cottage style house with red roof

If you’re in the process of moving long distance, or renovating a new home, you might find yourself stuck in an awkward period of time where you don’t have a place to call your own. These transitional periods are becoming more and more common, but that doesn’t make them any more difficult to navigate. To save money on renting another home in the interim, many people opt to stay with their parents or in-laws.

In the case of the latter, living with in-laws can be simple and convenient. They likely have a larger living space with more than enough room to accommodate you and your partner temporarily. However, it won’t be without complications. Two adult couples living under the same roof can cause unneeded tension and stress.

To mitigate that stress, and ensure that your relationships don’t suffer during your time together, check out these best practices for living with in-laws.

Be Mindful Of Yourself

As an adult, you’ve likely gotten used to living either by yourself or with your partner alone. The place feels like your own, and you can treat it like your own. You can decorate it how you want, leave your belongings wherever you want to leave them, and make a little bit of a mess as long as you know you’ll clean it up eventually.

Now, living with in-laws, you’ll need to be more mindful of your daily habits. You’re a guest in someone’s home, meaning those little things you used to do at home might not fly anymore. Make sure when you leave a room that it’s left in the same condition you found it in: plates cleaned, pillows fluffed.

Set Boundaries

Typically, the in-laws may have lived in a larger space before you moved in. Maybe they were planning to sell a house that they raised all of their children in, and suddenly now you’re living with them? If so, it may take time adjusting to their new environment. When you’re cohabitating with anyone, it’s important to set boundaries so that everyone feels as though their personal space and privacy are being respected. This is especially crucial with in-laws, as there are some lines you don’t want crossed.

Have a conversation with them when you first move in about boundaries. Some talking points might include not entering each other’s sleeping areas without the other’s permission, or reserving private time in common areas like the living room and kitchen.

older married couple


In any arrangement, it’s important to be open and transparent. Bottling things up can only lead to tension and anxiety that could compromise your mental well-being, as well as your relationships with your in-laws. If at any time you feel as though your living arrangement isn’t working, or something needs to change, don’t be afraid to speak openly. This will bring you one step closer to resolution.

If you find it’s hard to speak about these things in person, or you find you don’t best express yourself verbally, try writing a note or email to your in-laws. This will not only help you communicate your feelings, but also organize your thoughts.

Pitch In

Your in-laws are doing you a huge favor by letting you stay with them, even if it’s just temporary. Allowing someone into your home is highly disruptive. Show your gratitude constantly by pitching in around the house. This could include doing things like yard work, home repairs, or even just tidying up. But it could also include paying for takeout and splitting the cost of utilities.


Staying with your in-laws is never ideal, but there are small things you can do to make the time go by smoothly. Just enjoy the break from the ordinary, and look forward to a time when you can finally live on your own.

We hope you found this blog post Best Practices for Living with In-Laws useful. Be sure to check out our post Practicing Self-Care at Home for more great tips!


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