Lifestyle

9 Home Life Hacks to Improve Your Marriage

April 8, 2019  —  Written by Julia 

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Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here. 

We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen. 

Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.

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1. Separate tubes of toothpaste. I’ll admit, this is one is what inspired this entire post. I showed our bathroom on Instagram stories, which sprung questions about where I keep my toothbrush (I like a clear countertop, so we keep our toothbrush in the top drawer of our vanity) which then lead to me explaining how a year a go, we each got our own tube of toothpaste and magically it was always clean and handy and we’ve lived happily ever after. Some of you said you would NEVER share a tube and some quickly went out to buy a second to improve your life. It’s magical. Here are 8 other (mostly little) things around the house that have improved our marriage.

2. Buying a twin-sized blanket if just one person wants to use it. It took me years to realized and accept that Chris is not a top sheet guy or a multi-blanket guy. He likes a lightweight duvet. Period. Me, on the other hand, wear all the layers AND socks and want some weight on me–so besides the duvet that covers both of us, I buy a twin size blanket for me! I use this weighted blanket that I bought in a twin size so there’s no excess blanket pushed over to my side, nearly swallowing me by morning. It’s a win win!

3. Double sinks. Of course you just can’t go out and buy a double sink for your bathroom, and there’s a chance your bathroom doesn’t even have the space. But we went 9 years of marriage with only 1 sink in our bathroom and this past year, since renovating and adding a second–we had NO IDEA WHAT WE WERE MISSING! If you have the chance, do it. The girls bathroom has a 58″vanity with double sinks, so it doesn’t take a ton of room. To wash my face while he brushes his teeth without the fear of the two somehow intertwining (ack!!) is bliss.

4. Having an Alexa in the bedroom so nobody has to get up to turn the light off. If you’re reaching or getting out of bed to turn a light on 1. You’re doing it wrong. 2. You’re probably silently keeping track of whose turn it is. An Alexa-enabled speaker (We have this white Sonos in a few places around the house, including our bedroom) and smart bulbs (This is a great starter pack!) will change your life! “Hey Alexa, turn the lights off” means we’re both going to bed happy every night. We also love that we can dim the lights to any percentage.

5. Plugging 10′ phone chargers in next to the couches. Maybe it’s just me, but I swear at the end of the day, just as the girls go down and I plop on the couch to unwind for a few minutes my phone battery turns red and I have to go find a charger. It’s not a marital thing, but a personal annoyance that we easily remedied by keeping 10 foot phone chargers plugged in next to the sofa–our go-to unwind spot–so that when we’re ready to relax, we can!

6. Cordless Dyson. You know what’s really hot? Clean floors. And seeing your partner vacuuming. Our cordless Dyson is just so convenient and actually fun to use that we tend to get it out multiple times a day. Vacuuming doesn’t feel like a chore for either of us with this thing. It’s improved our daily lives for sure! (Ours is cordless animal is $100 off right now here!)

7. A mail sorter. We had this pain point in our lives/marriage where there was just always a stack of mail on the counter and it seemed like we were always asking one another–what is all this!? Does it still need to be dealt with? One day, I got a double paper tray from Target and put it in place where the mail always fell. Now, the top is for mail that is incoming and needs to still be sorted and the bottom is for things that need to be filed or processed. Such an easy, simple thing that completely eliminated unnecessary annoyance.

8. Open ended toilet-paper holder. If you have ever seen a new roll of toilet paper placed on top of an empty roll still installed on a holder and thought REALLY!?–then this one is for you. I can’t imagine myself ever installing a toilet paper holder other than one that’s open-ended now! It makes it so easy to replace. Like, one handed easy. There’s no excuses. I haven’t seen an empty roll/new roll perpendicular to one another since we installed ours last year.

9. Sorted Laundry Hamper. No one wants to dig through dirty laundry. Full stop. It’s not fun. It’s stinky. It’s the worst. So however you do your laundry (we just do lights and darks over here) do yourself and marriage a favor and get a sorted laundry hamper–ours is from Ikea!–and stick to the system. Lights in one side. Darks in the other. (They have triple and more if you like to go all out). It’s a small but mighty life improver.

I’m sure I’m forgetting hundreds of other ideas. We’d love to hear of any home life hacks that have improved your relationship in the comments! You know what they say, Happy spouse, happy house! (But really, we should all start saying that).

