How to Beat the Bathroom Battles with Your Special One
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How to Beat the Bathroom Battles with Your Special One

The bathroom is my “zone”. It’s my space to relax in at the end of the week; soaking under a mountain of bubbles next to enough candles to create a fire hazard. It’s also where I tackle my beauty regimen and like to keep all of my tweezers, combs, dyes, wipes, creams, varnishes, lotions and oils…  You get the picture. My sanctuary of femininity allows me to enter like a fuzzy, half-asleep caterpillar, and emerge a plucked, preened and fabulous butterfly.

For my darling boyfriend, it’s simply a place to s**t, shower and shave.

When we moved in together, this dichotomy caused more than a little strife. While I was blind to the eleven different hair products lining the tub, I was painfully aware of the minuscule scraps of stubble on the countertop. My SO was unmoved by empty cardboard on the toilet roll holder but crippled by my ability to consistently clog the bath with my hair. After a few short weeks, the bathroom became a passive-aggressive warzone, strewn with debris of the worst kinds.

Thankfully, we negotiated a truce, and I’m pleased to say that our bathroom life is happy and hygienic once more. In a bid to help even one couple restore the peace, here is how we did it.

Battle 1: Accountability

The first step is admitting that you make a mess in the bathroom. You know how I know that you make a mess in the bathroom? Because EVERYONE makes a mess in the bathroom. It’s the reason why every single surface is wipe-clean! Accept that the person who shaves over the sink is the person leaving stubble around it, and the one with long hair is the person clogging the drain. Once you’re ready to acknowledge a portion of responsibility, you can move on.

Battle 2: Delegate Cleaning

Next, you need to tidy up your mess. In our house, we initially agreed that I would empty the plug after every hair-wash, and Dearest Boyfriend would give the counter, sink and bathroom taps a post-shave rinse. (See here for some of the most stylish and easiest bathroom taps to clean). To be frank, he was rubbish at spotting stubble between the flecks in the counter, so we renegotiated after I kept getting annoyed. We decided that I would clean the entire bathroom to my exacting standards, and he would keep the kitchen spick-and-span. Harmonious living is sometimes about being fair, not equal.

Battle 3: Shelf Space

Just like cleaning, shelf space should be divided up fairly… which doesn’t necessarily mean 50/50. Work out how much gunk you both use, and then divide up the available space proportionally. Now is time to consider whether you actually need to keep EVERYTHING in the bathroom (my hair products got relegated to the dressing table so we could have room for loo roll and toothpaste). Once you’ve allocated spaces, stick to them – I don’t care how many moisturisers you own.

How to Beat the Bathroom Battles with Your Special One (1)

Battle 4: Agree on Communal Items

Obviously, when you share a bathroom you won’t need to double up on the basics like soap, toothpaste or toilet roll – huzzah! However, make sure you’re crystal clear about any items that aren’t up for sharesies. If not, you could end up discovering that the special occasion conditioning balm which you emptied your bank account for is almost empty, “because the normal stuff ran out and it smelled nice”. I’m not one to hold a grudge, but trust me when I say: it hurts. You have been warned.

Battle 5: Synchronising Schedules

Prevent pre-coffee rage every morning, and plan a routine. Does one of you take half an hour to just stand under the shower and contemplate life? Is it possible to alternate hair-washing days? Be honest about the average length of your shower / toothbrush / hair ritual and consider the other person’s needs. Maybe that means one of you washes the night before, or has to make an effort to jump straight in the shower at the first buzz of the alarm – it’s worth it to keep the peace, trust me.

Battle 6: Maintain some space

Some couples are mortified by the thought of sharing bathroom habits, while others maintain a consistent open-door policy. Wherever you and your beau fall on that spectrum, due to the personal nature of most bathroom activities, you should factor in some privacy ground rules, even if you never need them. Establish what an open door, closed door and locked door means in terms of walking in, knocking or steering clear – and respect those boundaries.

Sharing a bathroom with someone you love can get messy, but it doesn’t have to be – I promise!

*This is a collaborative post.

This article has 40 comments

  1. robin rue

    There are 2 boys in my house who pee all over the place. THEY are tasked with cleaning the bathrooms.

