Save Your Sanity: The Things You Should Do Every Day If You Share Your Home

published Sep 27, 2016
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(Image credit: Emma Fiala)

There are a handful of things that, if done everyday, can really make your home a happier place. And if you share your home with someone (whether a partner or a roommate) and that home is on the small side, you should add a few more things to your daily to do list.

(Image credit: Heather Keeling)

Respect each other’s space

It’s important to designate individual spaces for each person that shares a home when space is limited. It’s then even more vital to respect each other’s areas after the spaces have been decided.

(Image credit: William Strawser)

I think one of the most important things to establish is a space or area that is 100% dedicated to each person’s things.

Sometimes we all need personal space. As much as I look forward to spending full days with Kate, I also need a few hours every so often alone. That’s the beauty about living in the city though, you can always just hop down the block for a coffee for an hour, or take a walk to the park.”

— Will Strawser, of A New York Couple on What It’s REALLY Like to Share a 420 Square Foot Home

(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

Respect each other’s space. Get noise cancelling headphones. Put things away after you use them and keep the place tidy!

Take separate time away when you need it

Close quarters or not, spending long amounts of time with someone else can make the walls feel like they’re closing in. One of the best things you can do when you share your home is to take time to yourself to recharge. Whether that’s leaving to participate in activities or hobbies outside of the home, or just escaping into your designated personal space (see above), giving yourself the time away could make the time you do share with your living partner that much richer.

(Image credit: Selena Kirchhoff)

Take separate time whenever you feel like you need it (and learn how to identify what it feels like to be at that point). Invest in self-care. It’s considerate to those around you to try to be your best self, and you can’t do that if your batteries are running low.

I’ve never felt so bonded to another person. Andrew and I always know what’s going on with each other, and we’ve grown a lot in our marriage as a necessity. You have to be on top of communication in any marriage, but in these close quarters, it’s even more imperative.”

— Julie Puckett of Living Large in a Tiny School Bus

(Image credit: Emma Fiala)

“Also, something I’ve learned is that physical space is less important (at least for me) than mental space. If we agree to have some quiet time so that we can get work done or read, it doesn’t matter how near each other we are. For instance, when Dani works on her thesis, she plugs in her headphones and listens to Clocks by Coldplay on repeat. For us, our proximity doesn’t matter as much as respecting each others time.”

Look on the brightside

Any two people —no matter how much they like each other — are going to eventually rub each other the wrong way. Small peccadillos can turn into major grievances the longer you spend time with each other (see above) and the smaller the space. Cliche as it sounds, adjusting your perspective can help you turn space sharing lemons into great relationship lemonade.

“Initially, the worst thing for me was that when one of us woke up early for school, work etc, the other person would be disturbed. But actually, now it serves as a great way for us to spend the mornings together. On the days that Andy wakes up for work, for instance, we make breakfast together. Once he’s gone I can go back to sleep if I want to.”

(Image credit: Jessica Isaac)

Tidy up

Historically, I’ve been a sort of all-or-nothing cleaner. Either I take the time to clean my whole home at once, or I don’t even lift a broom; there is no in between. But the truth is, doing a little bit of tidying up each and every day makes life better, and when you share your home with someone, it can make your relationship better. (I have a theory that a clean house makes people like each other more.) And everyone sharing the house does a little cleaning everyday, the home will need fewer major clean sessions. → The Things Everyone Should Clean Every Day (No Matter What)