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Friend moving in - how to make it work for us all

60 replies

snooterfloofer · 28/05/2023 11:15

One of my best friends is moving in to live with us for a few months after splitting with her partner. She is relocating to the area we live in up north from London and will be working for my DH and staying with us until she saves enough and finds somewhere to rent. We don't need any financial contribution from her so that's not an issue.

We live in a small-ish terrace and have a small spare room for her to have as a bedroom, and can store her furniture etc at our business premises. Spare room is currently junk room so we are going to get that sorted out and will need to do an ikea trip for a bed etc.

She won't be here for a few weeks yet so I'm going to take the opportunity to declutter the whole house as well as the spare room. I'm hoping to free up a kitchen cupboard for her to keep any food bits she wants to keep separate (she will join in with dinner etc most of the time). We only have one bathroom but I'll get an extra basket for her to store her stuff in.

I just want to make her feel comfortable and welcomed. Is there anything I can do to make it easier for us all? We get on very well but haven't lived together before!

OP posts:
Littlefish · 28/05/2023 11:18

Discuss everything BEFORE she moves in.

What are everyone's timings in the morning? Who showers first etc.

How will cooking work? Rota?

What happens about buying food? Shared or separate?

Is she contributing to bills?

Overnight visitors (her)?

Once things like this are completely clear, it's likely to go more smoothly.

You are so kind to be supporting her like this.

JessandJupiter · 28/05/2023 11:20

This is a lovely thing you are doing op.

The one thing I would do beforehand is lay down any house rules or preferences you may have. It’s much better to be open and explicit about these things from the start and it avoids getting in to difficulty later.

And I wouldn’t any longer have someone come to stay with me who doesn’t give me a clear idea of when they are leaving.

Meadowfly · 28/05/2023 11:21

Very kind - and brave!!

ditalini · 28/05/2023 11:21

Do you both have people you could plan to spend the odd weekend away with so that each gets some time alone to decompress?

For me, having non family in a small space for an indefinite period would be very hard (that thing about house guests being like fish...) but if there was apart time built in then if you were feeling a bit fraught then you'd know only x days until you got some space.

Same with eating/evenings - it might be good to come up with a plan for regular space if possible.

Of course you could all be really gregarious people who will absolutely thrive with the extra company in which case ignore, but imo better to plan rather than try to fix once everything's gone south.

Chamomileteaplease · 28/05/2023 11:23

When you say working with your partner, do you mean directly?

Because if it is, I would be worried about his happiness if he is to have someone around him all day at work and then all the time at home in a small house. That needs to be discussed with him.

You sound kind but a bit naive I think. I think it is going to be a difficult time and the PP's advice about talking about everything before she moves in is essential.

I would also not have a woolly open end but have it up front, that no matter how much she has or hasn't saved, she needs to move on by X date.

Good luck, but please think about the possibility of this not being a bed of roses.

EmptyBedBlues · 28/05/2023 11:23

Littlefish · 28/05/2023 11:18

Discuss everything BEFORE she moves in.

What are everyone's timings in the morning? Who showers first etc.

How will cooking work? Rota?

What happens about buying food? Shared or separate?

Is she contributing to bills?

Overnight visitors (her)?

Once things like this are completely clear, it's likely to go more smoothly.

You are so kind to be supporting her like this.

Absolutely this. Don’t let your evident goodwill towards your friend make you think it’s ‘unfriendly’ or ‘inhospitable’ to make all these things clear in advance. It’s the single best thing you can do to make sure you stay friends during and after living together.

EmptyBedBlues · 28/05/2023 11:24

I didn’t notice the bit about working with/for your partner as well as living with you. That does sound a bit much if one or both of you is literally in contact with her every hour of the day and night apart from sleeping. Think carefully.

continentallentil · 28/05/2023 11:26

I think the main thing is setting an expectation of how long she’ll be with you. In a small terrace where she has no separate living space you are going to want your privacy back sooner rather than later. I would say 6 weeks - 2 months absolute tops.

TBH if you are fairly well off I would suggest your husband advances her deposit and first months rent through a work loan that she pays back through her salary, and she just stays 2-4 weeks to find somewhere.

While she is with you I would set some basic rules about washing machine use, shower times, kitchen use, cooking rota, and set quiet time overnight when headphones need to be worn If playing music. It might sound OTT but you will all be happier if you aren’t trying to put washing out at the same time or having to embarrassingly tell her she is taking too long in the shower. If might also be a good moment to intro a shower timer so bills don’t shoot up.

Also set a weekly check in time where you can air any issues with minimal embarrassment.

If it’s likely to be more than 2 weeks yes space in kitchen and fridge, bin and sidelight in room, curtains that keep the light out, bin, clothes hamper, chest of draws, rail for clothes or at least hooks on back of door.

continentallentil · 28/05/2023 11:28

Oh yes and space in the evenings and weekends.

Ask her to book a couple weekends away. Hopefully she has friends in the area but it not collect some info about gyms and yoga classes so she can be out a bit.

snooterfloofer · 28/05/2023 11:28

Thanks everyone. Yes we will definitely have a conversation and lay everything out before she moves in. Really useful posts and a couple of things I'd not thought about.

