Great relationships are built on solid foundations. This is especially true for your housemate relationship. If you’re welcoming someone into your home, take a moment to consider the combination of uncertainty and excitement they’re likely feeling. Creating a space that invites warmth and connection will go a long way toward ensuring a smooth transition. Here are some tips for reducing the stress of move-in day and welcoming your new housemate to your shared home.
In this article:
Discussions before move-in day
Talk early on about your stuff, your roommate’s stuff and the stuff you’ll share. It’s all important, and it’s worth your time and energy to get things clear from the very start.
Are you open to your roommate bringing some furniture into your living room and other shared parts of the house? Can you make room for that side table their grandpa made? You may really enjoy changing your furniture around and finding new uses for your things in other parts of the house. If you think about it and the answer is no, that’s okay too. Just be open and honest about it.
👉 Pro tip: If you don’t want a roommate to bring their things, you need to be okay with them using yours.
Tips for move-in day with your new housemate
Here are our tried-and-true suggestions for reducing the stress of move-in day and helping your new housemate feel right at home.
Give them space
We’ve talked in another article about how creating space for your roommate throughout the home can really help them feel welcome. Well, the same goes for making space for them on move-in day. It’s a good idea to be there to say hello and welcome…and then clear out of the way. Go run errands and let your roommate do their thing, unless your help is specifically requested.
Don’t do too much too soon
For some of us, it’s tempting to also make a big deal out of move-in day and the first week. We want to make things convenient by buying a nice basket for their cycling gear. Or we think we’re being helpful by creating a coffee station in the kitchen.
Resist this urge. You can’t anticipate how you and your new roommate will share space together until you actually do it. There will always be a settling-in period during which your roommate gets used to the space and the two of you get used to each other. That means things will change. Maybe they’d rather keep their bike stuff in the shed. They might prefer to pick up their coffee down the street.
Show you care
On a day as stressful as move-in day, a small gesture of welcome goes a long way. Some ideas:
- If you know your roommate likes a certain beverage, have some on hand.
- If they’re new to the area, grab snacks from local providers for them to try.
- Leave a hand-written welcome note or card in their room.
- If applicable, write down the name and password of your home wi-fi network so your roommate can get online right away.
- Share your tips about great grocery stores, restaurants, the post office, the library, etc. You could even take your new roommate for a walk around the neighborhood.
👉 Pro tip: A particularly generous offer is to cook dinner for your new housemate on their first night with you. Food has a distinct way of bringing people together, and there’s no doubt your housemate will be hungry after a long day of moving. (Just don’t forget to ask about dietary restrictions.)
“In my current Silvernest arrangement, I was so touched that my host made dinner for me the evening I moved in. The meal gave us time to talk and get to know each other, let me focus on my move without worrying about dinner, and made me feel right at home that first day.”
- Sue R.
“I moved into my new home to find that my housemate had left flowers and a sweet welcome letter in my room. It really helped me settle in and feel like I already had supportive friends. I was blown away by his thoughtfulness!”
- Melissa M.
Whatever you do to welcome your new housemate, be giving. Striking a generous tone is a great way to foster a budding friendship. Kindness is contagious—and makes you a great housemate!
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