Moving cross country together without too many tears
June 16, 2014 2:03 PM   Subscribe

I'll be moving with my boyfriend to a new city in a few months. It'll be the first time either of us have lived with a partner, or with each other, or in this new city. We know it's going to be stressful, but how can we make it less so?

We've been dating for about three years, and are both in our mid-to-late twenties. We've both decided it's time to get out of NYC, and fell in love with a city that fits pretty much all of our needs and desires. It's closer to my family, but far away (still a direct flight, though) to his in NY.

Moving in together alone would be stressful, but considering we're also moving to a brand-new city and state for both of us, we know that's adding on another heaping scoopful of stress. We're both self-aware of ourselves, our mental health, and our anxiety triggers, and we handle arguments and stress well. We're also a good team, and very much in love and (informally, not headed towards marriage right now) planning on spending our lives together. I think we have a pretty damn good relationship, but this much change would be stressful on anyone, and I can already feel myself getting scared (and we've discussed him having similar feelings). But I'm still so excited, and it's definitely something we both want to do — we just know it's gonna be hard. And awesome. But hard.

As a side note, I deal with a lot of anxiety about relationships (as you can see in my past questions and answers!). Most of this is dealt with, but anxiety and irritability still pop up when the relationship is under a lot of stress. So I'll want to think of ways to address this, too.

Any tips for balancing the stress of moving to a new city AND moving in with each other at the same time without biting each others' head off?
posted by good day merlock to Human Relations (28 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Can you start living together now? Or at least staying over a few nights a week? The level of comfort that will afford you once you're in a new city together will be helpful, I think.

Also, when apartment shopping, look for a space that has privacy for both of you. Even if it's in a studio. Make sure there are places to get away when you need to, and still be in your own home.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:06 PM on June 16, 2014

Response by poster: Oops, forgot to clarify! We can't live together now, but we already spend 3/4 nights a week together. We'll be getting a two bed because its affordable where we're living, and because I need office space.
posted by good day merlock at 2:07 PM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

This may sound depressing and counter-intuitive, but talk about your exit strategy. What happens if your experiment fails? Can you afford to live apart? Does someone move away? Will you move away together and go back to living separately? What is a dealbreaker post-move in?
posted by Lardmitten at 2:09 PM on June 16, 2014 [4 favorites]

Talk about divisions of labor before you move in. I like doing laundry but hate vacuuming - Mr. Kitty hates laundry and vacuums like his life depends on it. We figured these things out ahead of time so there isn't a resentful "Ugh, i am ALWAYS doing X..." as opposed to "I do X, he does Y and we usually work on Z together."

Not in a score keeping kind of way - but knowing what chores you both hate ahead of time will stop any passive aggressive resentment nonsense from cropping up.

Talk about your financial situations now before you realize how much credit card debt the other person has. Will you be having a joint bank account? Will you switch off each month for who pays what? Will it be percentage and income based? Figuring out the money before it comes stressful helps stop any of the passive aggressive resentment nonsense. Not that it can't be renegotiated later, but its best to go in with Eyes Wide Open when it comes to money,

Figure out what you are taking with you for your merging household now -and your general decoration scheme. Mr. Kitty is a clutter bug and it slowly makes me crazy. I like my space spartan and sparse. This has not made decorating easy. Figure out your tolerance of bric-a-brac and try to stay near it.

Find one take out place that you both like near your new home. No one likes cooking after a day of unpacking - knowing that you can call Sal's Tofu Taco's instead of having to search yelp will be easier for the first few days of transition.

I like to plan things, and have back ups for the back ups. Mr. Kitty is a walk down the street and pick out a place that looks interesting. Know this about yourself for exploring your new city. It will make the experience far more enjoyable (for me anyway) to have 2 ace restaurants up your sleeve when your partner wants to walk around downtown to see what's what.

I am sure this is an obvious one too - but go through your stuff now to cut down on the amount that you're moving. Like your dishes better than his? E-bay his. Some things are good to have doubles of - but not deciding which pans should be the every day pans and which are going to sit and collect dust when you're moving helps. (this also assumes you both have fully furnished households prior to moving in together)

Best of luck with the move!
posted by Suffocating Kitty at 2:17 PM on June 16, 2014 [8 favorites]

Agreed on talking in advance about how to handle things if it doesn't work out. That can reduce a lot of stress and worry and, strangely enough, might help things to work out well.

