How To: Befriend Your Shared Bathroom

Jan 2021

Are you a bathroom buddy? Sharing bathroom space can be a challenge, even for the happiest couples and the most respectful roommates. There’s a lot of grooming, personal space, and “clean up after thyself” issues that are natural in shared bathroom situations. This year’s stay-at-home orders may have made for some interesting challenges in your home: lots of people, all of the time.

But don’t worry: sharing a bathroom harmoniously with your spouse, partner, friend, or roommate is possible! All it takes is a little collaboration and consideration. Yes, both are still important in large bathrooms with a double-sink vanity. Communal bathrooms of all types can easily feel congested when bathroom-mates are out of sync. The first step in sharing a bathroom amicably is to consider how you’ll each need it.

At first thought, it may seem like a lot of time will be spent in the bathroom between the two or three of you. But with a bit of thought, you’ll find there’s plenty of time for all. Obviously, some things have to be done in the bathroom, like showering. But there are plenty of habits that can be done elsewhere like doing your makeup or painting your nails, getting dressed or styling your hair. You might even find a better source of natural light outside of your bathroom in the process. To discourage spending an excessive amount of time in the bathroom, avoid taking in cell phones, tablets, or books. With thoughtful use, you’ll find more time available for all.

roommate bathroom brushing teeth

But with that extra time comes the need for a clear understanding of when you’ll need it. We believe it’s important to have a general schedule bathroom use, but only for the most necessary things. No, you don’t have to pencil in the exact minute when you will wash your hair and wait for approval before doing so. But, it’s important to understand high-use hours, like before and after work. Aside from the day-to-day schedule, consider when you need a bit of extra time to prep for a date night or enjoy a pampering ritual. No matter how your shared bathroom is used, make sure that everyone has equal access.

One appointment on our shared calendar will need to include cleaning. Again, this doesn’t include the everyday routine. You should be cleaning up after every use. Coordinate the best time to clean at least once per week…together. It doesn’t have to be at the same time with an all-hands-on-deck approach, especially for those with smaller bathrooms. Instead, simply determine who will be responsible for each chore. With clear cleaning expectations, you’ll limit roommate resentment.

Another way to maintain a peaceful environment in your communal bathroom is by staying organized. Each person should have a clearly marked portion of the bathroom to store things. Whether it’s a cabinet shelf, a drawer, or shower caddy, keep your things in your place. It’s basic shared bathroom etiquette. And really, practicing proper etiquette is the best way to share a bathroom. Keep your bathroom-mate in mind and you’re sure to adapt to shared living soon enough.

We hope you love your new living situation, wherever it might take you. Once you’re settled in, we’d love to know your favorite bathroom-mate strategies. Share with us on Instagram @Sinkology.

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