So, you’ve done it: you’re moving in with your lady friend, or vice versa! Sex on tap (wishful thinking) and soft fluffy towels (a more pleasing reality than you could imagine) are just a couple of perks you can look forward to when living with the ‘fairer’ sex. Before you know it your house smells good, the bathroom is clean and there’s ALWAYS toilet paper.
There can, of course, be some obstacles that come along with co-habitation. To guard against potential clashes, the first thing you need to do is set some ground rules and write a list of items you absolutely will not give up under any circumstances.
Another important rule: know when to let go. Consider whether that baseball cap collection is really worth the headache it’ll cause. When negotiating what you’re allowed to keep, make clear that the concessions need to go both ways; if she wants you to get rid of your Playboy archives, then she has to agree to keep the pink and frilly decorations to a minimum.
While men could happily live in squaller and filth without a second thought, some women think of ‘clutter’ as a dirty word, so don’t leave gadgets lying around, and keep them together and out of sight. Chargers should be streamlined and kept to one area of the house.
Either leave your sporting equipment in the boot of your car, hide it in the back of a cupboard, or – more interestingly – hang it on the wall. Become friends with hooks and get your sporting equipment off the floor and onto the walls. For those who live in a unit with a balcony, this would be a great place to hang your bike or tennis rackets. If this doesn’t keep her happy, ask if she’d rather live with an obese, severely unfit lover, and perhaps she’ll reconsider.
Have a collection footy flags from years of loyal spectatorship? Good news: you don’t have to throw them out. Get your mum or local seamstress (is there such a thing?) to sew them together into a quilt. Old jerseys also work well for this, and it’s a great way to turn old, useless things into more female-friendly pieces that have practical applications.
Gaming Consoles & Games
Unless you’ve hooked a babe who references GTA and counts Comicon as her place of worship, you’ll need to consider what you’re going to do with your Xbox, PlayStation, Wee, or whatever other combination of consoles you currently share a residence with.
Camouflage your gaming gadgets with clever decorating. This reclaimed wood storage trunk is ideal, as it can be rolled out of the room when more floorspace is needed.
Hey, sports fan! Rather than scattering bits and pieces all over the house, bring order to your collection and memorabilia in a unique way.
Make sure the colours of the collection don’t clash with the rest of the room and unless it’s signed, jerseys can be left in the cupboard. If it is a particularly special one, whack it in a frame or shadow box for maximum impact. A good framing job can make all the difference and turn a dirty old sneaker into a talking point of the room. The frame will serve the dual purpose of keeping your precious goods clean and safe, while appealing to your girlfriend’s sense of style and order.
If framing isn’t compatible with your budget (it can get expensive when using a professional framer), consider placing some items – like trophies or autographed footballs – on shelves or in cabinets with ‘under-shelf’ lighting, effectively transforming “sport crap” into cool collectables your girlfriend won’t be embarrassed to have around.
Have Your Own Space
Designate a wall that’s all yours! If you have a spare room and a legend of a partner, she may allow you to turn the space into a man cave. Whether it’s in the spare room or the hallway, having a dedicated space to display your much-loved memorabilia is a great way for you to add a touch of personality to the shared space. White walls or light hues are best, as they’ll allow the items to stand out more prominently than they would on a coloured background.
It goes without saying that you should dispose of any material relating to ex-partners, especially photos. The Baywatch poster of Pamela Anderson that’s adorned your bedroom wall since the mid-90’s should be disregarded without fuss. Firstly, wow, how old are you? And second, naked posters just make you look kind of creepy, like a pimply 16-year-old in the body of a 30-year-old man. Nudie calendars might be okay to keep in the shed, but definitely not the main house!
Likewise, those empty liquor bottles you think look cool, but in reality make you look like a major booze hound with a bit of a problem, should be tossed.
As a rule of thumb, girls have a better decorative sense than we do. It’s just something most seem to have been born with, so if she thinks your ratty old leather armchair looks terrible, she’s probably right. However, if said armchair is an heirloom or one particularly special, fight to keep it. If she sees how much it means to you she’ll more than likely concede. And if she doesn’t, maybe you should think about getting rid of more than just a chair!