Moving can get really expensive in both time and money, so keep good tabs on what you're both doing and paying for. That way, you've got something to help you make sure your contributions are fair in a way you can agree on, and can eliminate potential future resentment. Getting rid of as much stuff as possible makes moving cheaper and easier (never move any bulky furniture a significant distance unless it's got serious sentimental value!), and being able to select different furniture when you get to your destination to suit your new home is a good way to make sure you're both happy with it.

Make time and space to have your own time and space. Even a tiny apartment can have a layout that makes it reasonable for you both to be able to do your own thing when you need to, and earplugs and earphones/headphones that fit well can be a wonderful tool.

Don't let the fact that you've got each other keep you from working to meet new friends in your new city. Finding new activities and people is never easier than when you can say, "I just moved here from Anytown, and I'd like to get to know people here." It's usually not a good thing to expect your significant other to be your entire social life, so try not to do that!

Also seconding working out some agreements on who does what around your home early on -- better to talk that out now than to try to change later if things aren't working out to your satisfaction.
posted by asperity at 2:23 PM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]

You might consider the possibility that moving to a new city together and moving in together in one fell swoop might be a positive in some ways. I have read articles about power struggles in relationships over whose home to move into when they decide to move in together or power struggles after they moved in together that were rooted in one of them moving into the house the other one owned or whatever.

Plus, with a move to a new city, you do not have established routines, established friends, etc. You get kind of a clean slate in some sense and that is not all bad, even though, yes, it will be stressful. But it might be pressure that pushes the two of you together instead of pressure that pushes you apart whereas fighting over one person disrupting the other's routines by moving into their home and that kind of thing is almost always a wedge between the two.

And that kind of gives you one tool for minimizing the fighting (or at least the fall out from it): You can blame all your stress on circumstances. My marriage held together better when hubby was deployed a lot and we could blame our fights on having been apart and blah blah blah. The reality is we got along worse when we had to live together more full-time and this was especially corrosive because it became clear it was us, not the situation. So, for now, agree to blame everything on the stress of this big move and give each other a pass on a lot of things. Being able to forgive each other after a fight and let it go and really, truly kiss and make-up counts for something in terms of the quality of a relationship.
posted by Michele in California at 2:25 PM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]

I find an evening walk together exploring the area and each other's ideas about it to be calming and good thing. Free too.
posted by Freedomboy at 2:29 PM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]

Maybe figure out what you use to stave off anxiety and arrange to have it ready to hand as soon as you can when you land.

For example you may need to make sure you have tea fixings, your favourite blanket, the ability to check your e-mail -whatever it is that you each usually use to decompress. If you can arrange to have that available when you hit the ground you will be able to withdraw and un-stress when and if you get overwhelmed.

If the apartment smells "funny" you may want to have whatever it is that generates a good familiar smell. One of the first things I did in our new house was light some scented candles. It smelt nice enough when I did the pre-purchase inspections but it didn't smell like home so within ten minutes of getting into the place I fixed it so it smelt familiar.

It is nobody's kitchen. This is good. It is much easier to move in together in a new place than it is to have someone move in on top of someone else. This way there will be no location where you have always kept the spatula that your partner is supposed to know telepathically and if the spatula isn't in the right place Everything in the Whole World is All Wrong. You'll find a new place that will make sense.

Allow each other a couple of meltdowns. When you have the energy and time, do some nurturing things for each other, but also make sure you get your down time from each other too. Having two bedrooms is a good idea. it is always helpful to be able to go into a different room and shut the door, for example when one of you is wide awake from the excitement and the other one of you is exhausted from the same excitement and just wants to sleep.

You'll need the extra space anyway because of the duplication that comes from moving from two homes into a shared one.

You sound like you are going about this in the right way. You've tested extensive contact and arranged that both more extensive contact and solitary time will be possible, so that you will be able to cling together if that makes you feel better but you don't have to if you are not perfectly attuned.
posted by Jane the Brown at 2:31 PM on June 16, 2014 [4 favorites]

Mr 3.22 and I didn't move in together for 6 years,in large part because I like my own space.

When we did (very happily, as it turned out) what really helped was knowing that we each carved out a little space for ourselves, and mutually agreed that if we wanted to be by ourselves that it wasn't a slight against the other person, it was just 'I'm going to do my own thing, for a bit'.

Also, its a useful thing to get used to being quiet or engaged in activity in the same room. Good luck!
posted by threetwentytwo at 2:32 PM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Allow each other a couple of meltdowns.

