So, you’re in a polyamorous relationship — a relationship with two other people or more. Things are going wonderfully. Contrary to popular belief, no one is jealous; no one is being left out; and everyone is feeling happy and supported by the relationship they are building. But there’s just one problem. Moving in with one significant other is hard enough; try moving your stuff into a house that already has two people’s stuff in it, or trying to fit a fourth person into your already-three-person household. It’s tough, but that doesn’t mean it can’t work. With the right adjustments, you can be living communally, sharing your love, and saving money on bills and rent while you do it.
Get Plenty of Storage
This one is a must for fitting multiple people’s clothing, kitchenware, etc. into a small or reasonably sized space. If you just have one chest of drawers and a closet, that isn’t going to cut it when it comes to polyamorous living. There won’t be enough room for everything, which will leave people feeling ousted or like they have too much stuff and are being a bother. Get a small shelf or bin divider in the bedroom for each person so that everyone has a space. Make extra room in the kitchen for silverware, and buy a bookshelf for the significant other who has a huge collection. Doing this will keep everyone feeling good, and also keep your house from being a collective wreck.
Keep it Organized
Going off of the above tip, it’s paramount that you keep your stuff organized once you’ve found the space for it. Just because you’re OK being involved in each other’s love lives doesn’t mean you want your stuff all mixed together so you can’t tell what is what. It’s perfectly reasonable to decide only your dresses and shirts can go in a certain dresser. Otherwise, it could take forever to find your clothes in the morning, or you could end up having a petty disagreement about folding or organization. You can also keep separate areas for things like valuable dishes or record collections that you don’t want to just toss on a shelf or in a cabinet.
Lay Down Some Ground Rules
It also doesn’t hurt to come up with some basic rules for keeping things in their places and avoiding confusion or aggravation. This doesn’t mean having unreasonable rules about people not touching anything in your area or freaking out on anyone; just like with a two-person relationship or having roommates, that’ll come off as selfish and annoying. But it’s OK to come up with some basic guidelines, such as when to do laundry, who should put what away, how to divide up chores, etc. This way you won’t end up with one person never doing chores or taking care of things because they’re always at work or are always busy and out of the house.
Liquidate Your Current Mess
Another good plan of action is for everyone to clean out his, her, or their respective closets before moving in together. No, that’s not a metaphor for getting all your past indiscretions out on the table; you should actually clean out your closet. Get rid of anything unnecessary before moving in with your new partner(s) or letting your partner(s) move in. That dress that’s literally been in the back of your closet for two years that you need to sew up? Give it away or donate it. Those shoes that’re super nice but you’ve never had occasion to wear them? See if a consignment shop will buy them. Also make sure you aren’t going to have too many duplicate, triplicates, etc. of any one item. If everyone in the relationship has three or four saucepans, it may be time to compare pans and decide which you want to collectively keep, and which you can get rid of.
Give Each Other Space
This one is key for emotional issues; the first rule of any relationship is to take a cooling-off period to wind down after an argument or serious conversation. So it just makes sense that the same applies to times when things are good. Just because you are all getting along doesn’t mean you need to be together constantly. Do you love to read in a nice quiet room with a glass of wine? Lock yourself in and do it — your other partners can spend quality time together or get out of the house for a while. Want to watch that TV show everyone else thinks is stupid? Be sure they set aside some time for you to watch it, even if they don’t want to join you. Having your own time where you can be yourself and do what you want to do is what’ll help you maintain a healthy and autonomous attitude, even while in a serious relationship.