Sharing Spaces Gracefully

We’ve all been there. Whether it was splitting your room with a sibling as a kid, going to college with new roommates, or simply sharing a smaller house with your busy family, sometimes you just have to learn to coexist with others all up in your personal space. Believe it or not, this doesn’t always have to be the source of tension, arguments, or lines drawn in the sand. Living together can be easy! All you have to do is follow these simple guidelines:

1. Designate Personal Space When You Can
Some areas are easier than others to split up individually and evenly. If it can be done, do it! Whether it’s a shelf in the pantry, individual mail slots, or one side of the dresser, if you can allow somebody to have their own territory in small ways, it will definitely decrease the over-all friction around the house. The more clear and definitive those boundaries are, the better the whole home will function.


2. Work Smarter, Not Harder
When it comes to the flow of activity in the house, make sure you take the time to think logically and plan out the best possible routes and schedules for the members of your household. Take advantage of the differences in personal routine that your roommates or family may have. Is somebody a big early bird, while you can hardly be pried out of bed before 10? Then let them have the bathroom in the morning while you shower at night. Everyone comes with a different natural rhythm, planning in advance with those in mind will ease the stress of cohabitating. When you get together to find a schedule that works for everyone, make sure you take your time, listen to everyone, and be clear with your wishes. Careful, thoughtful discussion now can spare you tons of future drama.


3. Less Is More
This is one situation is when it becomes vital to lead an efficient, intentional life. The less mess, disorganization, and chaos around the house, the better everyone will be able to breathe. So when you move in together (or add another little somebody to the family), make sure everyone involved is letting go of their unnecessary junk. You don’t want needless clutter to take up your valuable personal space when it’s already in short supply!

If you do these things, and keep the channels of communication open and clear, you’ll find that sharing close quarters with somebody is easier than you thought it could be. Just remember-you can work on the organizational details, but the basis of a good relationship sharing small spaces with another is simply respecting each other! Let us know if you’ve tried this or any other methods to make living with somebody else easier!