 

Psst–Our twin Indoorsy sweatshirts are from ProperTee right here. The other bathroom sources from the header image can be found here

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What do you think?

  1. Robin says:

    My husband also doesn’t like to use a top sheet, whereas I do. Where do you buy your sheets from so that you can mix and match sizes? I’d love to just use a sheet on my side of the bed, but I can only ever find sets and then feel locked in to using the King sheet because I have already paid for it.

  2. Cici Haus says:

    I just want to say how adorable that picture is of the two of you!

  3. Catherine says:

    A lot of Europeans do separate bed covers and after having lived there we decided it was genius and the only way to go. My husband was always either kicking the quilt down, (dragging it off of me) or flipping a double quilt on to me, etc. and getting 2 twin XL top sheets, and 2 twin XL quilts has meant we can each be our own rainbow, and no one is mad that someone wants an electric blanket (me) or that someone wants to take their quilt off the bed all together. I’ve been asked “doesn’t that look weird when the beds made?” And no, it doesn’t, but also who’s in my bedroom, that matters other than my husband and I? ????

  4. Lindsey F says:

    Lol love this.. we do all of these too. Except I just can’t seem to get my husband fully on board with the mail sorting! He’s so eager to come inside he brings in junk mail and sets it on the counter even though I put a trashcan right by the garage door for junk mail. Face. palm!
    One day we just sort’ve ended up with two sets of toothpaste.. I never thought one was an issue but maybe my husband knows something I don’t ;)

  5. Jeannette says:

    Separate toothpaste? No. Separate sinks? One more icky sink to clean – no. He’s a level-headed engineer and I’m a creative knucklehead. After 36 years we just respect each other enough to not leave a mess, to not come in the bathroom unless invited and wipe down the shower after we finish. Now separate bathrooms is a marriage changer! We had that in our first house and it was great! He cleaned his and I cleaned mine.

  6. Tina Peterson says:

    LOVE this so much and all of the comments too! We are empty nesters so it has been easier than most to implement our fav marriage savers:
    1) separate bathrooms
    2) separate closets
    3) twin sized weighted blankets (we both LOVE them) and this has been a game changer for sure
    4) cute baskets by each entry door for shoes – cuts down on having to do the floors!
    5) cordless vac for said floors

  7. Shellie says:

    I watched my mother-in-law loose her mind for years because my father-in-law would drink straight from the milk jug. She bought a square glass pitcher w/a lid that fits in the door of the frig just for him. Every week SHE fills it for him and he gets to drink from it – GUILT FREE. Problem solved!

  8. Ele says:

    A few things that work for us:
    – Separate but equal hooks in the bathroom. We shared for 6 months. No bueno.
    – We do our own laundry. He insists on washing everything together on cold and I have a separate light/dark combo basket. (undies and undershirts etc need to be washed HOT imo. – Right?!)
    – I have a weird thing with sharing headphones. My husband loves to borrow mine as he loses his quite often. So I bought a bunch for him and stuck them in his spots.
    – The Amazon 10′ BRAIDED phone chargers. Lifechanging. We have one in almost every room of the house.
    – King size bed. Lifechanging. We love our Leesa! (especially once you add that huge pregnancy pillow – or is that just me?)
    – His private office. He works from home, so it’s necessary, but I think even if he didnt it would be good for our relationship. I’m an extrovert and he’s an introvert so I know when he goes in there time to time after work hours he needs some alone time. He doesn’t abuse it in the least so it’s kind of a weird unspoken mutually agreed upon deal.

  9. Grace says:

    Just got the phone cords! Love this and I already know it’s going to make my husband and my lives a lot easier:)

  10. Tammy says:

    We’re on the same page girl.
    We’ve had 2 coffee pots for years. Right is regular and left is decaf.
    Laundry: same as you – Right is for lights.

  11. Connie says:

    The open ended TP holders are great until you get a kitten!

    • KC says:

      or a toddler haha

    • KW says:

      I just stayed at a hotel that had this kind of TP holder and I ended up pulling THREE barely used rolls of TP onto the floor over the course of a few weeks. Give me a regular old-fashioned TP holder any day… BUT I don’t live with a man so maybe that’s why it’s tolerable. :)

  12. Kimberly says:

    I keep a small basket for my hand wash only/delicates so I never worry when my husband randomly does a load of laundry. Anything in the hamper is fair game and he’s never ruined any of my clothes since!

