New beau? Moving in together? Whether this is your first time cohabiting or the fourth, there are some important questions to ask yourselves as you plan your new life together and create dream home. Here are some things to think about before you take the plunge to live together?
Check out The Battle of the Toilet Seat
*to protect the innocent names have been changed
Samir* is a tidy person. Anyone who has been to his apartment notices the care he puts into his home, organized and neat, with nothing out of place. But Samir is not an island. He and his new partner, Rose, are about to move in together, and Rose is perhaps a bit less discerning. She would describe herself as artsy and eclectic.
“Rose is a slob,” says longtime friend and former roommate, Derek. “She’s a wonderful person who cooks the best food you’ve ever tasted and can light up a room with her smile. But she cannot throw anything away. She is very sentimental. I’m happy for her and Samir. I also have no idea how they will possibly share a home.”
It has been said that, in every partnership, one person is neat and one is a slob. The first step is admitting you have a problem…
The next step is designing for your differences. Most will agree that the person who has good house habits should be the one who sets household standards. But compromise is important too. It can be as simple as both partners having areas of the house that are just for them. If you each have an office or workspace, then you will each have at least one area where you’re completely in control.
But looking beyond that, what about designing space in a way that will support positive change? Good design can help Rose improve on some of her disorganized tendencies while still honoring the creative spirit that has made her the vibrant person she is.
For example, she has a habit of tossing things everywhere when she enters the house. Her coat lands on the sofa, her handbag on the dining table, her keys go straight into the ether – meaning she essentially forgets about them the minute they leave her hand! She then has a ten minute hunt in the morning to locate said keys before she can leave again.
Clearly Rose needs a well designed entry way with obvious spots for each of the items she commonly carries in the door: hooks for her coat, shelves for her bags, a small table with trays for keys or other small items. And she would certainly benefit from a keyless lock. Punching in a code instead of fumbling for her keys will save her time and frustration entering and exiting the house.
Moving in together can be a real opportunity to take stock of your habits: the good, the bad, and the oddball. Once you’ve identified habits you want to encourage, and others you’d like to cure, you can design for the best version of yourselves. This life change can make you highly motivated to grow and plan for the future. Designing for the people you are and the people you hope to become is a wonderful way to start your lives together.