If you’re like me, you grew up sharing a room with a sibling, which isn’t bad when you and your brother or sister get along. Yet when you eventually have your own room, you realize what you’ve been missing. For example, maybe you’re the younger brother, and your older brother moved to college two years ago, so you got the room to yourself.What happens when you go to college and now have a small dorm room, and a roommate? Of course, this is just one of many situations in which you may end up sharing a room and needing privacy. So, how do you get that much-needed space for yourself in a shared room? Here are some ideas.
When you have your own room, you may not worry as much about keeping everything tidy. Maybe you clean up once every week, and that works for you. However, when sharing a bedroom, you and your roommate will get along much better if you both clean up after yourselves immediately. Do your dishes (if you have any in the bedroom), put your things away when you’re not using them, and sweep or vacuum. You and your roommate can even come up with a schedule for shared duties.
When you’re sharing a bedroom, it’s best not to have too much stuff, so keep just what you need, and maybe a little extra, but not a lot. Have enough clothes for a week or so of outfits, and do your laundry regularly. It’s better to have a laptop in a shared room, rather than a desktop computer--though the loft bed idea below may alter this slightly. Bring some books you love and others that you want to read, but don’t overdo it. For those things you need sometimes but that you won’t be keeping in your room, consider getting a self storage unit or a valet storage contract.
This may sound silly for an adult, but when it comes to instant privacy, a bed tent will do the trick. This is just what it sounds like: a twin-sized mattress in a pop-up tent. You can zip it shut not only for privacy, but extra darkness to make sleeping easier.
Want to make more space in your shared room? Consider getting a loft bed to replace your ordinary bed. Underneath the overhead bed, you can have your desk, a bookcase and place to read, or a couch. Your roommate might become envious of the extra space and do the same, giving you both more room by making the best use of vertical space.
This is one purchase your roommate will thank you for. With noise canceling headphones, you can listen to your favorite music, podcasts, or shows without bothering others. Shop around, because headphones can be expensive, but you’ll be able to shut out noises that bother you while listening to your entertainment in private.
Whether you’re in college or just living with friends, you probably do a lot on your computer, tablet, and smartphone. Make sure to have a password on each. Consider encrypting especially important files. Yes, you may trust your roommate and friends, but what if they have a guest over you don’t yet know well? In an era when identity theft happens, it’s best to be safe.
With these ideas, you and your roommate will be well on your way to creating an enjoyable, shared living space where you can enjoy each other’s company and have privacy when you need it.