OK guys, I just confirmed some advice I read online. If your girlfriend is moving in with you, hire a PROFESSIONAL cleaning service to get it all ship-shape before she arrives.
Other items gleaned from online:
- make space for her and her stuff. clean everything, buy some flowers and make dinner.
- Clean your house. Really well. Then clean the bathroom again. :)
- Flowers are nice. If there is any sort of art she likes, buy it, frame it, and hang it. Or do that with a photograph she loves.
- Hire a maid to really, really, really clean. And then make sure there is plenty of room in the bathroom for her toiletries, which will take up 5 times more space than you think they should.
- go pillow shopping together. Your personal bed will now become your-the-two-of-you’s bed and a way to say “hey this is part yours now” is to make sure she has her own taste in pillows.
- First of all, dedicate some private space. Even a drawer or half a closet that she can have to herself is good for making things feel homey.
- If your domicile is stuffed to the gills with your items, consider donating what you don’t need anymore, and clearing space, and thinking about what sort of storage she’ll need.
Clean towels. You can never have enough. Trust me on this.
- Clean the apartment. Make sure she has her fair share of drawers and bookshelf space. Clean the apartment some more. Make her a copy of the key.
- She’s not living with you, you’re living together so make things as equal as possible. Also make sure you keep open communication about mess and cleaning. Even the most sane people get freaked out by this stuff so make sure it’s all talkable about. Good luck!
- Clean. If you aren’t good at serious, deep cleaning, pay a service to come and do a one-time top to bottom deep cleaning of the apartment. Have that place sparkling when she arrives. Floors, counters, every inch of the bathroom, all linens cleaned, everything.
- If you don’t have a bathroom trashcan (with a lid, ideally), buy one.
- In the bathroom, make sure that there is lots of space in the shower, near the sink, and in a drawer for her — even the most granola of hippies will have a preferred brand of shampoo, a toothbrush, and some “girl products” that she shouldn’t need to keep in her suitcase. Put out new bars of soap (or full soap dispensers, if you use the liquid stuff) by the sink, in the shower, etc.
- If you can easily afford it, buying new sheets, towels, and pillowcases is a nice touch, but hardly mandatory unless your current ones are stained and discolored.
- Give her lots of closet and drawer space in the bedroom; a night-table for her is a nice touch, too.
- Make sure there is room in the kitchen for whatever food products she likes to have on hand. If you know what she likes, having her favorite breakfast cereal and so on already in the kitchen when she arrives is a really nice touch.
- Have keys ready for her when she arrives (nothing makes a place feel less like yours than if you have to wait for someone to let you in every day). Help get her a library card, or bus pass, or whatever she needs to have access to cool stuff in your town.
- If she’s not local, make an extra effort in the first week to introduce her to some of your friends, so she at least will have met a few people — moving far away to be with a SO can be really isolating and lonely.
- If getting there will be a long and exhausting trip, have something nice but low-key ready for her when she arrives — dinner reservations, or a bottle of her favorite wine, or whatever she might like. If getting there will be a really brutal trip, or if she has just finished a tough time where she is coming from, make reservations (and arrange to pay) for her to get a massage/spa day/luxurious treat on the third or so day after she arrives (the second day she will probably still be wiped out; by the third day she will hopefully be recuperated and ready to enjoy the treat).
- Get used to referring to it as “our home” rather than “my home”. Start now.
- Basically, try and look at your place with outside eyes, and make the changes to it that will make it yours plural rather than yours singular. Have a little wrapped up gift basket or something for when she walks in the door, with house keys, some treats, and a gift certificate to a massage/spa, plus some little present that will make her smile.
Whatever you do, make sure the toilet seat is NOT up!
- Have the second key ready. No excuse. This is a small symbol with big meaning. Test it first too. Sometimes copies are a bit off, and require a little fidgeting. Either tell the landlord/key copier it’s not good enough, or give her the good key, and keep the fidgety one.
- Those wine corks that you have sitting around until you get to your next project? Extra clothes, unfinished furniture? Anything that you’ve been meaning to get around to, get rid of it. Freecycle, goodwill, or chuck it.
- Buy her favorite foodstuffs. For example, when my partner comes home after a long absence I stock up on his favorite cola and 2% milk, neither of which I drink. It is a really nice gesture, as nice as flowers, to know that they thought ahead to make sure you’d have the right kind of milk for your coffee/cereal.
- Make room for her. Especially lots of room for her girly stuff in the bathroom.
- Get a female friend to inspect the house to catch anything you missed.
- clean all the crap out of the fridge & stock it with plenty of tasty, fresh food. preferably things she likes. if you don’t know what she likes, just remember that yogurt is the official food of women, so buy up on dozens of different flavours.
- Hire a maid to really, really, really clean before she arrives, and have the maid keep cleaning once a week. Your girlfriend is not moving in clean up after you. If you’re in the habit of leaving your dirty laundry on the bathroom floor, stop. Also, get in the habit of making the bed, if you aren’t already.