Homesharing isn’t about perfection. You’re not getting ready for houseguests you need to impress. You’re getting ready to live with someone, and that’s different. The most important thing you can do is to put yourself in the renter’s shoes. You’d want to know that you and your belongings are welcome in this home, with plenty of room to settle in and get comfortable.

In the renter’s bedroom and bathroom

Now’s the time to clear away any items stored in this space, other than furniture your roommate will be using. If there’s any furniture or larger items, decide whether to store them, repurpose them, etc. Clear everything out of the closet, drawers, under the sink, in the shower or bathtub, in the medicine cabinet, etc. Go ahead and throw out half-used toiletries, unless you’re willing to call your local shelter to see if they can use them. If so, drive them over right away or discard. Expired medications should be taken to your local drugstore for proper disposal. If you don’t need the extra rags (and after a lifetime, so few of us do!), donate older bath towels to your local animal shelter or humane society.

As a final step, give both spaces a thorough cleaning.

In the kitchen

Clean out the pantry and the refrigerator. Get rid of expired items and food you thought you would or should use. We’ve all done it—bought things in bulk that we later discovered we hate, thought we’d suddenly bake our own bread every week… You can donate unwanted but still usable items to your local food pantry. Then, reorganize the space to allow room for your roommate’s groceries. For example, you might designate an entire fruit and vegetable bin for your roommate’s use, or clear off half the shelves in the pantry in a logical way.

The same thing goes for the counters, cabinets and other kitchen storage. Make room for your roommate to bring in the belongings you agreed on.

Last, take a look at the front of the refrigerator. You might want to make a little space for your roommate’s magnets, a few photos, and a take-out menu or two. It’s a thoughtful touch that lets your roommate know they’re welcome.

By the front door

Everybody needs a drop zone by the main entrance—a place to put keys, hang up a coat or bag, etc. Don’t feel like you need to buy anything. Just create some space. Once you and your roommate have been homesharing for a while, you’ll have a better idea if you need anything extra in this area (and, if so, what).

Around the house: space for personalization

Imagine you’re the one moving into a new place. You’d want to have some of your own things throughout the house to make it feel like home. Where would you want to put those things?

  1. As part of a photo display on a wall, mantle, buffet table, etc.

  2. On the coffee table or bookshelves

  3. Near windows (for houseplants)

Can you remove half of your photos, coffee table items or books so your new roommate can add theirs? Or dedicate a similar-sized wall for their own photos? You don’t have to get rid of precious memories forever, but it may be time to store some things, move them into your personal space, pass them on to your kids or donate them.

Did this answer your question?