Cohabitating in the time of COVID-19 and the shelter-in-place directives can be tricky. Whether you live with a partner, friends, family or roommates, spending all your time indoors with them can lead to some real frustrations — well, even more so than usual. We all have those unspoken rules when it comes to sharing common spaces and keeping them clean, but given the daily stress of navigating pandemic life, some of those niceties can go right out the window.
To keep your patience from joining the cast-aside decorum of the pre-COVID-19 world, there are a few simple ways you can improve your living space and make it more we’re-all-here-24/7-friendly. Let’s break it down room by room.
The Living Room: Making Mingling Easier
First, we have the living room — perhaps the most coveted of all shared spaces. Sure, we all need to hit the bathroom and whip up some eats in the kitchen, but these days, the living room feels like the equivalent of a wide-open field, especially when you’re probably spending most of your time in your bedroom. Although the Dixie Chicks have always encouraged us to use "Wide Open Spaces" to make our big mistakes, you simply can’t risk that sort of thing while sheltering in place. Even one misstep can send your roomie (or you) over the edge. That said, it’s important to grievance-proof the room with the best TV-and-couch setup.
The Bathroom: Keeping Tabs on (Potential) Mess
At a time when we all feel like we’re in hot water, you don’t want that metaphor to become too literal. If you’ve ever stood ankle-deep in water during a shower, you know exactly what I mean. The TubShroom is here to help, especially if you’re the roommate with the longest hair. Even if you have a reliable landlord or maintenance company you normally get in touch with, social distancing directives might prevent the handling of non-essential maintenance problems, and nobody wants to snake their own shower drain in between Zoom calls.
The Kitchen: Quench Your Thirst and Stay Clutter-Free
One of the worst parts of being sick is actually making the items you need to feel better. When your energy is at its lowest, even making a cup of tea can seem oh-so-draining. And, of course, a watched pot — er, tea kettle — never boils. Even if you aren’t under the weather, there are just those moments — maybe entire days — when you just want to get in and out of the kitchen quickly, before retreating to your bedroom.
The Bedroom: Turn Your Sanctuary into a Part-Time Office
Your bedroom is meant to be your sanctuary — your escape from the microaggressions and passive-aggressive actions and suddenly-annoying ticks that can unfold in the common spaces. (Side note: If you’re sharing a bedroom with a roomie, especially if you’re both working from home, definitely invest in some Offex acoustic room dividers, which will help quell noise and make you feel a little more alone when you just need a sense of space.)