  13. Christina says:

    We have separate duvets on the bed, in fact everyone who ever stays here gets their own blanket. It’s a game changer for good sleeping, I’ll never share a blanket again.

  14. Liz Thiam says:

    The junk drawer in the kitchen is usually a hot topic of debate. I believe it should be organized and only hold essentials like scissors, pens, tape, candle lighter, measuring tape, etc. But my husband takes the name of it literally and before I know it, it’s all jammed up with things they he was too lazy to put away or throw away (and he’s a neat freak!) and thinks that it’s fine to throw it all in there because it’s the JUNK drawer! I organize it every few months and we usually have it out every time. I tried to solution by putting a small toolbox in the hall closet for his “overflow” but now that’s all full too. Anyone have a solution? One time while venting to my mom about this, she told me she and my dad used to have the exact same disagreements. LOL

    • If this were me I would get rid of the junk drawer immediately. I know it’s handy to have all of these things at arm’s reach. Move it to another spot in the house and call it the command centre/office cubby anything but junk. Or if you’re feeling spunky, have it organized perfectly and draw around every item so nothing else “fits” in it. (you know like people do with peg boards in a work shop!) Haha. Good luck with your drawer!

    • Meg says:

      Do you ever label things? That was something I learned from teaching high school for a number of years, and it turns out it worked for my home life too. My partner’s entire apt was organized like a junk drawer so when we moved in together I wrote what items were stored in various drawers and on shelves. This was in the bathroom, kitchen, and drawers for odds and ends. I wasn’t sure if it would work but my partner totally puts things into the places based on their labels. That was two and a half years ago and everything is still organized quite well. Maybe it would be effective in your situation?

    • Suzanne Zinn says:

      I got rid of the junk drawer. Not even a thing anymore. I was giving up a whole drawer to literal crap(flyers, menus, coupons, random screws) that would collect for a few months and I would end up throwing most of it away when I got sick of digging for stuff. Everything important(stamps, envelopes, rubber bands) in there was relocated to the office.

  15. Brooke says:

    Where do you put your dirty laundry in your bedroom/bathroom?

  16. F. says:

    Alexa in the bedroom is a no-go for me. Even with just phones in the room, I got ads for plan b the day after our condom broke. I hadn’t searched anything remotely related. They knew we had sex and that our condom broke! A little too invasive for me.

  17. Amy says:

    This is great!
    1. A docking station to drop things in when you get in the door. It’s just general family organization, but we all know where to find car keys and sunglasses cuz you drop them in the same spot (hello cute tray!) when you come in the door.
    2. Top down blinds: he loves weekend morning soccer, and if the blinds are open you get major glare…. But I don’t love walking into a room on a beautiful weekend afternoon with all the light shut out because he forgot to open them. Top down blinds solve that issue!

  18. Open-ended toilet paper holders are AMAZING. Why did the two-sided ones ever get installed, anywhere??? Our house came with one when we moved 2 years ago and I’ll never, ever, EVER go back.

  19. Tiffany says:

    We have the Dyspn cordless vacuum and it is a game changer! We also have a Bissell mop that vacuums and it’s like getting my floors professionally cleaned! Love it. Plus my husband is really into it so he does all the mopping now! The open ended toilet paper holder and the double sinks are great too.

  20. Ann says:

    I’m tidy; he’s a heaper-of-stuff. Therefore, here’s what works for us:
    1. Don’t share a closet. Or a suitcase.
    2. Don’t share a sink. Even better, don’t share a bathroom.
    3. I keep a small toolbox in the kitchen with a variety of everyday tools and a pill bottle of nails/screws/hooks. I use that toolbox all the time. Everyone does because they know where they are. They also know that if they don’t put them back in the box and put the box away, there will be armageddon. So when there’s a small project like hanging a picture, it can get done quickly w/o stopping to search for tools in the garage.
    4. I do monthly bills and file everything. He does taxes, based on my files.

  21. Courtney says:

    Yes to the toilet paper holder, but we took it a step further. I like it under (yes it’s true) and he likes it over. So, I turned the whole thing vertical and now it’s neither under or over (and it doesn’t slide off). We both lose and there hasn’t been a discussion since. Win in the end!

  22. Olivia M. says:

    It’s funny because I really don’t like open-ended toilet paper-holders. My parents installed one in my childhood home and the toilet paper is too easy to slip on/off. Whenever you use it, you have to hold the roll with one hand before you pull with the other or it falls off. Maybe it’s just the model they have?

