Traditionally referred to as the “honeymoon” phase, the first year of marriage is filled with romantic strolls along the beach, candlelit dinners and every other imaginablecliche. However, there is one point that has the potential to cause disharmony: the bathroom.
Women are notoriously protective when it comes to their limited bathroom space and aren’t always willing to provide their new husband with extra countertop space. With some organization and minor adjustments, it’s possible to create a sense of peace and cooperation in a newlywed couple’s bathroom.
Realistically Eliminate Clutter
Many women suffer from the “I’m sure this lipstick will come back into style someday” syndrome and have probably held onto beauty products they purchased several years ago. If this is the case, it’s time to perform a thorough de-cluttering. Beauty products are the best place to begin, and as a good rule of thumb, if you haven’t touched a tube of mascara or container of styling cream in over a year, it can be tossed out.
A husband might not have as many products as his wife, but he’s probably holding onto a few items that he hasn’t used in several years. Once you’ve both parted with a dozen half-empty bottles of shampoo or unopened aftershave, it’s time to eliminate any potentially mold-ridden back issues of Sports Illustrated or Cosmopolitan. Depending on the depth of your bathroom hoarding, it can take several hours and a few disagreements to eliminate all of the unnecessary or expired objects from your shared bathroom.
Organization Is Key
Once the clutter is controlled, it’s time to organize. If you have a massive double vanity with plenty of drawers and cabinets, divide the space evenly to create “his” and “her” areas. If your space is more limited, you’ll have to get creative and venture to a nearby home improvement store. There are a number of clever and inexpensive shelving options available, so keep the room’s dimensions and extraneous floor space in mind. For instance, an over-the-door shelving unit is a great place to keep extra hand towels, personal hygiene products or cleaning supplies. If your budget is tighter, which is a common issue for many newlyweds, nothing is less expensive than purchasing a few small plastic baskets and using them to organize your bathroom necessities.
Create a Schedule
The next step is to create a bathroom schedule (unless you enjoy tripping over each other in the morning and arguing over who showers first). The easiest option is to allow the person that must head to work earlier to first use the shower and sink, but if this is an unrealistic option, consider how much time both of you require to ready yourself for the day. Stereotypically, the woman requires more time to shower and primp herself, but this isn’t always true. Ladies, if your husband spends more time on his hair than you do, consider allowing him earlier access to the bathroom mirror as a way to sustain the peace.
When in Doubt,Expand
This might not be an option, but if you have the budget and skills, feel free to expand or renovate your shared bathroom. Nothing makes for a calmer first year of marriage than installing a functional and beautiful double vanity. If you have the ability and don’t mind skipping your honeymoon in Aruba, consider putting a few thousand dollars into expanding the size of your master bathroom. It may seem like an unnecessary expense during the blissful first year of marriage, but you’ll thank yourself several years later when you’re fighting the kids for a few moments in your bathroom.
Sharing a bathroom during your first year of marriage is about scheduling, compromising and maximizing every inch of space. Enjoy the fresh adventures of marriage, and don’t forget: Never flush the toilet when your partner is in the shower.