  2. tara pittman

    Sharing a bathroom is hard. Thank goodness my husband takes am showers and I take pm showers.

  3. Shannon Sawicki

    Sharing a bathroom is a struggle and i have a similar problem with pee on the seat so the men of the house clean the main bathroom.

  4. Roger D Willis

    I used to get read the riot act for leaving my facial hair that I trimmed on the sink, even though I made a sincere attempt to clean them up. They fly everywhere! Good for you both on coming up with a compromise!

  5. Claudia Krusch

    Living together can have some challenges. Having some good storage options can really help keeping all of our favorite products organized and out of site. I hate when my husband trims his facial hair and leaves a mess.

  6. E H

    We have several bathrooms at home, and a large family, so for us, it’s a battle between many different people. I just hope we can catch up some day, your post gives me motivation to continue fighting for getting our bathrooms ship shaped

  7. Kelly Hutchinson

    I am lucky to have not had any battles with my “special one.” We have been able to share with no issues.

  8. Angie Scheie

    Haha, this is great and I loved your style of writing when painting a picture of your bathroom life. I’ve been married 5 years and the stubble situation still annoys me!

  9. Blair villanueva

    Yeah we also have that strict rules in the bathroom. It should be spotless, and no hair (even mine!)
    We kept our bathroom so serene.

  10. Oyinkan

    Delegating cleaning definitely helps. It makes everyone clear on what’s expected for the home

  11. Candy Rachelle

    These are really great tips for those who are struggling with this. Thank goodness my kids are well past this stage! Even so, when they were younger, they LOVED bath time!

  12. hey sharonoox

    Sharing bathroom is never easy. I can’t stand messy bathroom and always ended up being the one who cleans it. Great tips that I’m going to share with my hubs!

  13. Stephanie Pass

    Synchronizing our times in the bathroom is the hardest thing. It’s especially true when my kids prefer our bathroom too.

  14. TColeman

    This is such a great post that no one likes to talk about. We both are guilty with taking over the space there so we each have to do our part.

  15. Bobbi

    There have been quite a few times that empty toilet roll has bothered me. BUT then I remember how I hog all the shower shelf space with all my stuff lol

  16. GD Blog

    Oh thank goodness. So far, David and I are not having battles yet in the bathroom (yes, not yet. LOL).

    -Gerome of G&D Blog

  17. Jessica Terry

    Oh how I can relate to this post. With the amount of people in my family and only 1 full bathroom… trust me…

  18. sarah

    I can relate on this. We got shared bathroom and I make sure my things are out of my kids reach.

  19. Garf

    My hair is everywhere and my hubby complains that I am not cleaning the strainer and my hair is clogging it.

  20. Shannon Gurnee

    I love the contrast between what you think the bathroom is for and what your boyfriend thinks it’s for. I have to admit that I’m constantly making a mess in the bathroom – typically with my makeup and brushes spread out on the counter. Ha ha.

  21. Nicole

    These are all really great tips! Sharing a bathroom with your significant other isn’t always easy. I agree most with synchronizing schedules. I’ll shower in the morning and my SO will shower at night, that kind of system seems to help!

  22. Denay DeGuzman

    It’s hard sharing a restroom space with someone. It’s important to have your own drawers, and to agree on a cleaning schedule. This is vital for those with roommates. Restroom battles can cause serious roommate problems and trigger bad behavior outside of that single situation.

  23. Jeanette

    This made me laugh! Sharing the one bathroom we do have there are definitely rules that we have to follow. I live in the house of all boys and I refused to clean the toilet if they’re messy. They have to do it themselves.

  24. Emma Walton

    We have such a tiny bathroom that it looks like a bomb has hit it all the time! Especially as my daughter is constantly buying more and more shampoo’s without using up the previous one.

  25. Rebekah Jones

    Oh the woes of bathroom battles !! … nice to know it isnt just our house … I find it was easier when we got a house with two toilets !!

  26. Bill

    As a single guy, I have my own bathroom battle – just keeping up with the bathroom cleaning. I kinda like the European bathrooms that are open and easy to spray down…

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