Tips on sharing a small space with a significant other

Even the happiest couples can come across roadblocks when they decide to move in together. If your first home as a couple happens to be a small apartment, follow these tips to ensure smooth sailing:

Consolidate: Arguably the most important thing you should do prior to moving in with someone is consolidate your belongings. In a small space, there is no room for an extra television, couch or bean bag. One of you can either sell the extra items or rent a temporary storage space until you figure out what to do with the additional belongings.

Share the work: Even one extra person in the apartment means double the mess. From cleaning the bathroom to folding laundry, it is not fair for one person to be stuck with all the work. Because you have a smaller space, mopping the floor or dusting the shelves can be done in just a few minutes. By setting up a time every week to take care of chores, you can both enjoy a clean home.

Find alone time: Living in close quarters means you are constantly surrounded by someone else. Regardless of how well you get along, a healthy relationship needs personal time. As you enjoy living with your significant other, make it a point to have a life outside the relationship. A morning run or Saturday brunch with friends will keep you from losing your sanity.

Keep guests at a minimum: Although you love being the host, be respectful of your partner's wishes. Without an extra bedroom, where will your partner go if he or she wants to get away from the noise when you are entertaining? Having guests over all the time can be tough in a small space as your partner may need his or her privacy. Opt to head to a friend's place that can accommodate large crowds.

Redecorate: Regardless of how small the space is, take into consideration your partner's choice in interior design. This is a great way to show that you are willing to compromise and care about your partner's opinions. Decorate the apartment  together after coming to a consensus about furniture, posters, rugs and color schemes.

Storage: Get creative about storage space by using bed raisers or buying center tables that have storage space. Your closets and storage areas may not have the room you need, but furniture can be arranged to make room for dressers or plastic storage bins.