12 Affordable Items That Make Living with My Partner Infinitely Easier

published Feb 24, 2023
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Couple in bed together stretching
Credit: Prostock-studio/Shutterstock.com

Living with your partner can and should be a beautiful thing, full of those little quiet moments of intimacy. But let’s be honest… sometimes the learning curve can be really steep. You’re merging two households, two personalities, and two ways of doing things, and that’s bound to cause a little friction. Admittedly, my partner and I had a hard time when we first moved in together. We had to really make it work through long talks and compromises, and at the risk of sounding too consumerist, a lot of online shopping. Below are some items that helped us to run the place more smoothly and have more time just to have fun with each other. One of my biggest tips? For the love of God, get two nightstands. 

1 / 12

My partner loves plants. So do I, but as a travel writer with ADHD, it’s hard to remember to water them every day. And when I forget, it makes him feel frustrated because if he had it his way, we’d have an apartment more reminiscent of a jungle. So we tried these self-watering plants from Easyplant and they worked! You only have to fill the pot once a month — be sure to pay attention to the instructions regarding light and temperature — and your plants will thrive with minimal effort.

2 / 12
was $47.98

My partner and I have a lot of gadgets and a lot of cords, but we each have a multi-use charging stand on our bedside table and it’s made a lot of difference. We used to sulk over who had grabbed the outlet first until we realized we simply… didn’t have to live that way.

3 / 12
was $23.59

The biggest challenge my partner and I faced when we first moved in together was task delegation. We both felt like the other person wasn’t pulling their weight completely and we struggled to figure out how to remedy that — until we came to a simple solution: the chore chart. It may seem like it’s for kids, but it really can work for adults! It helps us see a clear visual of what needs to be done for the household, who is expected to do it, and make adjustments when necessary.

4 / 12

Sometimes the romance can feel stale when you live with your partner, especially because both of us work from home. So during the day, sometimes he and I will write each other little one- or two-sentence love notes and give them to the other while we’re on a call or cooking. My partner saves them which I think is absolutely heartwarming. Confession: We use whatever random Post-It notes are around at the time but if you want to make it more romantic, I love these floral snippets of paper.

5 / 12
was $99.00

My partner is a lot more organized than I am, which can be good and bad. I like a clean house with organized chaos, while he likes to keep everything out of sight. Unfortunately, this means sometimes he misplaces something that I have very intentionally left on the floor or the table or the couch. We generally try to have designated spaces for everything so I’ll know where he put it, but AirTags help for items that we haven’t quite figured out a place for or that have several “homes” like my Kindle and his work laptop.

6 / 12
was $28.99

Generally, my partner and I don’t share a bathroom. But when there are guests over, we have to. I’m so particular about organizing my toiletries and keeping them separate, so I love these adhesive caddies. The adhesive is some of the strongest I’ve ever used and you can arrange quite a few of these, giving you plenty of storage.

7 / 12

Sometimes I’ll ask my partner to put the sheets and duvet in the dryer and he will simply forget, which annoys me because the sheets and duvet wad up and take a long time to dry, and I hate our spare sheets and duvet. If they are not our Carihola Bamboo sheets or our Darby duvet cover, I simply do not want them. These Wad-Free gadgets seem gimmicky but they actually work because they prevent wads and therefore reduce drying time by quite a lot.

8 / 12
Apple App Store

One time, right before a new episode of “House of the Dragon” was supposed to come on, I broke the remote. I prefer to say the remote broke itself, but either way… we didn’t have one. Luckily, I thought quickly and downloaded this Universal TV Remote App, which not only worked but kept us both from feeling glum and sad about not getting to watch TV’s strangest show about dragons. Here’s another good option for all you Android folks.

9 / 12
was $66.99

My partner and I both cook but the kitchen is sort of my domain, for the most part. And up until very recently, my domain was chaotically organized. Both of us got frustrated with him always always having to ask me where things were, so one day we blocked off some time and organized the whole pantry. These Rubbermaid Brilliance containers are amazing at storing flour, sugar, rice, nuts, and all our other basics.

10 / 12
was $14.99

And you can’t go wrong with some chalkboard labels, not only to label the Rubbermaid containers above, but anything else. Trust me, your partner constantly asking you where things are will soon get old! These help a lot.

11 / 12
Rifle Paper Co.

My partner and I try to eat in every weeknight at least, and this weekly meal plan from Rifle Paper Company helps us plan out the week’s meals. Since I’m the one who is usually cooking, the attached grocery list makes it easy for him to see exactly what I need him to get from the store that week.

12 / 12
was $24.99

My partner and I are both super lazy when it comes to who has to get up and switch off the lamp. So finally, we got this smart plug that means we can both do it from the comfort of the couch.