Bathroom space is sacred. After all, the bathroom is the place where we pump ourselves up for the upcoming day, primp ourselves for a big meeting or first date, and try out new products on the weekends when we’re trying to relax. Because bathroom space is so valuable, it may be difficult for you to wrap your head around the idea of actually sharing it with someone else.
But like the kitchen, the bathroom is one of the most communal spaces in the household — and in there, you’ll be sharing things like drawer space, toilet paper, and cleaning supplies. Because so much is shared in the bathroom, it’s important to establish boundaries to help everyone understand exactly what their responsibilities are. Trust us, you don’t want to be the person who forgot to pick up the toilet paper (again).
So whether you’re moving out for the first time or this is just your first experience sharing space with a roommate or partner, here are a few tips to help you get used to bathroom cohabitation.
Buy a Shower Caddy
Apartments aren’t exactly known for their ample storage space, so you’ll need to be smart about storing your bathroom supplies where you can. Instead of leaving a mountain of shampoo and soap bottles piled up in the shower, buy a shower caddy where things can be stored neatly and out of the way. If you live with a roommate, consider keeping a couple of caddies in the shower (one on the showerhead and one hanging on the towel rack) so you can keep your products separate.
Stock Up on Utility Hooks
Whether you screw hooks into the walls or opt for the removable Command hooks, having a couple of places to hang up a damp towel or bathrobe is a smart idea when you’re sharing a bathroom. This ensures that there won’t be towels draped everywhere and that you won’t accidentally confuse your towels for a roommate’s. Utility hooks can also be used for hanging up loofahs and bath caddy trays in the shower.
Store Your Toothbrushes (Separately)
It’s no secret that dentists recommend storing your toothbrush in an upright position in a toothbrush holder to help prevent the spread of germs, but did you also know that you should be storing your toothbrush in a separate holder if you’re sharing a bathroom? Toothbrushes that get too close to one another can become cross-contaminated (gross!), so be sure to commit to separate toothbrush holders if possible.
Vow to Clean Up After Yourself
When you lived alone or with your parents, you could maybe get by with leaving your straightener out or being a bit lazy about where you left your lotions, makeup brushes, and medicines. Now that you’re living with someone else, the name of the game is common courtesy, so clean up after yourself!
You may not be perfect at this each and every day, but as long as you make a good effort to put your things back where they belong, clean up any messes that you make, and don’t leave anything gross on the floor or in the shower, your bathroom buddy probably won’t go mad from your mess.
Decide Who is Going to Replace the Toilet Paper
If you’re moving in with a partner, it makes sense that the two of you would likely go grocery shopping together. But when you’re moving in with another kind of roommate, this might not be the case. For that reason, you’ll want to determine who will be buying the toilet paper when you run out before it gets to be an issue. Will it be a switch-off thing, or will one roommate always purchase the toilet paper while the other takes responsibility for the dishwasher detergent in the kitchen? The most important thing is to be communicative about this and other split responsibilities.
Turn on the Exhaust Fan When You Shower
You might have thought that the exhaust fan was only for covering up certain, shall we say, scents, in the bathroom, but it actually serves an even more important purpose: removing moisture from the air. You know how the mirror steams up when you take a hot shower? This is caused by excess moisture from the steam that stays hovering in the air. In order to keep your bathroom free of mildew and mold, turn on the exhaust fan each and every time you take a shower or a bath. This will make the room feel cleaner, less damp, and like an overall happier place in your home.
Set a Schedule
Hands down the most annoying thing about sharing a bathroom with someone is waiting for them to get out of there when you’re in a hurry. Before you find yourself angrily banging on the door and asking them to hurry up, take the time to talk about your schedules and loosely set up times when you know you’ll need the bathroom. Above all, be courteous and keep in mind that other people live in your apartment, too — and that they may not appreciate you hogging the bathroom all the time.