HOW TO SHARE A CLOSET WITHOUT CRYING

You’ve merged your things, but figuring out a fair division of closet space can be a tense negotiation. A closet organizer provides tips on maximizing—and sharing your space.

Relationships are about compromise and the same holds true when it comes to closet space. She has too much clothing (Don’t we all!) and he won’t part with his tattered, dated corduroys. Here are simple ways to navigate combining your clothes without an argument.

Merging Means Purging

“No one wants to let go of things they need,” says Melissa Chataigne, Personal Stylist and Closet Organizer of Chataigne Style Studio. “When you merge with someone, you’re usually downsizing, but people often don’t go through the purging process.”

Unless you’re moving into a mansion with his and hers walk-in closets (A girl can dream!), you’re going to have to get rid of some stuff. Chataigne suggests going though your clothes and deciding what to keep, what to toss, what to sell, and what to donate. Ask yourself these three questions: Have you worn it, does it fit you, and do you plan to wear it? If not, toss it. This is something you should be doing every season regardless of your living situation.

Plan Ahead

Don’t move in together and then figure it out. It doesn’t make sense to pay movers to schlep stuff you’re going to throw out eventually. Take a weekend at his house, go through his beloved concert T-shirt collection, decide what’s too sentimental to part with, and what needs to go to the Goodwill.

“It should be a fun bonding experience as opposed to, ‘Oh shoot, he’s moving in next week and I need to make room for all his stuff,'” Chataigne says. “The better plan you have in place for organization and how things are going to function in your relationship, the more likely your relationship will last.”

Get Organized

When it comes to closets, most couples fight about organization. Usually one person is more type-A than the other, so it’s about putting a plan in place.

“You have to constantly prune your wardrobe like a garden,” she says. “If your closet is organized then most likely your life is too.”

Chataigne suggests using space-saving velvet hangers from Closet Complete ($11.66). It goes without saying, but no wire hangers—those just don’t look so hot.

Color coordinate everything because it instantly makes your closet look better. Arrange your hung items by sleeve or dress length. For all your items in dressers, roll your clothes—you can fit more and things are easier to find.

Be Functional

Utilize all the space in your house. You only need to have the current season’s clothing at your fingertips. Use under-bed storage for items you won’t need until the next season.

If there’s one shared closet, put labeled dividers between the different sections. If you’re lucky enough to have multiple closets and your partner gets up at the crack of dawn while you’re still sleeping, the early riser should use the closet outside of your bedroom as to not wake you.

“Think of a way to support your partner and help them be more organized rather than fight about it,” she says. “It’s just clothes at the end of the day. The stuff that matters in life is not what’s in your closet; it’s about your bond. So keep in mind that it’s only stuff.”