As much as I love living with my boyfriend and falling asleep next to him every day, I love the weekends when he’s out of town and I’m home alone even more.
While the average American house size is around 2400 square feet, our East Village pad clocks in at a little under 400. To people who’ve never tried nesting in tight quarters à deux, it may sound like a fast-track to Splitsville. However, with a sluggish economy and the still high real estate prices in urban areas, small space living is a fact of life for many couples. Below are three survival strategies to help keep you sane.
Create psychological space
Although your apartment may be short on physical space, create the illusion of being alone by picking up a pair of Sennheiser wireless headphones. For $69.99, you will save yourself from countless heated arguments during those times when you want to stay up late to watch Conan while he has to wake up early – or when you need to study for the LSATs and he insists on blasting his jams.
Stage an organization intervention
It’s tempting when you first move in with someone to rush out to Ikea and starting piling various home décor knickknacks into your shopping cart. (“Look honey! A hammock for the bananas – we have to get it!”) But if you are living in a small space, you must learn to embrace the maxim that less is more. Start off by taking inventory of what you both have and donate whatever you don’t use on a regular basis. (Yes, the quesadilla maker your aunt gave you as a shower gift is nice, but it’s probably taking up prime real estate in your cabinets.) Likewise, utilize the space you do possess by thinking vertically and getting rid of everything that doesn’t serve two purposes.
Don’t confuse cohabitating with codependency
Just because you are living together, it doesn’t mean you should be glued to the hip. Let your man enjoy some quality time at home and make an effort to make dates with friends (and yourself) at least three to four times a week. Not only does absence make the heart grow fonder, but your abode won’t seem nearly so crammed when you spend more time outside of it.