Changes in living arrangements can be stressful on everyone in a home. Regardless of how much you prepare for your new situation, it can be difficult when you are actual adjusting to things. It takes time to get used to changes and even if they are good changes, like moving in with your significant other, you will still have an adjustment period. Before making a commitment to living with someone or expanding your family or moving a relative into your home to care for them, you need to determine if the physical space will be large enough. If not, you may need to expand your space to make the new arrangement work. Consider speaking with a residential remodeling agency or someone who is experienced with residential additions. It may take some time and a few renovations, but having the space you need for everyone is possible.
Once the physical space is arranged, you will need to create a living environment that works for everyone. This means you may need to set a few ground rules that everyone can agree on. Having high standards will create an environment of respect for everyone. It may take some planning to get the right ground rules in place, but it will be well worth the effort once everyone can live happily and comfortably. Before anyone moves into your space or any changes are made, have a meeting with everyone who will be involved in the changes and discuss what the expectations are and how everyone can get along.
One of the most important parts of living with other people is making sure everyone has their own space and time alone. It can drive a person crazy living in a space where they never get time alone. Even children need some solitude sometimes. Plan for the need to be alone and figure out how everyone will accomplish this before moving in together. Depending on the relationship, you may feel like spending every waking moment together happily is possible. After a few weeks, this is going to change, so be sure solitude is readily available.
With all the plans you are making ahead of time, it may get confusing and people may not understand what is required of them once things change. You may want to take notes on the discussions that take place before the changes. This way everyone’s opinions and desires are equally respected and nobody will feel as if they have gone unheard. It may seem silly at the time to take notes or create a living contract, but in the long run it may save you a lot of arguments.
A final consideration before making changes in your living arrangements is to work out money issues in advance. In any household, money is one of the major issues that may become a point of contention. If you make money decisions in advance, there will be no need to argue about money matters later. Everyone can refer back to the original decisions and live peacefully knowing how things are going to run.