Re working with DH - it's not directly with him, it's doing the accounts for his businesses and she will have a space to do this in our premises as DH works elsewhere most of the week.

OP posts:
ItsNotWhatItsNot · 28/05/2023 11:30

This would be hell for me 😄 You all definitely need a firm end date. This woman will be working with, and living with your husband? Sound very intense.

EarringsandLipstick · 28/05/2023 11:33

Gosh OP, this is lovely of you & DH but potentially fraught with challenges.

I think the key factor is setting an end date, at least a timeframe ie min - max time period she'll be with you.

Otherwise she may take your genuine kindness as open-ended and just move when she decides - a PP suggestion of a business loan is excellent.

Digestive28 · 28/05/2023 11:33

We did this. It helped that although we hadn’t lived together we had all been adults in house shares so could generally be aware of how to live with other adults. I think that is key - none of us left washing up, grim bathrooms etc. It worked well for us, it was nice to have someone else walk the dog (!) and my friend remains a great friend to me and my DH many years later.

SpinachSpinachMoreSpinach · 28/05/2023 11:34

What @continentallentil said.

I would definitely limit her stay to a month to 6 weeks. Offering her an advance for deposit and first month's rent is a good idea.

But managing all expectations is key.

Allrightmylover · 28/05/2023 11:34

I think you are a bit daft to not ask for any kind of contribution even if it just covers food.

How long have you known her for?

When DH and I were young and as naive as you we had a friend stay for 3 months, problem is he didn’t want to leave. You know what I missed? stuff like being able to cuddle up on the sofa with DH when friend was in the sitting room with us. He always paid rent on time and was clean and tidy.

I have no idea if this friend is dead or alive as we didn’t stay in touch after he took his piss taking arse elsewhere, we did however name our garden shed after him as we used his rent money to buy it. What became incredibly uncomfortable was the fact he very obviously fancied me, it was so awkward. DH opened a bottle of champagne the day he moved out.

ItsNotWhatItsNot · 28/05/2023 11:34

Cross posted. The PPs idea of your husband lending her a deposit through her wages sounds best.

HadEnough2023 · 28/05/2023 11:35

I would make sure you give her a end date, saving up to rent is rather worrying she could take months & months.
I'd also encourage her to go out on the weekends on some points to give you and your DH some space it sounds very intense.

CC4712 · 28/05/2023 11:36

In addition to the other things, get a TV for her room. She can then spend time there in the evenings if she wants some space.

Discuss cleaning also, taking out the bins, whether you recycle and where things go etc. Would she want to cook her own meals, share a meal with you both or cook for you time to time? Does she smoke/vape? Discuss where this can be done.

I agree with having a set time to leave. An open ended thing like this would do my head in. You've never lived together and have no idea how stressful and intrusive it can be to have someone living in a tiny house with you!

snooterfloofer · 28/05/2023 11:38

Just to add - we are both clean freaks so I can trust that we will live harmoniously in that respect. There won't be any issues with leaving dirty dishes etc (we've already discussed this Grin)

She's definitely keen to get her own place ASAP and does have some money saved already which I'm keeping in an account for her. It's much cheaper up here, so she can rent her own flat, as she would have had to go back into house sharing if she stayed in London.

I'll make sure we speak about how long she needs to stay, and put a definite timeline on it.

OP posts:
snooterfloofer · 28/05/2023 11:43

We've been friends for almost 15 years.

Good idea re deposit and rent - will speak to DH about that. She's having to start near enough from scratch with everything and only has a couple of pieces of furniture. So no kettle, toaster, iron etc! She said she's happy to rent somewhere fully furnished at first while she gets everything together but most options around here are unfurnished.

Thanks again for the replies. Lots to consider, it's been very helpful.

OP posts:
LlynTegid · 28/05/2023 11:45

Hope it works out well, seems you are both in this properly planned, just be prepared for it being a long period including over the winter.

Rafting2022 · 28/05/2023 11:45

If she’s not moving in for a few weeks yet I’d have her up for a weekend first to discuss ground rules etc. I’d also be wanting to know how much she has saved and how much extra she needs, how long will that take. How easy is it to find rentals or do they get snapped up the minute they come on the market. If things don’t go to plan who’s going to be the one to have the difficult conversation. How will you tackle moving her along if she looks like she’s getting too comfortable.

MMMarmite · 28/05/2023 11:48

I stayed with friends for nearly two months when I was between houses and looking for a place to rent. It was very kind of them.

I don't really know what was good or bad from their point of view, but we are still close friends so it can work okay :)

LaPerduta · 28/05/2023 11:49

This sounds very kind of you, but why on earth are you looking after her money for her?

EmptyBedBlues · 28/05/2023 11:55

LaPerduta · 28/05/2023 11:49

This sounds very kind of you, but why on earth are you looking after her money for her?

This. In conjunction with you’re storing her belongings, employing AND housing her? Is she so irresponsible she can’t look after her own money?

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