So that this period goes smoothly

Remember the little mermaid? Have you ever considered how many sacrifices she had to make to get a chance to seduce Prince Erik? She even sacrificed her own voice. You can probably only remember how happy the animals were that cheered during their first kiss and the rainbow that appeared when they got married.

But it’s not all roses and roses. What you didn’t see, for example, is the argument Erik and Ariël had about the importance of separating waste when they first stood in the kitchen together.

Living together is a big step. And with the media romanticizing relationships, it can be difficult to know what to consider before signing a lease with your partner.

If you’re moving in together, it’s a good idea to figure out what your relationship needs instead of what society says your relationship needs. These 9 questions, including tips from millennial dating experts, will help you ignore the outside nonsense and make sure this big move is the right one.

Why are you moving in together? It’s okay if you make this decision because it’s just convenient — as long as you’re both ready. Be honest and ask yourself what exactly is the reason that you are moving in together.

In addition, it is not wise to live together at the beginning of the relationship. People are often so in love during this period that they only see the positive sides of their partner. But after a year or two, the infatuation starts to wane, and people suddenly start to annoy each other, and suddenly he/she doesn’t seem so perfect anymore.

This is not a bad thing at all, but once the pink cloud has disappeared, you will be better able to decide whether cohabitation is a good idea or not. 

Where is the relationship going?

Maybe the beginning of your relationship was nice and relaxed with the idea of ​​’we’ll see how it develops.’ But the decision to move in together is a little more serious. 

Have a good conversation about your relationship before you sign a lease together. Maybe it’s irrelevant right now, but before you share a house, make sure that any big future plans you have for yourself won’t get in the way of your life together.

If you are honest about your long-term expectations, you can move in together with peace of mind. Do keep communicating!

What about your finances?

Brace yourself because there are quite a few bills on your roof! A household att insurance, groceries, gas, water, light, and a lot of other fixed costs and expenses. Maybe you already had these bills, but it’s different if you share them with your partner. 

Whether you open a joint account or want to keep finances completely separate – it’s important to know what you’re getting into. Talking about money matters is especially important if you decide to share the fixed expenses. Dating expert Lindsey Mason says you should just start the conversation without thinking too much about it:

“If you are going to share all costs, it is crucial that you are aware of each other’s financial situation.”

Maybe one of you pays more rent, or maybe you split everything 50/50. Either way, the decision should be financially realistic for both of you. So take the time to sit down and take a good look at this.

According to Investopedia, a third of fights between couples are caused by money. So be honest about any debts you have or your savings. 

Which household chores are not your thing?

You can convince someone at the beginning of a relationship that you are perfect, but once you move in together, your bad habits will show up sooner or later. Antara Johnson, dating guru for millennials, suggests discussing the dynamics of the home:

“Who pays which bills, does the shopping, cleans the house, cooks, and so on. You don’t want to make assumptions about what your partner will and won’t do. This increases the chance that you will be disappointed if this turns out not to be the case, and this can subsequently lead to unnecessary arguments.”

For example, if you are someone who hates doing the dishes, let your sweetheart know – maybe he/she hates doing the laundry, and you can do the household chores that the other person hates. There are plenty of tasks in your new home, so there’s bound to be something to trade with.

What would you rather not share with your partner?

Before you start living together, it is wise to consider what you need as an individual. Christen Turner of Matchmaking for Millennials suggests practicing before the big day.

“Move in together for at least a week. Be honest about who you are and what you do in your space.”

This way, you can discuss things like mental health and past relationships.

What does ‘me time’ mean to you?

A very important one! Even if you move in with your favorite person, there will be times when you can’t stand each other (for a while). This could be because of a hard day at work or an argument with your best friend – but there will come a day when you can’t even stand the sound of your favorite person breathing.

Being able to say, “I love you, but I want to be alone tonight,” is one way to set your boundaries and focus on what you need. Another way is to keep investing in your friendships. Millennial Dating Expert Ari Taylor advises devoting time to yourself and your own life:

“You have to keep your own identity. Even if you’re happy in a romantic relationship, it’s important to keep investing in other relationships.”

Keep your relationship healthy and give each other space to remember who you are outside of the relationship.

How do you keep the relationship special after the move?

