Tried and True Tips for Sharing Spaces

living happily with a roommate

For many people, moving into a shared space for the first time (or the first time in a while) can be a bit of an adjustment. Whether it be sharing a room with a roommate or moving in with a partner, someone you love or someone you barely know, resolutions to solve conflict and strategies to keep a happy nest are incredibly important. Here are some of our tips to create a happy nest with your bunkmate:

Talk it Out

Keeping open communication is key to sharing a space. Is your roomie blasting music in their headphones make you feel like tuning out? Maybe they had a stressful day at work and need something to clear the noise (hey, who doesn’t have those days). It also goes both ways. You voicing your needs and wants before the problem blows up can easily prevent bigger issues. Most of the time, people won’t hate you for speaking up for yourself, and will typically feel relieved that you have created a space for comfortable dialogue. Try avoiding accusatory language and speak in a manner that applies to the household in its entirety. For example, instead of saying “I don’t like it when you leave your clothes on the floor”, try an approach such as “We could do a better job of hanging our laundry up if we worked on it together.”

sharing a space with a partner

Share the Gruntwork

Splitting chores, trading chores, or however you divide it, you and your roommate should be equally responsible for housework. Decide early on how you will tackle household chores. Having a schedule to depend on helps and makes both parties accountable. Talk over what chores you both agree to do regularly (such as dishes, laundry, sweeping) and irregularly (such as wiping down the fridge, cleaning baseboards and windows). If you are living with a roommate, it may be a good idea to develop a contract for you both to sign. Have some sort of rule in place to avoid breaking the contract, such as doing the entire household’s dishes if someone doesn’t do theirs in a timely manner. Make sure these conditions are understood by everyone.

Recognize Their Efforts

Keep your eyes open for times when your roommate or partner is going out of their way to be considerate of you. More often than not, they want a peaceful nest too. If your living partner does even the smallest gesture, such as waking you up when your alarm doesn’t go off, always say thank you. You wouldn’t want to feel taken for granted, and neither do they. Nurturing this relationship will make for a happier household overall.

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