By, Our Contributing Bloggers at Major OrganizersNot sure how to begin preparing your home for life with a housemate? Here is Part Two of our Organizing Tips for Housemates- brought to you by our Blog Contributors and Liberators from Major Organizers – featured on Shark Tank, with tips for an organized approach to sharing your space.
COMMUNICATE FIRSTCommunication is key when you are preparing your home for a roommate. Discuss expectations ahead of time before you ever empty a closet or a drawer. If possible, walk room to room together and discuss any issues in each area. Where are the common spaces in the home? Which items are to be used only by the owner and which will be “community property?” For example, will you share dishes or each have your own set? How will you divide up cabinet and pantry space? Will you be sharing laundry facilities? Where will each person’s mail go?
CONTAIN YOURSELFDetermine house rules for upkeep and maintenance in common spaces. Does one of you like clear surfaces with items kept in drawers, while the other prefers keeping items out and visible? Look for compromises between your organizing styles, such as designating individual shelves and drawers or using open-top storage bins for easy visibility while still containing potential clutter. Clear shoe boxes separate and contain items in kitchens and bathrooms where you may be storing duplicates. Over-the-door organizers, add-a-shelves and lazy susans maximize storage space while also defining ownership. Remember, organizing systems don’t have to be complicated as long as you both agree to use the system consistently.
LABEL!Labelling is the glue that makes any organizing system “stick.” Beyond simple “Property of” labels, labels communicate house rules without one person having to nag or remind the other. For example, you can create a label with instructions for presetting the coffeemaker, or a simple note reminding everyone to “Please lock the screen door.”
WRITE IT OUTFinally, take an organized approach to housework. Discuss shared tasks such as cleaning and paying bills. Write up a list or make a calendar of “Who Is Responsible For What/When.” Will you alternate weeks for cleaning and grocery shopping? Who will pay bills and when? It may be uncomfortable at first, but having the conversation upfront and a plan in place alleviates hurt feelings and avoids a miscommunication later.
An organized, respectful approach to sharing common spaces and defining personal property will keep you and your new housemate living in happy harmony.
Major Organizers is a residential organizing services company serving clients in Colorado, Arizona and Ohio. Liberators with Major Organizers are highly-trained professionals specializing in hands-on organizing, decluttering, room redesigns and rearrangements. Since 2006, Major Organizers has provided organizing services to more than 1,000 households.
You can learn more about homesharing at Silvernest.com – Silvernest boldly breaks the rules of aging so you can share your home on your own terms. We’re creating the next generation of roommates. A more modern kind. A well-matched kind. A kind that’s just your style. Because around here, the details are totally up to you.