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  • Caitrin McElroy

Minimalist Couples | Sharing is Caring


If you’re a “label everything in the fridge that’s yours” person, this one’s for you.

Jonathan and I live in a 494 sq. ft. studio with our pup, Dahlia. And while you might think that means space is at a premium...it’s really not.

Sure, when I first moved in I had to donate plenty of things, but it was all bulky furniture that Jonathan already had or stuff we really didn’t want in our shared home. (Like the 12ish novelty shot glasses I’d collected over time on my solo road trips. Or my taxidermy deer head named Dre. Oy.) None of the stuff I ditched was difficult to get rid of, and most of it I let go of happily knowing I was starting a new chapter with the love of my life.

I’ve had folks comment since Jonathan and I got together that we’re a natural pair, that our home life and cohabiting seem effortless. I know that not everyone’s experience is the same, but I’ll admit: moving in together was easy, and we’ve yet to argue over “mine” vs. “yours” or “his space” vs. “her space.” Our clothes hang side by side on the same single rod in our closet. Our towels are stacked together. Our books are all shuffled and combined to the point that we don’t remember which books are Jonathan’s and which are mine. We use the same soap, shampoo, and conditioner.

Part of it I’ll chock up to good fortune; Jonathan is just a great husband, and our individual goals, aspirations, and beliefs complemented each other organically. While being on the same page about the big stuff makes everything else feel easy to handle, there is one belief we share that goes without saying at this point:

Everything we own is ours.

Not mine. Not his. Ours. And therein lies our “secret” to success: we’ve eliminated the extraneous by avoiding duplicates in all ways that we’ve been able to. We choose as many products as possible based on whether we both like them or both can use them. We use each other’s things freely and without guilt.

I have to give credit to Jonathan, because he’s the one that made me mindful of how I live with others. Before I met him, I was a fairly territorial roommate. I didn’t label everything that was mine in the fridge, but I did have my unspoken shelf and might get pissy if something disappeared. And then Jonathan started spending the night, and using my conditioner, and borrowing laundry detergent, all of which I was happy to let happen and even encouraged. And when I would ask him if I could use his dryer sheets or borrow a knife from his knife bag, he’d chuckle and say, “you don’t have to ask. Everything that’s mine is yours.”

Jonathan stirred in me the desire to make someone else happy by giving them everything I have—material or otherwise.

So, no “a-ha!” moments today, no deep messages or earth-shattering realizations. Maybe cohabiting in harmony is as easy as finding someone that makes you want to share.

Who’s the person that made you want to share? Tell us in the comments below!


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