There are a lot of little stressors that come along with the joy of diving into newlywed life. Combining two sets of belongings, personalities and routines can be a challenge.
One common stressor—the shared bathroom—can even be a challenge for old married couples! But with some organizing tips for efficient use of the shared space, both newlyweds and silver anniversary folks can knock this off their list of issues.
- Start with the Vanity
Even though you are sharing the bathroom, each person should have space for his or her belongings. It’s much easier to get ready for the day when everything is not jumbled together.
- Separate and assign owners to drawers.
- Add baskets or pullout trays to cabinets to maximize space.
- If you need to share a drawer or cabinet, add some small containers to divide contents.
- Take advantage of the inside of the cabinet door for added organization. Add a magnetic strip to hold small metal objects like nail files or clippers, and a basket to hold larger hair dryers and or products.
- Consider changing out your vanity to one with two sinks if bathroom space allows.
- Welcome Differences
As a newlywed, I remember being so frustrated by toothpaste. Something so simple had me vexed twice every day. I’d grab the mangled tube only to find it was caked and gooey because the top wasn’t put on again. I ended up cleaning the end of the tube and flattening it back out on a daily basis. One day at the grocery store, I had a revelation. I bought my own tube. I’m happy. He’s happy.
You might need to share a bathroom, but you don’t need to share products. In fact, divide the top of the bathroom vanity into individual zones so you each have a home for your products.
There may be other things you and your spouse do differently. Sharing the bathroom is much easier if you just accommodate the differences. If one of you likes to neatly hang a towel over the towel bar but the other doesn’t ever do that, then add an easy-to-use towel hook.
- Provide Solutions
Meet potential frustrations in a shared space with organization.
- If dirty clothes in piles drive you crazy, make sure a good-sized hamper is nearby.
- Have plenty of toilet paper on hand by adding a basket or container of rolls within easy reach. • Add hooks to the back of the door to hold pajamas, robes or towels.
- Make use of wall space and vanity storage with shelves or organizers so the doubled amount of products has plenty of places to be stored.
- Juggle Time
Sharing the bathroom can be fun because you get the time to share an uninterrupted joke, have a personal discussion or make plans for the day. On the other hand, when you need to fly out the door to work every morning, it can be taxing to both of you to share the sink and shower.
Consider alternating your schedules just a bit to give each of you some personal space in the bathroom. Getting up ten minutes earlier might do the trick. Try switching the order of your routine and eat breakfast while your spouse showers before taking your turn.
- Establish Some Ground Rules
- When can the bathroom door be open and when does it need to be shut?
- Who is cleaning the bathroom and when?
- Is the shower curtain to be left open or shut?
- Does the toilet seat need to be left down?
And of course, the very important question everyone has an opinion on: Does the end of the toilet paper go under the roll or over it?
Lea Schneider is a nationally recognized home organization expert who provides home lifestyle advice for The Home Depot. Lea lives in Nashville and is a mother of three. To view Home Depot’s full selection of bath vanities and accessories, including styles mentioned by Lea, you can visit the company’s website here.