When you move in with someone new, the natural focus is on your physical space and how this new person will affect it. I realized this when I first moved in with my husband and my most immediate concern was how we were going to manage displaying all of his North Carolina Basketball fan paraphernalia amongst my collection of antique Charlotte Brontë and Jane Austen books. (For those of you sitting on the edge of your seat with that major life conundrum — we figured it out).
But whether your roommate is a significant other, best friend, or a Craigslist rando, co-habiting a physical space means that your time is affected by that other person as well. No matter how little or how extreme you might find your personal schedule affected with your new roommate, a shared schedule is something that can be fine-tuned together. In most cases, good communication is all you need to adapt and share time peacefully; but since sometimes that’s easier said than done, here are a few things that should make shared living schedule-friendly.
- Shower. If you both have opposite work schedules, you really don’t have much to worry about here. However, if you both need to be at work around the same time, the easiest way to decide is to simply have a discussion about it to see who gets out of bed earlier and who typically takes shorter showers. If you both have jobs with odd hours, consider a small note-leaving area on the door or somewhere in the bathroom where you can leave each other (nice!) notes about when you need to be in there the following day.
- Chores. This is when living in the digital age is a blessing. If you’re one of the many millions of people (including us at Bneato Bar) who are already addicted to Evernote for organizing your life digitally, this could be the winner for you. The only catch is one of you need to be willing to upgrade to a $4.99 per month premium account. With a premium account can then create a “Home To Do” notebook and share it with another account even if they’re not Premium. Then both of you can add separate notes for each task and set notification alarms for deadlines. If one or neither of you are Evernote users, I also like Wunderlist. Using Wunderlist’s free version, users can invite contacts to share a list, add due dates and reminders that both people can see. The benefit of Wunderlist over Evernote is that it uses Push Notifications, so you know exactly each time someone adds or completes an item.
- Finances. Repeat after me: “Paperless billing is my friend.” If you have shared finances with your significant other, pick one joint account to set up your phone bill, cable, utilities, and any other household expense to pay your bills automatically. Set aside a fifteen minutes a month to go over these together to make sure everything is adding up and to discuss any changes that need to be made according to your budget. Suddenly, paying bills isn’t THAT bad. If you don’t have shared finances, things will take a bit more time to coordinate up front, like who’s credit card will be paying off which bill and what day of the month reimbursement (if needed) is sorted. I do recommend wherever possible splitting costs evenly to avoid unnecessary headaches. Your roommate might really want the HBO package that you don’t care about, but you might be the one always in the kitchen baking up a storm and raising the gas bill. In addition, a number of items in the home are best shared, such as toilet paper, trash bags, light bulbs, soap and other household cleaning products. To reduce clutter, save time and avoid confusion, make a trip together once a month to purchase such products and split the costs evenly.
What questions or situations related to time have you come across sharing a space with another? Leave a comment and the team of Bneato Pros would love offer any additional advice. Or if you’ve mastered the art of shared living, leave your ideas below!
About this blog: Time. We don’t want it to be your ultimate enemy. That’s why each Monday we write about ways to save it. It’s no fountain of youth, but we think we’re getting close.