For some, major milestones, such as cohabitation, feel like a final destination. But the best relationships are always being worked on. An evening of watching ‘Temptation Island’ used to be pleasant and special. But now you sit together on the couch every night and that special night quickly becomes a routine. 

Nicole Amaturo, a personal growth coach, warns not to give up on romance so easily:

“It’s so easy to forget going out when you move in together because we confuse time in each other’s company with real quality time – intimate moments with each other. And there really is a HUGE difference between them.”

So plan a weekly date and put your mobile phones away so that you really have some time for each other.

What kind of lifestyle do you expect to have together?

Whether you plan to live completely organically or want a smart home, make sure you make your preferences and expectations clear.

Turner says that “unspoken expectations are the death of any relationship.”

The good news is that this can be talked about. So if you can’t stand to throw away food or if you absolutely don’t want to wear shoes indoors, make this clear before calling the movers.

Do you travel well together?

Vacationing together is a good time to see how you react to each other when you’re out of your comfort zone. How do you adapt to each other, how do you plan the holiday (or maybe nothing is planned at all), and how do you choose a restaurant to eat at.

The ups and downs of a journey are a good indication of how you will respond to unexpected challenges when you are together full time.

Did we scare you?

Living together can be overwhelming, even when it feels right. Dinner planning is now always together, and that’s no small thing – not even for the most dependent of us.

As long as you keep communicating well, there’s nothing to worry about. Even if there’s a mean sea witch trying to tear you apart, you both have a voice and the means to decide how to make the other feel at home.

Now to figure out how to cram all the furniture you both have into the new tiny living room.

Can minimalism improve your life?

Is it possible to be happier with less?

It has never been so easy to buy what you want instantaneously. A few clicks and the delivery person is sometimes at your door the same day. This is, of course, super handy, but unfortunately also has many negative consequences. Therefore, a minimalist lifestyle is becoming more and more popular. For many, it is a trend to own as little stuff as possible. 

Often when things rise in popularity, people have the wrong idea of ​​what it actually means – including minimalism. But minimalism is really more than just a hashtag. We’ve done the research, and there are great benefits to a minimalist lifestyle.

You’re in the right place if you think minimalism is bullshit, love it, or have no idea what you think – we’re going to explain it all to you. Research shows that it has really meaningful effects. So read here where the trend comes from and the ways it can impact your life.

What is minimalism?

Often people see a connection between minimalism, art, and design – but the origin lies elsewhere. To understand what minimalism really is, we have to jump back in time – to the Japanese rock gardens. Some 600 years ago, Japanese priests and artists came together and decided to design gardens that create simplicity and tranquility. The logic behind this was that an empty space equals an empty mind. 

Minimalism only emerged in the 20th century as a by-product of the Dutch art movement ‘De Stijl.’ This movement claims that ‘less is more and that you can find beauty in the absence of certain things. 

You may be asking yourself, “What does this have to do with my roommate hanging pictures of his white plates on his white shelf on his white wall?”. Not much. People who talk about minimalism today are often talking about something completely different. But what every minimalist can agree on is that it enables people to feel overwhelmed less quickly and to shift their focus to something that they consciously choose.  

Jelle Derckx writes the following on the blog ‘Growthinkers’:

“For me, minimalism is creating the environment that helps you do what brings you happiness and satisfaction in the long run.”

Sounds absolutely great. But does this really work?

Does minimalism make life better?

When you buy something new, you often get a wonderful feeling, and you are very happy with your new purchase for a while. But does this really make you happy? People who are focused on things – materialists – often let their self-image be determined by the things they have. And, of course, that doesn’t make them any happier. Usually, there is a downward spiral: the more unhappy they are, the more they want. 

Tim Kasser, the author of The High Price of Materialism, writes in his book that people who place a high value on materialism have a higher chance of:

  • to be less happy
  • Having worse interpersonal relationships
  • Contribute less to the community
  • More likely to engage in environmentally harmful behaviors

Minimalists try to be more ‘mindful,’ which has a lot of positive effects on the body and mind. But a minimalist lifestyle can change life in several positive ways. Read here what consequences a minimalist lifestyle can have.

Minimalism Can Make You Happier

Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, known as the minimalists, say it’s not easy to get rid of the things that distract you like one, two, and three. Following the rules of a minimalist life doesn’t just happen and doesn’t automatically bring you happiness – but it can help. They claim the following:

“Minimalism can help you get rid of everything that is superfluous and create a new financial freedom that you can use for new experiences.”

