2012-04-20 06:00:00 by SMARTBRIDE
How to Successfully Share Your Space
One of the joys of starting a life together is sharing your living space. Ideally, it means choosing a new place to live together that respects the way both people like to live. Often though, it means one partner carving out space from an already filled abode to accommodate their loved one, and all their earthly possessions. Sometimes this is easier said than done!
Photo Courtesy Christina Gapic Photography
What looked quaint or quirky in ‘their’ apartment, now suddenly requires a home in yours. And it’s not just the ‘stuff’. While it didn’t really matter that the lid wasn’t ever put back on her toothpaste, or the toilet roll didn’t roll the ‘right’ way at his place, all of sudden it gets in your way in your shared home.
That’s why we’ve enlisted Clare Kumar, from Streamlife, an organizing company, to share 3 tips and 2 pieces of advice when it comes to successfully sharing space.
Tip 1: Have a discussion about how you want to feel in your home
When planning to live together, it’s worth having practical discussions about the way you like to live, and how you like to feel in your home. When explaining these things, be as specific as possible. One person’s definition of ‘lived in’ is not always the same as another’s. It’s prudent to invest in talking about your preferences as you begin to live together, to keep avoidable annoyances and aggravations from building.
Tip 2: Work to create an environment that is comfortable and supportive for both partners
Keep in mind that we all respond to our environments differently, and that to co-habitate successfully we need to bring a spirit of generosity to how we manage our homes. We must create environments that are comfortable and supportive to both partners.
Tip 3: Remember to compromise!
You may have differing levels of sensitivity to noise (one person may have grown up with the TV on 24/7, while another, an only child, had a completely quiet home), and to visually busy environments (a home filled with collections versus a minimalist décor). There are no rights or wrongs, but the further apart the innate style preferences, the greater the need for compromise.
The Shared Closet……
Nowhere is there a greater chance of friction than a shared closet – the place that greets you in the morning and one of the last spaces you see before bed.
If you know you have differing styles with respect to clothing management (i.e. one puts things away meticulously while the other drops and dashes), I recommend staying away from the shared walk-in closet! Consider his and hers closets and separate drawers.
If separate closets aren’t possible, have an open discussion (and maybe even some negotiation) about what can work and what can’t. Ultimately, our environments have an effect on the way we feel. They can relax and rejuvenate us, or, if at odds with our preferences, they can sap our energy. Everyone deserves to come home to a place that recharges them for their life outside the home.
One Final Thought……
No matter the stage in your relationship, it can be a wonderful investment to ask your partner what kind of environment he or she would like to live in, and to express your love by creating and maintaining it. When two people care for each other’s well being and show that by creating a supportive environment, it can only amount to a beautiful home.
About our Blogger: Clare Kumar
Clare Kumar is the founder and Chief Organizer at Streamlife, an organizing company. She and her team of organizers provide organizing and productivity services to people at home and at work, anywhere from the closet to the cubicle.
Clare can be seen regularly on The Marilyn Denis Show.