So much this. I kind of went into the experiment with the idea that no fights in the first two weeks would "count," because they would probably not even be proper fights--just exhaustion-based meltdowns. And they were! But it was so helpful to be mentally prepared for them, because I could say "honey, I'm not even mad at you, but I'm going to go into the other room now and cool down." This pretty much applied whether it was him or me who was losing it.

The key adjustment I had to make was the difference between "we are in the same house ergo it is Hangout Time" and "oh this is just regular life, where I have to do normal shit."

Learn to be in the same apartment without being in the same room. Don't be on each others' heels all the time. It might feel weird at first, but just sit with the weirdness. Eventually it becomes pretty liberating (especially if you're like me, and used to find yourself sitting on the couch with your sweetie and anxiously wishing you could do some dishes, but worrying it would be rude).

Nthing a million times: take walks around your new city! It's like vacation and does wonders for smoothing out the rough edges on a stressful day.
posted by like_a_friend at 2:37 PM on June 16, 2014 [4 favorites]

I just moved in with my partner of 1 year, and while I knew intellectually that it would be weird at first . . . doing it is another matter. It will be weird. It doesn't mean things have failed. 2 months in and we are doing great!
posted by chainsofreedom at 2:41 PM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]

It's easy to get caught in your own assumptions, so assume good faith and ask open questions.

Example: when your partner does something that doesn't make sense to you, ask why with a positive attitude. Too often I've caught myself about to say, "AGH, why would you use the floor sponge for that?" when the reality was that we hadn't discussed which sponges are used for what or stored where. Assuming good faith and realizing there's rarely one "right" way can make a world of difference.
posted by ldthomps at 2:42 PM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Talk about divisions of labor before you move in. I like doing laundry but hate vacuuming - Mr. Kitty hates laundry and vacuums like his life depends on it. We figured these things out ahead of time so there isn't a resentful "Ugh, i am ALWAYS doing X..." as opposed to "I do X, he does Y and we usually work on Z together."

An addendum to this excellent advice: be very specific about what each chore is and entails. To you, "I'll do all the vacuuming" might mean "Vacuum up dirt when I see it", while to him it might mean "Vacuum every floor surface every week all the way to the corners."
posted by Etrigan at 2:44 PM on June 16, 2014 [3 favorites]

Oh yeah also, accept that there will be some tears, and that will be okay! Tears are okay.
posted by like_a_friend at 2:45 PM on June 16, 2014

I did this (and for bonus stress, it was right after I lost a parent) and it worked out. I adjusted to cohabitation reasonably well, at least compared to the cross-country move part. That threw me for a loop. Don't underestimate it.

The one thing I remember in the early weeks was being really, really determined to like my new town. Not in a sappy sunshiney way, but when things got me down (like, the third parking ticket in a week), I'd tell myself, "No. I am going to enjoy it here. I will not let this be a mistake." It's hard to undo negative first impressions, so I decided I just wouldn't let them take root. My advice for anyone moving far away is to brace for a difficult couple of months while you adjust, but to hold firmly to the belief that you will be happy in your new place once the adjustment period passes.

Make sure y'all get out of the house regularly, both together and individually. If either of you will be working from home or temporarily out of work, this is extra important. You need things outside of the home and the relationship.

I also found a good therapist, because I needed one. (However, I probably would have needed one at that time even if I hadn't moved.) Keeping yourself healthy will keep the relationship healthy, so be sure to care for yourself.
posted by Metroid Baby at 2:59 PM on June 16, 2014 [3 favorites]

I think that's one of those things that is only as stressful as you allow it to be. We were told "OMG your relationship is going to go through the ringer!" and "moving in is the true test of the relationship"....and it really was okay. Don't make mountains out of molehills, and give yourself time to acclimatize. Before you move in, put together a list of what each person will take care of, to their abilities...and then TRUST them. Give someone the utilities to set up, another person can do the internet, another person does the first pizza order and organizes the move-in crew. Make sure expectations are known, and don't expect perfection....if someone forgot to set up the internet, waiting two more weeks isn't going to kill you and it's just an oopsie.

Give yourself time to acclimatize to both new situations too, a few months unless something is dire (laundry on the floor is not dire). Mention things that bug you once, then leave it be until you're both more comfortable.

