Relationship Test: 5 Tips For Living + Loving in A Tiny Space

If you want to test your relationship – and I mean really give it a push – pack up all your things and move in to a 600-square foot apartment in the city together.

Let the chaos begin.

For one year, my now husband and I did this little social experiment and, for the most part, we did it pretty well. Somewhere between the stubbed toes, chorus of curse words, and shared closet space (#NeverAgain) we found a way to make it work and still actually like each other by the time our lease was up – most of the time at least.

A close friend of mine is now about a month into her own teeny living stint and asked me how we did it without being tempted to smother each other with a pillow in the middle night. I can’t say we were never tempted but we certainly got over it. 🙂 

 

  • Make Statement Pieces Count: It may feel counter-intuitive to move some big items in to your small space – but it helps you avoid clutter and makes the room feel less like a dorm and more like a home. Being in a tiny space that still felt good made the living situation way more enjoyable for us. Plus, you’ll be tripping over each other so why even introduce the opportunity to trip over knick-knacks?
  • Set Ground Rules + Set Them Early: While this applies for any joint-living experience, it’s especially – dare I say vitally – important in a tiny space. Ours were relatively standard: Shut the door in the bathroom, don’t use the chair as a landing pad for laundry, and no storming out when you’re mad. Full disclosure,  that last one did lead to one of us sitting in the bathtub with the dorm slammed shut a couple times, but knowing that we both refused to break our promise – even when we were categorically mad – served as a comforting reminder we’d get through it. Figure out what works for you, make sure you’re on the same page, and stick with it. I promise it makes life easier.
  • Plan Your Escape Route: This was key for us. I’m not even talking about week-long excretions to the tropics or  southern islands  (although those are nice…). Sometimes it’s just essential to get out of the house. We live a block from Piedmont Park and when the stir craziness threatened to overtake our sanity we’d simply pack up a picnic and have dinner out there. Scope out your own go-to place that can serve as a quick and easy escape…and use it.
  • Communicate: I know, I know. Duh. But unless your spouse is blessed with the mind reading super powers mine missed, you need to actively make this a priority. I vividly remember the night his favorite team had a late-night playoff game. He was in the living room but since the living room was literally 3.5 steps and a curtain away from the bedroom, he might as well been cheering and couch-coaching in bed next to me. I dramatically tossed and turned and “hmmph-ed” for the better part of an hour before I finally rolled out of bed and aggressively pattered over to the sofa. I explained how incredibly rude he was being for – at that point – basically breathing while he looked at me, completely dumbfounded how he could have upset me. When I finished my rant and 10-point presentation on why he should be more considerate he said, in the most innocent way, “Babe, if you want me to turn the sound off, why didn’t you just ask?” Uh, lightbulb. If you want something, or don’t want something, just ask.
  •  Embrace The Chaos: While there are moments that your cozy home will feel like a half-step up from a prison cell, overall, it’s actually really fun. You’ll grow as a couple and find comedy in the situation. Remember that it’s temporary and you’re making memories you’ll have forever. Who wants to reminisce about that time you got your dream, Pinterest-perfect house right away? How dull. Think of it as an adventure, and it will become one.

Oh, and  stagger out your sink time. After the first day we never again attempted to get ready at the same time. It. Doesn’t. Work.

FullSizeRender_1
See? I’m not exaggerating … 3.5 steps from the bedroom to living room.

27 thoughts on “Relationship Test: 5 Tips For Living + Loving in A Tiny Space

  1. Yeah, the small space thing, we’ve been doing that for years, and yes, it definitely takes some strategies. We find the most important thing, above all else, is clear communication. I love your story about the loud TV chuckle. Nice blog.
    Alison

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great advice. My husband and I are getting ready to do this to the extreme. We are moving full-time into our motorhome (aka Waldo). Waldo is a 38′ class A. Hopefully our 14 years of marriage experience will keep us relatively sane!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve always considered moving us into a tiny house but always veer away from the thought in the end. You’ve provided some great insight on living small and your blog reads easily. Can’t wait for more! Following.

    If you’d like, you can check out my blog, here’s the link to my latest post http://wp.me/p7yzBE-6D, it’s off my typical topics so please feel free check out the rest of my site!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I love this idea, I have been envious of the whole tiny living idea for a while, while my girlfriend not so much. I will have to show her this and will follow along, thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Nice one bud, your articles are real helpful and will definitely help a lot of people in their lives. Glad to have found you and proud to see your efforts pulling through as well 😉

    Living together is never easy. Not only is it due to communication issue, lots of it stem from the environment as well and of course, the initial idea of living together in the first place. In a society where expectations on standard of living is forever increasing? Lots of pressure will be laid upon both party to ensure these expectations are met. When the time comes, we’ll need all the help we can get to help us pull through.

    Ah… Life. Why are you always so tough on us? Lol. Well, let’s be honest here though, if life isn’t challenging at times, it wouldn’t have been fun now, would it? Just the example of how you and your hubby met would probably be a good challenging story to share, let alone the challenges you guys have faced, am I right? 😉

    This post definitely assist in covering an issue which lots of couples will go through by being an excellent mini go to guide. Just awesome.

    Keep up the brilliant work!

    So here’s a request:

    If you guys are ever going to write a post on the challenges you’ve both faced together or even the origin of this dynamic duo? Please link me in so that I’ll be notified. Just a request, no obligations of course 😉

    Here’s me wishing you both an epic adventure ahead and more beautiful memories and stories to share!

    Your pal,
    Benjamin
    http://www.projectbiy.com

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I may only be just a teenager but I never knew that a small space can effect a relationship. It must be so hard! Also, thank you for following my blog. I love how your blog is so pretty and lovely to read. Can’t wait to read your future posts!

    Najida | The Average Gurl

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hello,

    Really great post indeed!

    Some times small space can spoil a relationship. Your blog is publishing an inspirational posts. I am going to follow your blog to read articles on daily basis. I hope you’ll write more useful stuff.

    ~Dr. Diana

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m currently experiencing this very thing, happy moved from a large 4 bedroom house to a teeny tiny flat, Different city, different country, different language and different relationship. For the first 3 years my new partner barely worked and we spent all our time together. It could have been a disaster but luckily it made us stronger. Short of winning the lottery or getting an inheritance, we shall be staying put for the foreseeable future! I love your writing btw…

    Liked by 1 person

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