Minimalism can help you spend less.

Quite logical, but by buying less, you save money. You’ll notice a huge difference in your spending habits if you live by the motto that a lot of stuff distracts from what really matters.

By decluttering, you get a good overview of what you need and what you can sell. According to Mia Danielle, a popular blogger, minimalism affects the way you spend money and causes a kind of “passive savings.” She says:

“Your financial health will not only improve in the area of ​​random purchases. The advantages of minimalism affect several planes. By choosing items consciously, you are less likely to buy useless items. If you apply minimalism to your life (and your shopping habits), you will be proud of your full bank account and your empty living room.”

Minimalism can help you produce less waste.

If you take the step to become a minimalist, you will probably find a lot of stuff to get rid of. This can be a little painful at times, but once you’ve embraced this way of life, you’re more likely to use a 4-in-1 blender than a separate mixer, blender, food processor, and immersion blender.

Dr. Kelly Miller of Deakin University suggests that by buying less, you help the planet in the long run. She explains the following:

“If we all gave in to what we need instead of what we want, we would use a lot less stuff and do the climate a big favor.”

If you are aware of what you consume, you will want to produce much less waste.

Minimalism gives you more freedom and less stress.

When a minimalist needs a pen to write something down, he will reach for his only pen (which also does it!). It makes sense that you experience less stress if you don’t have any clutter and know exactly what you own and where it is.

Researchers at UCLA found that there is a correlation between having a lot of stuff and a high level of stress. This also works the other way around – do you have less clutter? Then you will probably also suffer less from stress.

How do you become a minimalist?

There are countless blogs, Instagram accounts, and podcasts that explain how to embrace a minimalist lifestyle. Our first tip? Look for what suits you.

Some influencers describe minimalism as a list of constraints, which for many is not the right approach. Everyone does it in their own way. You may want to start minimizing your wardrobe while loving having a bulging bookcase. And that’s okay! 

Whether you are interested in the economic, environmental, or personal benefits – there is a guru with the same vision for everyone.

So, write down what appeals to you (and what doesn’t!) during your exploration. This way, it is clear what you want to delve into and what you should not spend your time on. 

Not sure where to start? Review the list below to get a good idea of ​​what might appeal to you and where to start your journey:

1. Get rid of everything you have double.

Start in the shower. The colorful products in the bathroom look nice, but how many bottles of shampoo and shower gel do you really need? Your house is full of stuff you don’t really need. So start figuring out what can go. This is a simple first step in the right direction!

2. Shop ‘smart.’ 

Joshua Becker of ‘Becoming Minimalist’ writes:

“Buying physical items will never completely satisfy our desire for happiness.”

We all know the wonderful feeling of a bag full of bargains, but if you want to become a minimalist, that doesn’t really fit the bill. Make a list of the things you really need before you go shopping. This way, you are less likely to make impulse purchases.

3. The wardrobe 

Research shows that in the Netherlands, we do not wear on average 50 of the total of 173 items of clothing. In addition, we throw away another 40 items per person every year. If your friends say minimalism is bullshit, here’s a good fact to prove them wrong.

The idea is that you replace the garments you now have with about 30 pieces that are easy to combine. It may be a pricey joke, but definitely a smart investment in yourself and the climate. It was cleaned up neatly!

4. Donate all your extras

You have more to give away than you might think. From your closet, your kitchen, the storage cupboard, and so on. And it turns out that donating even makes you feel good! Research at Rush University Medical Center shows that people who give things away experience a kind of high that has long-term benefits – physical and psychological. 

If you’re having trouble finding items to get rid of because you think you’ll use them someday, we’ve got an idea for you. Put those things in a box and write the date on it. If a year passes and you have not missed the items, you can safely conclude that you can donate them. 

5. Minimize your social environment

It’s probably not what the Japanese priests had in mind, but cleaning up your social life can have major benefits. Unfollow people on Instagram who have no positive added value and spend less time with the people in real life that you would rather not see.

All in all, it’s quite a task to take on a new set of habits, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be difficult. The goal is to make your life simpler, give you more energy and shift your focus to what is most important to you. Feel free to take the time to find out what feels best to you and live a minimalist life in your own way.