a few thoughts on cohabitation, omg

Over the past few months, the boyfriend and I have been discussing moving in together. Yup, COHABITATION. Big steps. I mean, we basically already live together because I have a comfortable house and he has a sailboat that isn’t the warmest during the winter months. We eat our meals together, our dogs are always together, we share laundry duties. On some practical level, cohabitation is nothing especially new… but putting a label on it is, especially in #mytinybungalow. Did you know that it doesn’t have a single closet and measures at 640 sqft total? And those are just my practical thoughts. There are so many other things to think about… perhaps you guys have some advice?

I think our first step is to figure out a more sustainable storage situation. I’ve been able to get by on my own with a rolling rack and vintage tall boy dresser, but Sean has stuff, too. The renovation of the bedroom is next on my list, with DIY-ing a closet the first and foremost essential. Any tips here? I’m thinking there will be some IKEA hack action soon…

And have you ever heard of ‘secret single behavior?’ Mine is taking off my bra and pants as soon as I walk through the door and leaving them draped on the couch. I also eat meals standing up at the kitchen counter while wearing a facemask and practicing my kegels. I’ve discovered some of my ‘always lived alone’ habits annoy Sean, like the number of pillows I insist on keeping on the bed. I’m sort of freaked out that cohabitation means not doing any of those things because they are just too weird… but then I think that’s what he likes about me, too. Lots of thoughts in my head, especially as someone who’s never cohabitated before.

One more thought in my mind: I own this house. We didn’t buy it together. But my deepest wish is that #mytinybungalow feels like #histinybungalow, too. That he grows to love it as much as I do. And that he wants to be the Chip to my Joanna when it comes to all of these damn renovations. It’s weird though, because people just assume that we got the house together. On one hand, I want them to know that I am an independent woman who can buy her own house, thank you very much… but then a lot of the time I just let it go because it’s more important to me that we share a space and have a home together, however the home came to be ours.

See what I did there? Compromise. I hear I’ll be doing a lot of it.

Anyways, you guys are always so wise — what advice have you got for me?

xo, Joanna

ps — I also found this post on Wit & Delight especially enlightening.

Photography by Belathée Photography.

Behind The Blog

Joanna Hawley-McBride is a Pacific Northwest-based social media strategist, content creator, and former textile designer. Joanna is the founder and editor-in-chief of Jojotastic, a lifestyle blog focused on Joanna’s work-in-progress cabin, finding the best pair of underwear through #UnderwearThesis, and empowering women to explore nature — all in her signature unfiltered style. Her work has been featured in Domino, CNBC, and Eating Well.

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  1. 2.24.17
    jenn lynn said:

    Learning how to share. From food to just sitting down and discussing problems or a good day. Its okay at times not to share. I am one not to share and I come from a big family lol. Also when you need space, take it. You will annoy each other at times. It was too much for me after a year so now its separate but next time it will be legally binding and he knows what drives me crazy ( I hate messes) I loved that I had a preview because of being so analytical I am able to find ways that we can both be okay and raise our cats together.

    • 2.24.17
      joanna said:

      I love all of this advice! Thank you so much!

  2. 1.17.17
    ashley271 said:

    One of the best things we did was make a list of all the chores along with the amount of time the chore would take per month. We wanted to have an even amount of chore time. We then traded off picking the chores we wanted aka the ones we didn’t despise. It’s worked out extremely well in that the house stays clean, we each know what to do, and I don’t have to clean the kitchen.

    • 1.17.17
      joanna said:

      OH wowwww, that’s a great idea! Thank you so much for sharing!

  3. 1.15.17
    Brit McDaniel said:

    This made me LOL so hard! Living together isn’t easy, but it’s really wonderful! I’m happy to give you some advice, just shoot me an email! Xo

    • 1.15.17
      joanna said:

      Happy to make you laugh! And thank you so much for your offer of advice ;) I just might take you up on that!

  4. 1.9.17
    malty said:

    I moved into my boyfriend’s house that he bought prior to our relationship. It’s a tiny home as well (700sq livable but with a basement that I have BIG plans for) with two large dogs and two cats- we are out numbered. It took me a long time to stop calling our home Nick’s house but the one chunk of advice I can give is checking in with yourself. The boyfriend works on one of my days off and its the best. I get to clean the house the way I want to, rock sweats, face mask, teeth whitening strips and blast some real house wives in the background, do whatever I want. Its a “me” day and I really think it helps with checking in with myself. Even if you don’t get to have a full day- try for a few hours.
    Also, congrats on this awesome step!

    • 1.9.17
      joanna said:

      I LOVE the idea of a me day. My schedule is way more flexible, so I’m able to build that in. Such a great suggestion! Thank you!

  5. 1.9.17

    compromising and recognizing the GOOD habits that you love instead of focusing on the ones that annoy and also recognizing that it’s probably a very equal balance of annoyances. ;) chris does SO many things that annoy me (and i do so many that annoy him as well, like squeezing the toothpaste from the center of the tube). we cohabitated for 2 years before we were married and i am glad we did. we learned we were in fact compatible, and that we could overlook each others crazy annoying habits because we loved being together more.

    • 1.9.17
      joanna said:

      i do the toothpaste thing, too!! thanks for your sage advice, Cassie :)