Whether you’re going to rent an apartment with a significant other or a friend or a roommate you’ve found, there’s one thing a lot of co-renters forget to talk about before moving day: what furniture do you both have, and what furniture will you actually need? More than likely, you won’t need two sofas and two dining room tables. Read on for tips on how to tackle the task of merging furniture so that both parties are happy and you can avoid any awkward arguments.
Take Inventory of Belongings (Yours and Your Roommate’s)
You and your roommate should make a list of what you have. Don’t forget to include kitchen gadgets, too. This will give both of you a chance to really look at your belongings and see if there are things you could donate or give away. That old dresser with the broken drawer you’ve been lugging around since freshman year? Might be a great opportunity to list it on Craigslist as a project piece.
Know What You Need
If you’re moving into an apartment with enough space for two sofas, awesome — you may get to avoid that conversation entirely. Take measurements of each room in your new apartment so you can get an idea of what exactly you’ll need. Free online tools like RoomSketcher make it easy to figure out what will go where.
And even more importantly than knowing what to toss is knowing what to buy. Whether you buy furnishings together or separately, it is important to get a clear idea of what you both think is needed to comfortably co-exist.
Be a Good Communicator
Talking about what’ll make it in the door and what’ll be cut can result in some hurt feelings, so it’s best to be respectful of your roommate’s taste and belongings. If she is dead-set on bringing a neon pink flokati rug or he just has to have his light up Corona sign, maybe you could nicely suggest it go in his or her bedroom rather than in the living room. If you can’t seem to agree on something, you might need to bite the bullet and let it go — after all, you don’t want to start things off on a sour note.
Agree to Change Things up Every so Often
One of the best compromises you both can make is the promise that you’ll swap out decor every few months. Your framed Pulp Fiction poster might look fantastic over the sofa, but it could be cool to hang up your roommate’s vintage sign for a while too just to keep things fresh.
Plus, you can always accumulate things together for a truly combined living space. So, some time after moving in, take a trip to your local home goods store and spring for a few throw pillows that bring both your tastes together.
Plan What Will Go in Storage Areas
If one or both of your apartment’s bedrooms has a small closet, it might not be big enough to hold your clothes and other personal items, causing you to need to store extra stuff in another closet somewhere in the apartment. Try to pare down your wardrobe before you move, but definitely have a discussion with your roommate about what you’d like to keep in the hall closet.
Make It a Fun Transition
Above all else, have fun with this! There is no right way to decorate an apartment. Be positive, have an open mind, and be willing to create a home that’s a great mix of your styles.