Moving In

OK, so you are ready to move in together.

  • You have all discussed and purchased whatever insurance you feel necessary.

  • You have written your first basic agreements.

  • You have committed to having weekly meetings, with written notes, because by now you know it is too important not to do this.

  • You have decided the length of your trial period, three months is often enough time to experience some of the realities of living with each other, and will provide enough time to learn how to discuss some of these realities at your weekly meetings.

Moving in is exciting, scary, uncomfortable, full of hope, and worth every bit of effort expended.

We all tend to have STUFF, some more than others, and this stuff will be duplicated by the number of the individuals in your group. 

In many cases, individuals will be moving into a home that is owned by one of the group or is already rented by one of the group. This means the home will often be equipped with the basic necessities, so bringing extra pancake flippers into an already fully supplied kitchen would only add excess, clutter and confusion. 

  • As we only need one set of stuff it makes good, sound, logical sense to use what is already present in the house as we begin our trial period.

The original homeowner or occupant of the home

  • Should have already removed any items they do not want to share in the trial period

  • Will have put into the rental contract what spaces are not going to be shared at this time.

What to move and what to store

The simplest way to begin is to move only those items that you will actually need, and put the rest into storage until after the trial period. This would include things like:

  • clothing, bedding, personal necessities

  • furniture, pictures and items to make your own room feel like home.

If you bring a shared item(s) it needs to be previously agreed upon and listed in your agreement.

If you all decide, as a group, that more shared items are going to be moved in early on, these items need to be written down. 

When you decide to mix items, decide how your group is going keep track, maybe a file with a list of described items or photos of items that are being shared, with the person's name on it.  If you have not done so and an argument arises in the future, you will have problems and disagreements to which there will be no easy solution.

 In "Sharing Housing" A Guidebook for Finding and Keeping Good Housemates, Annamarie Pluhar writes:

 "Now you get to enjoy the spontaneous social exchange that is one of the key benefits of sharing housing."

"Enjoy having a home that works for you."

Weekly Home Share Meeting Model:

The following model for a home share weekly meeting was used by a successful home share group, and was considered the backbone of their successful collaboration over several years. 


How to hold 'house meetings' - one model.


1. Have weekly or bi-weekly house meetings.

2. The Check-In round - What’s going on in your life?  

3. Appreciations round - Each person says something that they appreciate about another resident - and thanks them for what they did. This can be related to something done around the house, but not necessarily.

4. Self-Appreciation round - This is where you get to mention things that you did, especially things that others may not have noticed!

5. Self-Clearing round - This is an opportunity to admit to “blowing it” - when you didn’t hold up your end and/or you regret something….It also offers you a chance to explain why something was, or wasn’t, done.

6. Clearing round - This is when others notice something that was, or wasn’t, done and they need to share their feelings/observations about it.

7. Consciousness-raising round - Bring up issues that need resolving.  Prepare an agenda.  Decide what will be discussed at this meeting.  In making a ‘final’ decision, consider what is “Good enough for now.”  “Safe enough to try.”

8.  Process Time round - Take a few minutes at the end of the meeting to answer - 'How did this meeting go for me?'

Food For Thought

It cannot be said enough, that if a person argues or reneges on following through with having regular meetings and writing things down,  they are a problem.  If they try to pressure others into not have meetings unless there is a problem, or infer writing things down is just not necessary, or makes statements like "what are you worried about" or "you worry too much", they are a problem that will undermine your group as a whole.  Life is full of choices, and if they wish to live with others in a shared home, they need to agreeably put out as much effort as everyone else.   When things are not written down, they are left to everyone's personal memory of the event, and you can be assured all memories will be different.  If you want to succeed then you will have meetings and you will keep notes.