I live in a 300 square foot apartment with my boyfriend. It can be done! But you need to know some crucial things:
1. Know your partner really well. Moving into a tiny house or super-small apartment is not the best choice when you’ve only been dating for six months. When you move into a tiny house, you get to know each other FAST—so fast that if you encounter surprises, you may want to run. “My husband and I had already known each other for years when we moved into our house, and it helped a lot,” says Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell, author of Living Large in Our Little House: Thriving in 480 Square Feet with Six Dogs, a Husband and One Remote. “If you don’t realize your partner has a quirky tick that drives you nuts, you will be in serious trouble.” I second that: Our tiny apartment was not our first place together. I already had a pretty clear idea of what living together meant, and I could at least imagine what it would be like to have that experience all in one room.
2. Get creative about using the bathroom. This obviously depends on your level of squeamishness, but I will say this: A tiny house very likely has thin walls. You may want to save extended bathroom time for when you’re home alone. “Our bathroom is feet away from the living space. You can hear the other person if they’re sick. It’s not pretty, so you want to be aware of that,” Fivecoat-Campbell says. And if you can’t move your schedules around, keep the faucet running while you’re in there.
3. Leave the house. A lot. Together and apart. As lovely as your tiny house may be (and some really are lovely, I swear!), it is tiny. You will want to leave often or you will risk losing your mind.
4. Purge your clothes constantly. Yes, tiny houses require plenty of Marie Kondo-ing—whenever I buy something new, I truly do get rid of something else. My boyfriend, Zach, does the same. But—and this is crucial—I firmly believe you must maintain separate closets. In our case, our apartment has one built-in closet (which I claimed), but I made Zach buy a separate armoire rather than sharing that one closet. I feel this was a crucial move that helped us avoid fights over storage space.
5. On that note: Under-the-bed boxes will save your life. As will containers in general.
6. Don’t cook fish. As much as fish is delicious, you will be offended by the smell. Cooking in general can be challenging, albeit doable. “Cooking together is really not an option in our house,” says Fivecoat-Campbell. “We had a big kitchen in our old house, and both of us could easily be in the kitchen cooking or cleaning up. Now, we have to take turns in the kitchen.”