But seriously, if you spend time with each other in more than a casual dating sense, and think you're sort of compatible....just trust each other, give each other the benefit of the doubt and room for mistakes, and it's really, REALLY not that crazy.
posted by aggyface at 3:02 PM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

We did this, just about 8 years ago, and we just, about a month ago, moved to yet another place. (East Coast -> Chicago -> St Louis). We'd been together about a year at that point, and we're now married, own a house, have 2 cats and a dog, etc, etc, etc. Gosh I sound square.

Anyway. Best thing we did was read "Unmarried to Each Other". I kept that as a reference for a long time, actually, and then passed it on to another friend. We also made cohabitation contracts annually until we got married, and that hashed out a lot of issues.

Honestly? That first year in Chicago sucked for lots of reasons. I am SO GLAD we had each other. I wish I had been nicer. Be nice to each other. No, not nice - kind. Be kind. And have lots of sex.
posted by Ms Vegetable at 3:16 PM on June 16, 2014

I have recently been in an international version of this, merging two households from different countries. It was even more exhausting than we had expected, but it has worked out fine so far.

Figure out, both of you, which are the bare-minimum things you need to start feeling at home in a new place. For example, for me it's being able to make a cup of tea and having a desk where I can set up my computer/stack books/write. For my boyfriend, it's a functional kitchen and a reasonably well-stocked pantry. When you pack for the move, make sure to box up those things such that you can access them quickly and painlessly from day one.

And, seconding Jane the Brown, don't over-interpret meltdowns that happen during the moving phase. It really helps to know where to get food even before you pick up the key to your new place. So much less low-blood-sugar-drama. :) (That applies to post-move living together as well btw. My willingness to pick a fight over some silly little issue increases exponentially with the time since my last meal.)
posted by wavelette at 3:33 PM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]

Make a point of socializing separately. You won't know anyone and you'll feel like sticking together...but your lives will be richer for it if you can force yourselves to go solo a few nights a week. Leave the other one at home or split up for the evening and make new friends alone (as well as together, too!).
posted by amaire at 3:35 PM on June 16, 2014

i agree with the advice above to try hard to meet new people and not rely on your partner to meet all of your socializing needs. make efforts, together and separately, to find activities to be part of. i made a big move with a partner years ago, who was working primarily from home, and it was very isolating for him and ultimately hard on the relationship (i would come home from work tired and wanting a bit of alone time, and he was so excited to see a person and needed to talk RIGHT AWAY!). having outlets other than each other might help with some of the stress inherent in a big move and help you enjoy your time together more too.
posted by eseuss at 3:40 PM on June 16, 2014

Honestly having a 2-bedroom is a great start. I used to live in a cheaper city and loooved having a separate room that was "mine." Okay technically it was the "guest room" but it had my old bed, my stuff, etc. I actually kept my clothes and such in there because it was easier space-wise and easier getting ready in the morning. I really miss having my own space.

Division of labor is definitely important. Some couples go as far as a chore chart, which I am not opposed to. We used to switch off whose week it was to manage the kitchen/dishes.
posted by radioamy at 3:57 PM on June 16, 2014

Lots of good advice here. I would point out that in many ways, you'll have it easier than most people. You're not moving into his space (or vice versa). You're both moving somewhere new and neutral. It's not his old neighborhood or your old place. I think a lot of the stress of moving in with someone is that one person often feels encroached upon, and the other feels like an outsider invading. By moving somewhere completely new - not just a new apartment, but an entirely new city! - you're avoiding this all together.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 4:03 PM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Stuff that has been the worst problems from my personal experience:

- grocery shopping/food: who makes the trip, who pays for it, who likes to eat what and who will prepare it (also acceptable frequency of eating out/take out - this ties into larger questions of spending/saving habits)
- heating/cooling: what is a comfortable temperature, what is an acceptable energy bill for maintaining the comfortable temperature
- policy for inviting over friends/family: how much forewarning to the other party, how long will visitors be welcome, how frequently can visitors come over
- decorating taste: if your SO has some godawful furniture/artwork/etc they love but you hate, how to reasonably negotiate a proper place for it (discuss before it gets moved into the new place!!!). If you have two couches, which one do you keep, etc.
- social survival: making sure one party does not cling to the other as his/her only social outlet. This broke one of my relationships just after a move - he glommed onto my friends and wouldn't go get his own.

Talk about this stuff early so if you get a bad vibe, you can call off moving in together. Listen to your gut. Sadly, calling off the move may end your relationship. But it is so much better to end the relationship than be stuck on a year lease with a SO whom you are slowly coming to dislike more with every day.

