Learning to Share… Your Small Space
New York is famous for a lot of things, including tiny but fabulous living spaces. Usually studio living is tolerable, if not fantastic, for one person. But what happens when you meet the person of your dreams and decide you want to start sharing more than weekend dinners together? That’s right: cohabitation. No matter how in love you are, when you’re sharing a small space in the dead of winter, there will be times when it seems even smaller. Here are a few suggestions to help make the transition to roommates with benefits a little easier, especially when the space is small.
Divide the Space
There will be a time when you or your partner has brought home work that requires intense focus. If there isn’t a partitioned area in your apartment, your options are to leave for the evening, or to seriously cut back on the TV viewing. Big, clunky room dividers are certainly an option, but that means you have to find somewhere to store them when they’re not being used. Instead, consider a heavy blackout curtain that can partition off a section that serves as a home office or a TV room. The advantage is that curtains will take up little or no space when they aren’t in use.
Decide What Furniture Works Best
When you are merging two households into one, there are two sets of furniture to consider. Though you may be sentimentally attached to your beloved pieces, it’s important to remember that your partner may be equally attached to a similar item. At this time, let practicality be your guide. Take measurements to help decide which piece physically fits better in the space. If the answer is neither, don’t be afraid to take the plunge and go furniture shopping to get something you can both enjoy.
Find a Place for Everything
In any small space, there is nothing quite like clutter to make it feel like the walls are closing in around you. Make sure you spend a lot of time planning where all the “stuff” is going to go before you’re swept away in an avalanche of someone else’s personal hygiene products. If you are a collector of things, the time may have come to pare down your collection. It’s OK, you’ll get over the sadness when you realize there is someone there to make you chicken soup when you’re sick.
Living with your significant other doesn’t have to mean moving to the suburbs to find a place that fits. With a few creative touches, you make your small space a home for two.