Whether your family has just downsized to a smaller HDB BTO, newlyweds, or been married for a while, sharing a small home with someone comes with its own set of joys and pains (hopefully more of the former than the latter).

For newlyweds – while you used to be able to only meet for a couple of hours after work or during the weekends, you’ll now get to enjoy the company of your partner 24/7.

Needless to say, navigating the complexities of living together isn’t easy – especially if you’re not familiar with each other’s day-to-day habits at home.

This is made tougher if you’re living in a tiny apartment, where every move can become magnified. For a more painless process of living together, try abiding by these six simple rules.

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Your Personal Space

This is true for any home, big or small. We may be social creatures, but we need time for solitude as well — regardless of whether we’re an introvert or extrovert.

Staking out a space, like a reading nook or audio corner you can fully decorate with your own paraphernalia and indulge in me-time, is essential. Set boundaries by reminding other family members that this is your space, so they won’t move their things there or take up room when you need it.

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Partitions for Privacy

While an open-floor design opens up a space, and is recommended for smaller-sized homes, you should still consider segmenting the larger areas, like the living room from the bedroom.

Be it with partial wall partitions, sliding doors, bookshelves or even just curtains, the point is to have a space where you can find some form of privacy.

Whether it’s because you need to focus on some work at home, or you need a moment from each other mid-argument to sort yourselves out, a private spot will come in handy when you’re living in a small space.

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Sufficient Storage

Got lots of belongings? Consider working out how much your space can accommodate.

This way, you avoid having to deal with a mountain of items with nowhere to put them, which can visually clutter the space.

It’s also important to create storage solutions that will maximise your home’s capacity, and leave available storage space for future use as well. A cluttered home will only serve to create a sense of discomfort and unhappiness that will spill over to your relationship.

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Understand Everyone’s Needs

We each have our own quirks and habits. Understanding your family members’ or partner’s living habits and schedules will ease the process of learning to live with each other.

If you’re the early bird who likes to open the curtains in the morning, but he prefers to sleep in a dark room, perhaps you can go to the living room to hang about during the first part of your morning instead.

Or if one of you needs to go to work early, consider having your wardrobe or dressing table in another part of the home instead, so you don’t disturb your sibling or spouse.

Small daily considerations like these matter, especially when you’re in it for the long haul!

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Keep the House Clean

Keeping your home neat and clean will also go a long way in making living in a small space more bearable.

A sink full of unwashed dishes is magnified, especially when the rest of your kitchen space is already cluttered with things.

Divvy up your chores and manage your expectations in order to have a natural workflow around your home. Keeping your love nest clean is hard work, but it will more than pay off for your efforts.

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This article first appeared on Her World.