  20. My love moved in with me on our first date, no joke. We celebrated in obvious ways, then proceeded to drink beer and whiskey and mix all our CD's and clothes together. I don't remember what we ate…

    When we moved into the place we live in now, we celebrated by ordering in Thai food from the joint downstairs. mmm… We also enjoyed testing the new tub and shower and making up the bed with a huge pile of blankets.

    1 agrees
    • What's the story of you moving in together on the first date? I'd love to hear it!

      17 agree
  21. We had an Empty House Blessing and invited friends over.
    Lit a candle in each window. Gave everyone a copy of our house blessing. Friends brought over food and plates (with no expectation that we would have water or soap to clean) we designated a wall in the hall closet for everyone to write notes to the house on and each tied a ribbon on our porch post.

    It was before too many boxes had been moved in. It let our friends see the house quickly to satisfy their curiosity and took the pressure off of us for having a fully put together palace for a timely "house warming."

    For a renter, I would suggest spending the evening writing together about your moving day. Write it on the underside of your kitchen table or on the back of a bookshelf.

    2 agree
  22. When my fiancee and I were preparing to move into the house we currently rent, we spent a good amount of time at the house before the move- we brought over just the cleaning supplies and paint, and had new furniture shipped there, including a futon. when we realized after a long day of work that we would rather just stay there for the night, we grabbed a bottle of wine and some chinese food and camped out on the futon mattress. I thought this was just perfect- moving day itself is soooo stressful and exhausting, and it can be hard to celebrate with all the hubub. I think it's so nice to spend a night in the almost empty house/apartment. I think back on it all the time- now the house is our home, and it is full of our things, but just 6 months ago it was just us and some take out food and all of that promise and excitement.

    0 agree
  23. I always thought that the weirdest thing about moving is the new smells. I usually unpack in the kitchen first and boil cinnamon sticks to make the apartments smell more homey. I used to bake bread with an automatic breadmaker but last time I couldn't find my measuring cups. Cinnamon works really well and is much quicker :)

    1 agrees
  24. Dinner on the floor is a must–but for us, it has to be delivery, because then you get to give them your address and hear someone knocking on your door, which is always so fun when it's a new place! Man, now I really want some takeout. Delivery. Argh!

    2 agree
  25. when my fella and i (technically) moved in together, we got the keys on 29th november in a snowstorm. his mum had just broken her hip and was waiting for a replacement so we went to visit her in hospital. we then went back to his folk's place to pack his gear- as he was working away from 30th november! in one of the worst winters we've had for decades, i had to move all the stuff from my house- because i needed to be out before my rent was due- without him, while working full time and looking after his dad and niece, his mum once she came out of hospital, and helping them with their cleaning contract. once my house was cleared i had to shift his stuff too- as he was getting back on 23rd december and my brother was stopping with us from christmas eve…
    as we had no christmas deccys at all, i spent a lot of time on the phone discussing what he wanted. being helpful, the only answer i got was 'a black tree'd be cool'. he came back from working away to find a black tree in the little yard by the front door, the front door covered in gift wrap, a tree in the kitchen, a tree in the living room, and a final tree at the top of the stairs. they would have been better decorated but my car failed its mot!
    unfortunately, al this overwork and stress and running round in a vest top in snow (because shifting furniture up 2 flights of stairs is warm work lol) meant that 2 hours before he got home, i started feeling ill. by christmas eve this was full blown flu and chest infection, so i can't remember much more than the christmas trees! i'm pretty certain he had a curry with my brother but i was pretty much unconscious for the next 3 weeks…

    0 agree
  26. In South Indian culture, we usually boil enough milk for the number of people moving in on the stove (not microwave), add a little bit of sugar, and serve–it's the first thing that should happen, so my family always made sure we had either the gas/elex hooked up and a saucepan and cups ready! I don't ever feel right moving into a new place without doing this.

    0 agree

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