Tips on Living Together (In Small Spaces)

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Moving in together is a big step for any couple. Before you even begin learning the ins and outs of each others home behavior you have to figure out how to merge all of your belongings in one place !  It’s not even just merging both your items together, it’s really about trying to fit everything into that tiny studio apartment.  If you’re about to take this big step and move in with your significant other, here are some tips for merging two separate apartments into one joint one.

Decide on what you will keep, toss, and donate together. Resist Doubling Up on Items

When it comes to the things you each own beds, sofas, dressers, etc., you’ll more than likely have to decide which to keep and which goes on for resale, recycling or donation.  If you can both agree on which to keep, great!  If not, here’s how to make the cut without causing a huge argument.

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  • Condition: Place two of the same items side by side.  Whichever one is in worse condition, it’s out.
  • Size: Consider which option is best to fit in your small apartment.  Bigger is not always better.
  • Quality: Is one of the options of a much higher quality than the other, and expected to last longer?  Pick the better knife kit or the comfier chair.

Create Individual Spaces

If you’re living in a studio or a tiny apartment, it’s easy to feel like you’re living on top of each other. The lack of private space will often instigate arguments that are silly and could otherwise be avoided.   If you work different hours, this may not be a problem at all. If you both work 9-5, or one or both of you works from home even some of the time, you’ll have to find other ways to create individual space.  A designated personal space doesn’t have to be large – if all you have is a studio or small one bedroom, it can be a corner of the room, or even just your side of the bed. What it really becomes, regardless of size, is a place where you can relax and be yourself. I find a small private space can be great for doodling, writing, and meditation.

Create a Decision Box

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Donation box isolated on

If you feel like you’re sharing your apartment with your significant other AND all of their junk, there is a big issue. One of the keys to inhabiting a small space is to downsize on your possessions so that they don’t overwhelm you, and both partners should agree when bringing new items into a home.  If you’re looking to pare down what you already have, one trick is to create a “decision box”. Put a box in a closet or a corner of your home and throw in anything that you’re not sure if you want to keep or throw out.  Then leave the box there for 6 months. You’ll probably visit the box to take out items as you need them. After 6 months, donate the box and anything that may still be left inside as you know you can do without the remaining items.

Tall Narrow Shelves

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Instead of adding more horizontal shelves for their books—or cramming them into the ones between the window, add a vertical shelf to save more room where you can put more furniture and other items.  It could also leave room for graphic accents such as an old American flag or sports memorabilia.

 

Hire a Professional!

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If you or your partner doesn’t have the time or patience to organize your items and downsize effectively, hire a professional organizer to come into your home and create the perfect living space. Wendy Silberstein, owner of The Aesthetic Organizer is a pro when it comes to couples merging their stuff from separate apartments into one joint space. Check out her services at  www.theaestheticorganizer.com .

Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

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-Box&Co

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