If you thought organizing for yourself was tough, keeping your home in order after moving in or combining spaces with your significant other is a whole different story! Learning to cohabitate brings the added tasks of sharing closet space, consolidating personal items, and finding a place for all of those knick-knacks.
With more “stuff” comes a bigger need for organization, but it doesn’t have to cause any lover’s quarrels. We believe a happy relationship takes place in an organized living space. By tackling the organization together, you create a space that works for both of your needs.
Our staff and designers at NewSpace Home Organization in St. Louis are organization experts, and our easy step-by-step tips can help any cohabitating couple get their home in shape! Contact us to learn about our custom organization units and accessories.
1. Set Expectations Before You Move In
Decide who will be in charge of what cleaning and organizing tasks so you both have an idea of your particular responsibilities for chores. You could even divide and conquer by space, for instance, you take the kitchen if you’ll want to manage upkeep, while your significant other is in charge of maintaining the living room and entertainment area. Not only is it important to decide who does what, but you also need to agree on how often the space needs to be reorganized to be considered maintained.
2. Plan the Space for Both of You
It’s difficult to put something away if you don’t know where it goes or if it hasn’t been given a home. Go through the new space together and figure out what areas make sense for certain items. For instance, the spice rack should be close to the stove or prep area, the coffee mugs should go on a lower shelf if one significant other is shorter than the other, etc.
Custom units and accessories like hooks can help utilize your space and keep things in place. For example, use your kitchen wall or the side of counters and cabinets to hang pots, pans, measuring cups, and spoons. If you don’t have all of the needed items yet, use sticky notes to indicate where things will go so you can get a feel for the flow of the room.
You want to create a system that is functional for both of you. The space plan is your guide, but don’t be afraid to make tweaks down the line.
3. Know Where to Keep it Separated
Organizing your shared home as a couple is all about combining your lives—and more literally, your stuff. A part of living together is combining and consolidating for space, but it can be helpful to have designated areas that are kept separate. Maybe that means one of you gets the extra bedroom as a home office or it could be something as simple as designating shelves in the linen closet or bathroom cabinet. However you choose to divvy out the space evenly, the goal is that you both have separate areas that you can organize as you see fit.
For spaces like the closet that will most likely need to be shared, it’s important to have each area separated but still cohesively working together. How do you do that?
For example, in your closet:
- Use the same slim hangers
- Use the same or matching bins
- Color code clothing from light to dark
- Have shirts on the top rack and pants/shorts on the bottom
- Keep exposed folded items the same way (tuck sleeves in, fold halfway)
- Closet organizers can transform the shared space into something that works for both of your daily routines
In the bathroom, assign your partner and yourself a color to coordinate what’s yours throughout the house. This will make it easier to find your own stuff and (more importantly) put it away.
These personal use items can all be a shade of your designated color:
- Laundry hamper
4. Get Rid of Duplicates
When moving in together, the probability of you having the same item is high, but there’s no need to have two of everything. To start the downsizing or minimalizing process, label three bins: donate, sell, and toss. Go through your home one space at a time and sort all of your items together. Combine like items so you can decide which ones to keep and which ones to discard.
When choosing, make sure to keep the item that:
- Is in better overall condition
- Fits better into your new home
- Is a higher quality or has a greater monetary value
All decisions on what to donate, keep, or sell should be made together and make sure you both are on the same page and agree on which item to get rid of. That means making compromises! If you want to keep something but know it doesn’t make much sense to leave it in your home itself, consider organization accessories in your garage or shed to store it.
St. Louis Home Organization Company
Getting organized is a journey, not a destination—it’ll take time and continuous effort to keep your home maintained, but we can help make it easier to stay organized. Visit NewSpace Home Organization for the perfect closet designs, pantry organizers, home office organization accessories, and much more! Contact us today!