Basic cleaning/toilet-seat-putting-down issues are fairly minor to resolve in comparison. Generally, the person who cares more puts in the effort, and the extra effort is written off as a minor cost of maintaining a happy relationship. Ideally, it evens out. But if one person ends up doing way more of the chores, then there needs to be a sit down and discussion, and possible adjustment of living expenses if that is necessary to keep things running smooth. Whatever it takes so nobody feels taken for granted. Learn to recognize your own signs of mild resentment and talk about things early.

I have known couples who were very exact with splitting expenses - saved grocery and restaurant receipts and put it into a monthly spreadsheet - even went so far as to include her marijuana expenses because she cleaned when she got high. They had arguments because he ate a larger portion of the food than she did, but they split the grocery bills evenly. They eventually broke up because of the stress of trying to make everything "fair" all the time. I suggest not getting too wrapped up in nickles and dimes. Also, try very hard not to judge your partner's spending habits.

Big moves themselves aren't too rough - I have done two of more than several hundred miles. Just be aware of the costs involved, try to plan things as well as possible (but be flexible if it goes to hell, because something surely will!), and don't wait until the last few weeks to book the uhaul truck. While packing/moving, make sure you take extra good care of yourself and do not let tiny arguments snowball because you are tired or hungry or both. Seriously, keep good food on hand or accept the costs of ordering a quick moral-boosting pizza if you need it. Take breaks. Have extra tools (packing tape, boxes, scissors, markers) because if you only have one, it will get lost in a pile of crap and you will waste a frustrating hour or two looking for it. Moving is physically and mentally stressful for both parties. Be especially kind and understanding to one another during this time.
posted by griselda at 5:34 PM on June 16, 2014

If you are not bringing your bed, get a bed as soon as possible. Going to sleep angry after one of the inevitable bickering matches that moving will cause sucks. Going to sleep angry on a slowly deflating air mattress sucks so much worse.

Also on the subject of furniture and decor, make a list of what things you will need to buy/get once you get there (from toilet brushes to couches and everything in between), what you're willing to spend on them, and their order of priority.
posted by cheerwine at 7:22 PM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]

There was a series of first-person reports on starting a cohabitation, published on The Billfold, which my girlfriend and I found to be quite helpful.

Nthing the separate spaces notion. If you can afford to get a two-bedroom, by all means do that. We both need some separation time, and it's great to have another space to retire to. She tends to use our main bedroom, while I take up much of the "office" (which also has a fold-out futon couch, for those nights when co-sleeping isn't working).

Try to get some of the difficult discussions out of the way, well in advance (money strategies, bailing strategies, chore division, etc). That said, don't expect those sober, serious discussions to actually matter. They probably won't end up being binding, and you'll likely just have them again, during or after the move. One of the only frustrations of our cohabitation -- so far -- was having a tense, charged conversation about the shared account, after moving in... And after discussing it calmly and carefully for months.

However, don't get so caught up in what can go wrong that you forget to enjoy what's going right. (Says the guy with only one month under his belt, YMMV.) One of the pleasures of this experience has been the occasional, mutual realizations that we feel surprisingly comfy. Doesn't mean that things can't go wronger in the future, but keep track of the positives you are "putting in the bank" by planning ahead and respecting each others' needs.
posted by credible hulk at 10:25 PM on June 16, 2014

Like many others here, I did this, and it worked out (we're still together, and have moved two times since that initial cross-country move).

Moving is one of life's three biggest stressors (says my therapist). A cross-country move with a partner is obviously harder than moving across town, and it sounds like you're treating it that way, which is good. Some things we did, which you may or may not have the luxury of doing:

We made the move itself fun by driving from California to Massachusetts over two weeks. We stopped in national parks and camped the whole way. Because we had to cooperate to do basic things, like make the campfire and set up the tent and cook dinner, we had a little practice at splitting up chores/tasks before we even reached our destination. That experience carried over really nicely to our first-time cohabitation situation.

We saved beforehand, and threw a bunch of money into an account that we used over the trip and in our first few months in the new home. Moving is expensive (I just moved across town, and boy, moving is EXPENSIVE) and avoiding financial stress and bickering was key.

Others have said this, but once we got to the new place, where we knew basically no one, we each tried to engage in totally separate activities. She joined a sports team. I got a new pet and started cycling. Having built-in time apart really helped us get along when we were in the house together.

