Monday, November 13, 2017

Shared Spaces: Rules to Follow when Living with Roommates

Shared Spaces: Rules to Follow when Living with Roommates  

When deciding if it is best to live alongside other people, it is important to understand all that will need to be done in order to live successfully. Having regulations set in place while also keeping a steady flow of new ideas and changes will create the best environment for an organized home life. The following 4 bullet points outline the most important subjects to focus on when living and sharing spaces with others:

I. Setting Rules:
The house or apartment you all live in should have a concrete set of rules to follow. Examples include:

  • Always be home by 11 pm
  • Turn off all lights before going to bed
  • First one up starts coffee for the rest

II. Dispersing Chores:
Create a Chore Chart so that everyone can participate in simple housekeeping of the shared space. Examples include:

  • Doing your own dishes/ laundry
  • Keeping your own personal space/ bedroom neat and organized
  • Take out recycling/ trash on appropriate days

III. Owning a Calendar:
Keep a calendar of important events that everyone shares or knows about open to everyone to write on whenever

  • Dates out with friends
  • Church events
  • Rent due

IV. Paying the Bills:
When paying bills, one person should take ownership of being the leader in making sure that everyone contributes

  • Having set dates for everything due
  • Saving up everyone’s money
  • Pitching in the help with others if low on rent


When you share spaces with another person (or people), one person needs to be designated as the “caretaker” in charge. That does not mean that the person can boss everyone around, but it is that
persons job to assure that everyone is participating in cleanliness of common environment. Each person needs a personal space in any of the following:

  • bathroom
  • kitchen
  • common area. 
  • Also, each person needs a “transition area”. This is a place where they can put keys, coats, and boots, items that go in and out most every day. It is a place where others can leave items for any of the other people living there to notice. It must be big enough to hold at least a bag and outdoor clothing. It is not a junk pile. In other words, items should not be there long enough to collect dust. Being able to maintain a welcoming and working environment will help to keep the spaces in which you live with others clean and efficient.


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Why Keep Clutter?

Why Keep Clutter? (aka stuff)

I have worked with many people on downsizing and taught workshops on the topic. Downsizing can be difficult as well as rewarding when accomplished properly. Clutter in your life can distract and detach yourself from what is really important or what you are trying to accomplish in life. There are a variety of reasons for keeping clutter in and around your home and life, and most times they are for reasons that can be fixed. When asked the question ‘why do you keep stuff’, people have answered with some of the following:

-          Just in Case
o   This indicates in a lack of trust in the future, but the more you can learn that life will take care of you the more it will
-          Identity
o   If you throw out the things in your life, you feel you are throwing out a part of yourself
-          Status
o   It is indication that you want to feel worthy of approval from others
-          Security
o   You are nervous about letting go of things and want to protect everything you own  
-          Territorialism
o   The desire to possess things comes from ego and the want to strive to own and control things
-          Inherited Clutter
o   Other family members approval or dislike can heavily weigh on you for getting of rid of things given to you by said family members
-          Belief that More is Better
o   Not having enough in the past can lead to hoarding of things in the present
-          Scrooge-ness
o   The want to make sure you get your money’s worth
-          Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
o   Wanting everything to be perfect all the time, even if it means never getting rid of things
-          Suppressing of Emotions
o   Having objects to surround yourself with can distract you from emotional, physical, or mental health
-          Inability to Decide
o   Simply not being able to make personal decisions of what to keep/ what not to keep


If you can identify yourself with any of these reasons, may be its time to consider decluttering your own life. Address the reasons one by one, and don’t be ashamed of them. Ask for help, using resources like Hoarding Task Forces or Cluttering Groups. Decluttering is important in life so you have room to delve into our own wants and needs without having too much stuff get in your way.