    • Julia says:

      It sounds like they may have installed it backwards? The open side should face away from the toilet, so when you pull it, it only would draw it more on the holder. Alternately, you could install it vertical!

  23. Kensley says:

    Yes yes yes!!!! Our couch covers all the close outlets (huge L shape sectional) so we ran an extension cord to sit right behind the top of the cushions for plugging things in. It’s been the beeeest thing ever! I feel like a genius haha! Then just yesterday as I was switching the toilet paper I thought to myself “if I ever had to go back to a double ended toilet paper holder i might die”. That might be a little dramatic, but it really is a game changer! Plus if my husband puts the toilet paper on upside down I can quickly switch it to the right direction because that also drives me crazy!!

  24. Stephanie says:

    My war with laundry has now turned into a battle by washing each person separately. I sort lights, darks, towels and bedding. Whites I combine. Everything else is washed by person. Then that person grabs their hamper and puts it away!

  25. Julie says:

    These are so spot on!! My question though – what do you do with the twin sized blankets? Do you make them in to the bed?

  26. Jess says:

    This one is a little random, but uou know that conversation about going out for dinner when no one feels like cooking and no one has specific food cravings. The “What do you want to eat?”, “I don’t care, what do you want?”, “How about that taco place?”, “Naww…heartburn, what about that sushi place”, “Naww…they always have too long of a wait” (and so on) conversation.

    INSTEAD, one of us lists three out to eat options and the other person has to pick one of the given choices. Easy peasy. Total game changer. This approach also works if you want to let the kids pick or if you are going out with a larger group of people.

    • Sarah says:

      We call that 5/3/1 and the first person lists 5 choices the second person chooses 3 of those listed and then the initial lister chooses the final one. Game Changer

  27. Sarah says:

    I love these!! I’m dying for a cordless vacuum. These sorts of things really do make a difference day to day.

    In our house, the hero is the Roku remote with a headphone jack. Now my husband can watch TV with headphones and I can read next to him in blissful silence. And we still get to snuggle! It’s great.

    • Meredith says:

      My husband got wireless headphones for the tv years ago! Now he can watch games or Seinfeld reruns and we don’t have to listen. Even better? When we watches and does dishes with the headphones on. EVERYBODY WINS!

  28. Deb says:

    We have a laundry shoot that empties into the basement. I purchased the sorting kind of laundry hamper and still have to dig thru stinky laundry to sort. Duh. In my defense, my husband picked it out.My new want is the crate and barrel giant steel laundry basket on wheels. It holds more and avoids the overflow onto the floor that I deal with now. I kinda cringe at the $129.95, though.

    • Babette says:

      You do laubdry enough snd it will last a long time!! You will get so much put of it… Return on incestment: for times of use will get that sucker down to $2.48 after a year, if you only do laundry once a week. Buy it now!!

  29. Sara Kral says:

    Love these simple ideas! One thing that has helped my marriage is a basket on top of our fridge. I hate any sort of clutter and my husband is a fan of setting things out on our kitchen counter. So I got a pretty basket to put on top of our fridge where he can put all his stuff so it’s not spread across our kitchen counters. As a bonus, I’m short so I can’t even see what’s in there! :)

    • Samantha says:

      Oy my husband does the same thing. He just leaves things on any horizontal space. It’s the worst! I bought a big cabinet to put his tools and all the misc items in, which is right by the door where he drops all of his stuff. He still puts things ON TOP OF THE CABINET! He used to put things on top of the fridge but we recently renovated our kitchen and I made sure to do a “built in” fridge where the cabinet comes all the way down so there’s no space. MUAHAHAHA!

      • Becky says:

        My husband is the king of leaving stuff everywhere. he will just absent-mindedly pick something up from its place and transfer it to another place where it doesnt belong!! My solution to his pile of STUFF on the floor, next to the bed, was the buy a hamper with a lid, so I woudnt have to see it. Well, nowit just sits ON TOP of the hamper. palm-to-face

    • Claire says:

      That is an excellent idea!! My husband has the same issue—leaving his things on any horizontal space. I am totally going to go buy a cute basket for on top the fridge. He’s so busy with work and home projects I feel bad asking him to move his stuff every. single. day. but it drives me insane.

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