The Marie Kondo way to prevent rows over shared storage? It’s right here

If the storage you share at home is causing arguments, check out the expert ways to do it nicely

Marie Kondo organizing
(Image credit: Space Station)

Many of us have been at home a whole lot more than usual this year with the result that even the most easy-going of couples has been in the kind of sustained proximity that can lead to bickering, if not full-blown rows.

In fact, more than one in five couples (22 per cent) argue about shared space around the home every few days, according to recent research*. What are the flash points for these home disputes? It’s the bedroom and bathroom that set off many pairs. Some 27 per cent said they’d had arguments about how much room their partner’s clothing takes up in the wardrobe.

The bathroom has also proved contentious when it comes to sharing with 19 per cent admitting to having argued with their partner over how much space they take up in the room.

Being together for longer didn’t appear to stop the rowing – although it did reduce it. Couples in a relationship for less than six months were found to be more likely to argue at least once a day, whereas more than a third of couples (34 per cent) in a longer relationship – between five and nine years – admitted to arguing a few times a month about living space. 

How to put a stop to these enduring battles? A beautifully organized home is the way out of sharing troubles and who knows better how to banish clutter and tidy than Marie Kondo. The KonMari method is the way to keep only items that speak to the heart, and organize those that remain.

If you want to cut out the fights, and share nicely, just scroll down for tips from Marie Kondo expert Sue Spencer and let peace reign (over storage anyway) between your four walls.

 *Research conducted by TLF on behalf of self-storage company Space Station in October 2020.

The Marie Kondo way to share storage

Marie Kondo expert Sue Spencer offers advice on organizing storage and resolving arguments at home. 

1. In the bathroom, give yourself and your partner separate shelf space to differentiate which products belong to whom.

2. Be mindful of each other’s space and only store products used every day in the shower.

3. Put personal products in boxes with a lid or in your own drawer.

4. Store water-based or fluid products separate to make-up to avoid spillage.

5. Try to keep everyday products central on shelves so they’re easy to grab. 

6. When it comes to the wardrobe, don’t hang everything. Look at alternative ways to organize and try folding clothes to make the most of the space. Consider using boxes or baskets to store items that can be folded.

7. Don’t keep things just in case. Always donate items you haven’t worn in a while. 

8. Store seasonal items away from items worn regularly.

9. If you’re bringing two households together, establish some ground rules early on for keeping on top of things. For example, putting the lid on the toothpaste, throwing away old toiletry bottles so they don’t clog up space in the bathroom and not using each other’s special products. 

10. Remember, communication is the key when trying to tidy away each other’s things. You can’t declutter each other’s belongings, but you can pop things back to their rightful home.

Sarah Warwick
Sarah Warwick

Sarah is a freelance journalist and editor writing for websites, national newspapers, and magazines. She’s spent most of her journalistic career specialising in homes – long enough to see fridges become smart, decorating fashions embrace both minimalism and maximalism, and interiors that blur the indoor/outdoor link become a must-have. She loves testing the latest home appliances, revealing the trends in furnishings and fittings for every room, and investigating the benefits, costs and practicalities of home improvement. It's no big surprise that she likes to put what she writes about into practice, and is a serial house revamper. For Realhomes.com, Sarah reviews coffee machines and vacuum cleaners, taking them through their paces at home to give us an honest, real life review and comparison of every model.

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