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How to manage the stress of sharing a small home

Designating personal spaces for you and your partner will make living together far easier

The prospect of sharing a home with your partner is exciting.

But navigating such complexities is not easy - especially if you are not familiar with each other's day-to-day habits at home.

This is made tougher if you are living in a smaller space.

Here are some easy tips to follow for a more painless process of moving in and living together:

Designate personal space for your own hobbies

This is true for any home, big or small. We may be social creatures, but we have solitary needs as well.

Having a space that you can fully decorate with your own paraphernalia and to indulge me-time in is essential.

Knowing when to stay out of each other's space is key in being able to live well together.

Block off spaces for privacy - even if it is just illusionary

While an open floor design opens up a space and is recommended for smaller-sized homes, you should still consider segmenting the larger areas, like the living room from the bedroom.

Be it with partial wall partitions, sliding doors, bookshelves or even just curtains, the point is to have a space where you can find some form of privacy.

Whether it is because you need to focus on some work at home, or you need a moment from each other mid-argument to sort yourselves out, a private spot will come in handy.

Storage - have plenty of it

Before you excitedly move in and dump all your belongings into your new home, we would advise working out how much the space can accommodate.

This way, you avoid having to deal with a mountain of items with nowhere to put them.

It is also important to create storage solutions that will maximise your home's capacity, and leave available storage space for future use as well.

A cluttered home will only serve to create a sense of discomfort and unhappiness that will spill over to your relationship.

Know each other's needs

Understanding your partner's quirks and schedules will ease the process of learning to live with each other.

If you are the early bird who likes to open the curtains in the morning, but your significant other prefers to sleep in a dark room, perhaps you can go to the living room to hang about during the first part of your morning instead.

Install large mirrors

Mirrors will help reduce the feeling of being closed-in without taking up a large space.

One thing to note, however, is that maintaining and cleaning them would be a chore.

Keep your love nest neat and clean

This will also go a long way in making living in a small space more bearable.

A sink full of unwashed dishes is magnified, especially when the rest of your kitchen space is already cluttered.

Divvy up your chores and manage your expectations in order to have a natural work flow around your home.

This article was first published in Her World Online (