Best of luck!
posted by batscam at 6:10 AM on June 17, 2014

Best answer: If you take care of the practical, the emotional will be much easier to ride out.

1. Organize your move. I HIGHLY recommend professional movers. Driving a UHaul and unpacking it has dissolved more relationships than gambling and infidelity. My Sobrina did this with her husband and a newborn last year and it was a disaster. Nearly everything they packed was ruined. I also find that UHaul costs a ton, and you may come out nearly the same with something like ABF UPack.

2. To that end, if you can move with only clothes and toiletries, do that. You can ship books media mail, Ikea or flea markets are everywhere. Get rid of everything! Sell what you can and buy new stuff when you get to your destination. The freedom is delicious, plus it's fun to shop together for your new home.

3. If you're driving to your new destination, make it a vacation. Don't try to drive for 24 hours straight just to get there. Plan a nice journey. You'll be amazed and how relaxing it can be, especially after a move.

4. I find that a great move is planned 6 months in advance.

A. 6 months out-Start getting rid of stuff you don't want, step 1. This is stuff you can live without right now, or forever. Old clothes, loose furniture, etc. Your best bet is to sell to your roommates. "Hey, I'm moving in January, you guys want to buy the table from me?" Also, cut back on restaurants, and shopping to save money. Also, why buy stuff to move it?

B. 5 months out-Start doing recon on your new area. Figure out where you want to live and start applying for and lining up jobs.

C. 4 months out-Start packing. I'm not kidding. You have time now, as things speed up, you won't. Out of season stuff, books, media, art, etc. If you can, digitize as much of your media as possible. In this day and age, I would not move DVDs, CDs or books I can download. Sell media to Second Spin or donate to your local library. If you simply MUST keep the media, get rid of the plastic cases, get sleeves. Store them in boxes. I got rid of 3 bookcases full of this crap into 6 of these boxes.

If you don't have room, get a storage unit and start taking items to it as they are packed or ready to be out of your current space. While it can be more hassle, moving twice, you will THANK me on loading day, when all the truck needs to do is back up to the unit and load.

D. 3 Months out-Set up the logistics, book flights, or get your car(s) serviced, book motels, set up an itinerary, figure out the money. Keep packing (if you're moving a lot of stuf) especially weird things you hardly use, fondue pots, skis, vases, etc. You may be flying to new place for interviews, or negotiating jobs, etc. If you're renting an apartment in a complex, you can start the process of looking, applying, etc. (I recommend this.)

E. 2 Months out-Start the good-bye process, the parties, the no-hosts, the little dinners with friends, etc. Things are getting hectic now and if you get these going, you won't be trying to cram it all in at the last minute. At this point, nearly everything should be packed up. Just the basics you'll need to live for the next few weeks (and really, how much to you actualy need?) It's okay to eat with plastic off paper plates now. See all of your doctors and line up prescriptions, get your teeth cleaned, anything that needs doing on a preventative schedule with your health insurance.

F. 1 Month. Close out work stuff, if any. Firm up all reservations, verify the movers/shippers, start anticipating your new life together in your new place. Call the utilities and work out shut off dates (if applicable.) Set up appointments with the Landlord to do a walk-through and confirm return of deposit. Forward your mail. Cancel any services, memberships, etc.

G. 2 Weeks. Try to relax. If you can, get out of town overnight. At the very least, have a spa day. Have your regular person cut your hair, get a mani/pedi (both of you) there is nothing worse than feeling like the dog's breakfast during a move. If you can afford it, get massages.

H. 1 Week. Organize the furniture and boxes for the move. Pack your bags for your journey to the new location. Tie up all loose ends (hopefully there won't be too many.) If you can swing it, move into a hotel the last couple of nights. Get away from the hullaballo and let everything be calm and quiet and someone else's problem.

During the process it will be imperitive to pay attention to your health. Exercise, eat well, sleep well and make an effort to work on your relationship.

I'd even go so far as to suggest that you go to pre-marital counseling, not for marriage, but to discuss all the important stuff that gets glossed over in the excitement and hassle of a move. How will you handle finances, how do you feel about children, what are your mutual goals, etc.

The more you do up front, the less stressful and hard it will be at crunch time.

Good luck!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:04 AM on June 17, 2014 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: I marked Ruthless Bunny's answer as best, but all of this is so incredibly helpful — thank you all!
posted by good day merlock at 8:53 AM on June 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

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