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.