From The Straits Times    |

Perhaps the one thing that can trump the excitement of a wedding is the prospect of sharing a home together.

When you used to be able to only meet for a couple hours after work or during the weekends, you’ll now get to enjoy the company of your partner 24/7.

Needless to say, navigating the complexities of living together isn’t easy – especially if you’re not familiar with each other’s day to day habits at home.

This is made tougher if you’re living in a smaller space, because, well, less breathing space.

Here are 6 easy tips to follow for a more painless process of moving in and living together:

1. Designate personal space and have 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.

2. 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.

Image: The Finder 

Whether it’s 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 when you’re living in a small space.


3. Storage – have plenty of it

Before you excitedly move in and dump all your belongings into your new home, we’d advice 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.

Image: Katarzyna Białasiewicz

It’s 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. 


4. Know each other’s needs

We each have our own quirks and habits. Understanding your partner’s living habits and schedules will ease the process of learning to live with each other.

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

Small daily considerations like these matter, especially when you’re in it for the long haul!

5. Install large mirrors

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

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

Image: Home and Decor Singapore

6. Keep it clean 

Keeping your home neat and clean will also go a long way in making living in a small space more bearable. 

Image: Katarzyna Białasiewicz

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

Divvy up your chores and manage your expectations in order to have a natural work flow around your home. Keeping your love nest clean is hard work, but it will more than pay off for your efforts.