There are many wonderful benefits to living with the person you love, but sharing a bathroom isn’t necessarily one of them. No matter how much you enjoy your significant other, it can be a real challenge to share bathroom space, not to mention the responsibility of keeping it clean. The sooner you consider these facts of life, the better for your relationship.
What should a couple do when they have just one bathroom, but two sets of needs? What are the best ways to divvy up space, share responsibilities and avoid driving each other nuts? Here are five smart strategies for sharing a bathroom with your partner:
- Communicate — Communication is the key to making bathroom-sharing better for both of you. Put any two people together and you can expect two different viewpoints. Maybe you’ve always used all three vanity drawers and now your partner needs a place for toiletries. Perhaps you’re fine with letting the bathroom grime accumulate for weeks, but your significant other is disgusted by daily dirt and grunge. Whatever the case, you need to talk about it. Schedule an open discussion about your individual expectations and preferences as soon as possible after moving in together.
- Organize storage space — When you have a finite amount of space to share, you need to make the most of it. You might divvy up drawers or cabinets on a one-to-one basis or create a workable scheme for what goes where in the bathroom closet. Either way, come up with a mutually acceptable plan that provides adequate space to both of you.
- Create a cleaning schedule — One of the most dreaded parts of sharing a bathroom is dealing with cleaning — who does what and when? Couples handle this different ways, so talk to your partner about what works for both of you. Whether you split up daily chores or take turns scouring the bathroom each week, address the cleaning issue before it becomes a serious problem. For some couples, hiring a professional cleaning service could be the best solution to this bathroom conflict.
- Schedule appropriately — There’s nothing as frustrating for a couple on a schedule as needing to use the sink or shower at the same time. So skip this problem by planning ahead. If you take twice as much time to get ready as your significant other, discipline yourself to get up earlier and grab the first shower. Even if your morning routine is fast and furious, you still may want to tackle it first in order to get quickly out of the way of your more leisurely partner. Figure out what schedule works best for both of you.
- Implement a few habits together — Nobody wants to be the only one regularly wiping down the shower or sink. If one of you always leaves hair on the vanity, that can be a real annoyance for the partner who keeps finding it. This is a great example of how implementing a habit together can be a game changer. Stash sanitizing wipes under the sink and agree to clean up stray hairs or grime whenever they happen. Other great habits to cultivate include suctioning a shower squeegee to the shower wall for daily wiping and hanging the toilet paper in a mutually agreed-upon direction.
The keys to successfully sharing a bathroom and to building a successful relationship are the same: communicate, think about each other and be fair. By learning how to share a bathroom with your partner, you only improve and deepen your connection.
How much time do you spend in your bathroom? A few minutes a day? An hour or more? Chances are it’s more time than you realize. Whether you’re in and out of your bathroom in minutes — or take a more leisurely approach to your morning routine — the time you spend there can made a big difference in whether your bathroom is environmentally friendly.
Even small changes can make your bathroom greener — and can help you save some green as well. Better yet, these changes are simple and easy to make. Here are seven ways to make your bathroom better for the environment:
- Start with the taps — Do you already shut off the water at the sink while you soap up your hands or brush your teeth? Good work! Take it a step further by choosing water-efficient bathroom faucets. They reduce flow, allowing you to use less water for everyday tasks like washing your hands.
- Take shorter showers — A hot shower is relaxing but spending too much time in there can quickly add up in terms of water usage. Make your shower routine more efficient or set a timer to make sure you’re not wasting time, money and water in the process. A high-efficiency showerhead will ensure you use less water while showering, no matter how much time you spend under the spray.
- Clean up the way you clean — You don’t have to sacrifice environmental concerns for a room that sparkles and shines. Instead of opting for cleaning products that contain bleach, ammonia or other harsh chemicals, consider natural alternatives. For example, to clean your toilet, dump a half-cup of baking soda into the bowl and add a quarter-cup of vinegar. Scrub it well after the bubbling stops. An equal mix of water and vinegar is an effective cleaner for getting rid of soap scum and everyday dirt.
- Create less garbage — Paper towels are expensive and end up in landfills after a single use. Instead, use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe down bathroom surfaces and mirrors. Each can be rinsed off, washed and reused, unlike paper towels or disposable cleaning cloths.
- Use towels more than once - Break yourself of the habit of tossing a just-used towel into the laundry. You’re using it to dry off a clean body, so hang it up and use it several times before washing. You’ll save water, energy and time as well.
- Consider low-flow toilets — Did you know you probably use more water flushing your toilet than showering each week? A low-flow toilet can make a big difference in how much water you use with each flush.
- Go tankless — If it’s time to replace your water heater, consider the tankless option. While this is a bigger-ticket item, a tankless water heater uses less water than traditional models.
Modern Bathroom offers a variety of eco-friendly bathroom fixtures to help you make the transition to a greener space. We’re here to help you do your part to save the planet and save money — while you enjoy a beautiful, well-appointed bathroom.